Puff, is a personal emissions visualizer: a lamp in the shape of a cartoon cloud that attaches near the exhaust pipe of one’s car, and dynamically changes color indicating the amount of pollution the car is producing. An accompanying iPhone app provides visual feedback for the driver, and keeps track of the emission data over time.

Matter of Air is a multidisciplinary exploration of the issues of consumption, environmental ethics and social responsibility. This 3-part project encompasses designing personal devices that visualize and make public our impact on the environment, investigation and documentation of the process of bringing such devices to market, and distribution of the device to the users, documenting and exploring facets of the consumption-related issues.

This project is exploring design’s potential, at the heart of consumer culture, to be subverted for other ends, such as critical and artistic exploration. The devices are not meant for mass-production, but are conceptual design proposals, prototypes that ask what if. Puff’s form is absurd and humorous, making the device non-didactic and inviting interpretations.

Decisions made at the design stage in industrial production, shape the world around us: materials, fabrication methods, live cycle and environmental impact are considered. Amateur Human , through documentation of various aspects of production, attempts to elucidate the production processes behind the objects around us, promoting literacy of how things are made and consideration of how things could change.

The third aspect of the project is the exploration of the user-end experience of the device. Each user’s perspective throws a little light on the entangled issues of environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and our desires, concerns and responsibilities regarding sustainability issues. These perspectives are captured in a long-form documentary, and in the interviews presented online.

Matter of Air received an Emerging Fields grant from Creative Capital.
Project’s website