Before the Environmental Protection Agency was established in the United States, our planet suffered detrimental damage to its land, sea, and atmosphere. New York City soaked in a pool of smog so thick you could grasp the air in between your fingers. Air quality was so poor in the city that hospitalized lung complications increased and even resulted in deaths, specifically from emphysema related symptoms. This was a New York that snowed ash and rained acid.
Since the establishment of the EPA our city has made significant progress in air quality and pollution. Although we still face the same problem that continues to pose a threat to both the community within our city as well as the global community of our planet. Poor air quality continues to cause lung and respiratory issues such as stroke, lung cancer, as well as other infections. On a global scale, pollution and poor air quality has been the cause of over 3.7 million deaths as recorded by the World Health Organization in 2012.
Donald Trump has planned to cut the EPA’s already low government funding by 24 percent (2 Million Dollars) per year, as well as cut out some of the organization’s regulations. In this political climate it is difficult to see a future where the progress that has been made will continue in a forward direction.
For this project, I designed a phone booth that has been repurposed to be used as a type of greenhouse that would be an oasis that produces clean, fresh air in a NYC where there is none.The design is focused around a New York City that has been sent back to the state of smog, smoke and dust polluting the air and those that inhabit it.
I put myself in the place of designing not a solution but a probable aid or exaggerated accessory in a city like this . In using phone booths, the city would be able to take something that has been made obsolete and give it a purpose in this fictional future. While providing fresh and clean air, these booths would offer another sort of treatment as well. Individuals would be allowed to choose from a list of herbs and essential oils to vaporize once inside. These include tea tree, lavender, and peppermint, all of which are beneficial to the respiratory system, immune system, as well as reduce stress and anxiety when inhaled. All of which are things that all New Yorkers have become accustomed to.
This design and ad campaign series is in response to both a fictional future and a very relevant present. A world where people would pay for the air they breathe.