Architectural and design innovations to help combat COVID–19
by STIRworldApr 15, 2020
by Jincy IypePublished on : Apr 29, 2020
We are all probably wondering what the new ‘normal’ is going to be, or what post COVID-19 life has in store for us. Experts say that when (and if) the coronavirus pandemic ceases, we might still have to keep practising social distancing, and self-induce a mild case of OCD, of sanitising our hands and belongings around the clock. The virus can stay on different items for different periods of time, and that also goes for our smartphones and the clothes we wear. International design and innovation office Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA), based in Turin, Italy, with branches in London and New York, reveals Pura-Case, a portable wardrobe purifier that employs ozone to remove most bacteria, viruses and microorganisms from garments.
Pura-Case is currently being developed as a prototype and is set to be launched via Kickstarter, a crowd-funded campaign. It is being developed for Scribit, a write and erase robot start-up that has also been designed by CRA, led by MIT professor Carlo Ratti. Since March 2020, Scribit has redirected its production to develop projects with a positive social impact, and Pura-Case has been developed at Scribit’s factory in Northern Italy.
Ozone (03) is a naturally occurring, triatomic form of oxygen and is widely used in the textile and medical industry to sterilise items, spaces and clothes. Pura-Case seeks to bring this purifying technology into the seclusion and safety of our homes. It uses ozone to sanitise fabric (on which viruses and bacteria stay for long periods), thereby reducing our dependence on water to wash clothes. “Employed together with public health guidelines of the World Health Organization, Pura-Case would help contribute to a more hygienic environment in the house,” states the official statement. Pura-Case by Carlo Ratti Associati is specifically being created for households and office spaces, for people whose works entail regular contact with strangers and therefore are more susceptible to the coronavirus. The case can be kept in a hallway or a closet, and is easily transportable.
“As the entire world adjusts to a new normal in terms of health and hygiene, Pura-Case aims to promote top sanitation standards in the key interface between us and the environment – clothes,” says architect Carlo Ratti, the director of the MIT Senseable City Lab, who also led the Pura-Case design team. “Pura-Case is an alternative to large-sized devices currently being used in hospitals. It can play a vital role in the post-pandemic world next year as we regain our old social life.”
Pura-Case is made with treated, sustainable fabrics that keep the ozone inside. It takes approximately an hour to complete one cycle of purification. The case has the space to accommodate up to four cloth hangers, and is sealed with an air-tight zipper. “Using only a small amount of power, an imperceptible discharge will activate the ozone to penetrate the fabric and purify it while at the same time removing its odour.” Once the cycle is complete, the ozone that was used inside the case to purify the fabric is reduced to oxygen via a natural process of decay, so that the case is then safe to open. This entire process can be remotely started, surveyed and controlled via the Pura-Case mobile app or its LED-lit top panel.
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