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Brief Published: 3 Jul 2020

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao’s Air-Purifying Ad Campaign

Air-Purifying Ad Campaign outside the museum

In an effort to help alleviate local air pollution, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao has turned its outdoor advertising campaign material into active air purifiers, with the use of a special smog-eating coating.

Banners on the museum’s façade, as well as lamp posts and tram carriages around the city, are all covered with the advertising vinyl, which is treated with Pureti technology. The treatment is based on the natural process of photocatalysis, where sunlight triggers a chemical reaction that neutralises contaminated particles – such as NOx and VOCs – into oxygen. The impact of these outdoor campaigns could equate to the air-purifying effect of more than 700 trees. 

 “A technology that allows us to help purify the air in our city was a great opportunity to go a step further in the museum’s commitment to contribute, in all aspects possible, to stop climate change,” says Juan Ignacio Vidarte, director general of the museum.

While helping to combat the global problem of climate change, this accessible project demonstrates how institutions and brands can work to democratise better air quality for the wider public. 

As touched on in Covid-19 + Inequality: What Brands Need to Know, the health of people from underserved communities (namely Black, Indigenous and other people of colour) is more likely to be disproportionately affected due to social determinants – i.e. the conditions in which people are born, grow, live and work. Material choices and applications for public projects should focus on tackling this disparity.

See Healthy Materials for Post-Pandemic Living for more health-boosting materials, and Materials for Future Cities for other pollution-alleviating projects.

Air-Purifying Ad Campaign
Air-Purifying Ad Campaign