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A rendering of HWKN's upcoming design for PS1, Wendy
A rendering of HWKN’s upcoming design for PS1, Wendy

POLLUTION-FIGHTING SCULPTURE COMES TO PS1 COURTYARD

Feb. 9, 2012

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A giant 3D starburst sprayed with pollution-fighting chemicals is coming to the courtyard of MoMA PS1 this summer. The spiky blue installation from New York-based firm HWKN is the winning design in the museum’s 13th-annual Young Architects Program.

The idea is that the thousands of yards of titania nanoparticle-treated nylon nets neutralize pollutants as air passes through them. Architects determined that constructing the tent in the shape of a star was the best way to maximize the amount of material used. Over the course of the summer, HWKN expects Wendy, as it’s being called, to make an environmental impact equivalent to taking 260 cars off the road.

“It’s a really fun thing but it’s actually playing with brand new materials and technologies that are going to have more and more practical applications,” MoMA’s chief curator of architecture and design, Barry Bergdoll, told the New York Times.

The structure is enclosed in a cube of scaffolding that will take up a 5,000-square-foot section against one of the museum’s walls. During weekend concerts and performances, Wendy’s spiky tentacles will mist water and blast cool air on the sweaty visitors, creating “social zones.” It even houses a DJ booth.

And Wendy isn’t the first project to experiment with this chemical. It’s also being used in a line of “self-cleaning” denim, Catalytic Clothing, in the U.K.

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