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By Arwa Lodhi
China’s traditions and history have inspired many designers, but in 2008, two design students from Vienna were inspired by two other Chinese features: its chart-busting pollution, and Olympic pool.
Much needed in Chinese cities, where the air is so unbreathable residents are often advised to stay indoors, this air helmet takes the polluted air from behind the wearer’s head, filters it, and releases it at the front of the helmet, ready for breathing. “It provides fresh clean air shower to the user,” say its designers Szilveszter Buzasi and Harald Tremmel.
It’s clear how China’s pollution inspired the pair, but the influence of the Olympic pool is seen in the visor and the rounded shape of the helmet, which allows the wearer to comfortably walk through the streets without impairing vision or obscuring identity.
The helmet also makes a statement about the problem of increasingly severe pollution, so hopefully Chinese officials will be shamed into cleaning up their act.