An Indian Startup Is Turning Air Pollution Into Creatively Designed Tiles

An Indian Startup Is Turning Air Pollution Into Creatively Designed Tiles

Air pollution is one of the most common yet one of the most potent factors behind health risks across the globe. Upper respiratory tract troubles in a major section of the world’s population have been largely linked to air pollution. Amongst the toxins present in polluted air, Particulate Matter (PM) Particles are considered to be the most dangerous. As one of the means to combat that, CarbonCraft Design, a Mumbai-based design and material innovation company which started in 2016, has launched something truly innovative and extraordinary in collaboration with Air-Ink, an Indian start-up that turns pollution into ink.

CarbonCraft has developed a unique technique of capturing the pollution (carbon) from the air and incorporating it within creatively designed tiles. The end product is called the Carbon Tile, which is a way of lessening carbon emissions through ‘building materials’. One Carbon Tile is equivalent to cleaning 30,000 litres of air.

Tejas Sidnal, the founder of CarbonCraft is an architect, biomimetic designer, researcher, educator and traveller from Mumbai. Having a strong inclination towards Biomimicry, he has been researching in this field for the last 5 years. He has presented his work and taught both nationally, and internationally in the US, UK, China, and Malaysia. His passion lies in exploring sustainable innovative strategies for designing.

Every Carbon Tile is hand-crafted right from the start. The process begins with cutting and moves on to shaping, joining, filling and lastly, forming the tile. The captured pollution is initially processed to remove harmful heavy metal impurities and fused with a mixture of cement and natural materials like marble derivatives to craft Carbon Tiles. The whole process consumes lesser amounts of energy as compared to the making of conventional tiles.

It is a commercial solution for Climate Change Action. Fusing the traditional cement tile making technique with the captured pollution, they have been able to handcraft various inspiring patterns. Fighting climate change through the exploration of a creative space has helped CarbonCraft build a narrative which hovers around the intersection of craft, design and technology.

Through this venture, unskilled labourers are also being empowered through employment to create environmentally-conscious products. This creates an opportunity for people in the local Indian communities to become self-sufficient and improve their standard of living.

CarbonCraft has come up with two types of tile series :

a. IdenTile Series

(Standard Range)

Our cities are filled with stories of cultural identities that were born from the core of humanity. IdenTile is about touching that core again. They have fused the unique identities of the cities with the natural elements to express our coexistence with nature. These ornamental tiles fuse contemporary taste with art and add a modern twist to suit our living space.

b. IndusTile Series

(Premium Range)

The curiosity to explore materials has been the reason for our evolution as a species. IndusTile talks about the relationship between humans and the material. Inspired by the magnitude of our consumption of natural resources, the design highlights the changes brought by the Anthropocene period. Hence, this series upcycles the maximum amount of particulate matter pollution.

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