Lehanneur has used plants to conceive new domestic appliances that integrate nature into our daily routine. The Andrea Air Purifier (a product of Lehanneur’s collaboration with David Edwards, a professor of biomedical engineering at Harvard University and the founder of the experimental science and design space Le Laboratoire in Paris) stems from the designer’s interest in the aerospace industry and in astronauts’ living conditions, in particular. Astronauts spend long periods confined in an unhealthy, polymer-saturated environment, and in the mid-1980s, NASA identified several plants—gerbera, philodendron, spathiphyllum, pathos, and chlorophytum—with the ability to absorb toxic gases effectively. The plastic used in furniture production on Earth also emits pollutants (such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene); the Andrea Air Purifier is a miniature mobile greenhouse for domestic use that continuously cleanses air by circulating it through three natural filters—plant leaves, plant roots, and a humid bath (water and condensation).
Gallery label from Applied Design, March 2, 2013–January 31, 2014.