In three years, Beijing will have 6 million cars on the road. Pollution levels some days already reach what the New York Times has called in highly technical terms, “crazy bad.”
Beijing-based artist Matt Hope has used some basic mechanical engineering skills and a number of recycled materials — an old fighter pilot mask and an Ikea waste bin among them — to fabricate the “breathing bike” in response, as seen on Hyperallergic. The bike uses electricity generated by pedal power to actively filter out smog and feed the rider with clean air.
One caveat: the bike currently produces 5,000 volts of electricity and isn’t exactly weatherproof, so it is more of a sculpture at this stage.
“If you ride it in the rain you could actually kill yourself, so im a little hesitant to use it,” Hope says in the video above. “But in theory it works.”