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The Air Liquide i-Lab rewards design students for their work on the “Breathe in the City” theme

The i-Lab, Air Liquide’s new ideas laboratory, has just concluded an awards ceremony at the Cité de la Mode et du Design in Paris honoring students at design schools for their ideas aimed at improving air quality in cities.

The international “Breathe in the City” idea contest launched in 2014 by the Air Liquide i-Lab challenged students from 10 industrial design schools to imagine innovative and clever solutions that respond to the issue of air quality in the city and fight – directly or indirectly - against air pollution, whether it occurs indoors, outdoors, or on the move.

A team from the Air Liquide i-Lab worked with the students to help them understand the issue of air pollution and its effects on people and then refine the ideas that emerged.

François Darchis, member of the Air Liquide executive committee in charge of innovation, presided the jury, whose other members included Terence West, Corporate Director of Research at Steelcase; Lorna Ross, Director of Design at Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation; Carlo Ratti, Director, SENSEable City Lab at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology); Véronique Hillen, founder and dean of the Paris Est d.school, as well as Jean-Marc de Royere, International Director and a member of the Executive Committee at Air Liquide; Diana Schillag, VP, Healthcare World Business Line at Air Liquide; and Olivier Delabroy, VP, Research and Development at Air Liquide.

After deliberating, the jury gave out 6 awards:

  • The Easy-to-use award went to the Osis project submitted by Zurich University of the Arts (Switzer-land);
  • The Easy-to-implement award was given to the AirPlay project submitted by Strate Design School in Paris (France);
  • The Out of the box award was bestowed on the B-Pure project imagined by the Sustainable Design School of Nice (France);
  • In addition, three projects received a special mention: The Concrete Tree project submitted by ISIA di Roma (Italy); Bruthe, a project submitted by the Design School of Nantes Atlantique (France); and Spiro, submitted by the Zurich University of the Arts.

The i-Lab’s “Breathe in the City” project aims at imagining the products and services of tomorrow that will ensure a healthy environment to the citizens. The design contest is one of the many initiatives that the i-Lab has launched for the purpose of detecting new ideas and it also exemplifies the Air Liquide open innovation approach.