‘Air Ink’ by Graviky Labs

In 2013  Anirudh Sharma and a team at the MIT media Lab had the idea for ‘Air-Ink’ and since then they have developed ‘KAALINK’ a retrofit device for exhausts and chimneys which can remove 95% of the particular matter pollution without inducing back-pressure, as well as a method of purifying the collected soot and turning it into usable ink. Unreal.

Air pollution continues to be a significant problem across the world, contributing to a high number of health problems and premature deaths, 20,000 a year in America alone. In other countries such as India where the laws regarding pollution are much slacker air pollution poses an even greater threat.

The obvious solution to this is simply to clean the air, to filter out the harmful particles before they can do any damage to the general population and their lungs. Devices which can do that are good design, 100%. They solve the problem through pure function.

But, what makes ‘Air-Ink’ great is that it goes beyond the obvious solution. Graviky Labs haven’t just looked at air pollution and asked, “How can we prevent it?”, they have looked at it and asked, “How can we USE it?”. That is what makes the KAALINK great design.

45 minutes of vehicle exhaust fumes produces enough ink for 1 pen, which essentially means if you had one on your car you could easily produce enough ink for all your inky needs from your commute.

Of course the only way to really get rid of air pollution is to educe the use of fossil fuels ‘Air-Ink’ is a great and really interesting way of reducing the problem in the short term.

As I’ve already said I think what makes it great is how it deals with the problem. It goes beyond the obvious solution and takes something that is normally considered to be solely harmful and instead allows us to see it as something which can also be useful.

This design changes your perspective, it makes you look at everything else around you and ask what else are we missing, what else could we use? Great Design thinks differently. Good design solves the problem and in most cases solves it well, but great design solves it in a different way, a better way.

T learn a bit more about ‘Air-Ink’, ‘Graviky Labs’ and their ‘KAALINK’ device visit Interesting Engineering and check out ‘Air-Inks’ video.

Or take a wee look at their Kickstarter campaign.


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