When you live in New York City, it’s tempting to live in a bubble. Thank heavens the Inhabitat crew ventured off New York Design Week’s beaten path (read: the International Contemporary Furniture Fair) to bring us a “bubble” dress that could prove mighty handy on Gotham’s polluted streets. Designed by Hana Marie Newman, a student at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, the “Eight” protects its wearer from a toxic environment that’s too close for comfort.
Equipped with an oxygen tank to pump in clean air, the dress is Newman’s satirical response to the poisons we subject ourselves to each day. The plastic concoction is, in essence, an “inverted quarantine”—one that not only cuts the wearer off from less-than-pristine conditions but also offers a visual cue about the hazards around us.
The Eight not only cuts the wearer off from less-than-pristine conditions but also offers a visual cue about the hazards around us.
Yes, it may resemble a giant jellyfish, but Eight is designed not just for looks. (Or, unless you’re Lady Gaga, the lack thereof.) “It is a catalyst for a larger conversation,” Newman explains. “[It questions] how what we do individually influences the way we collectively solve problems and raises ‘airwareness.'” Air-purifying wearables may be on the ascent, but let’s pray they remain novelties, not exigencies.