The ANDREA air purifier, a stylish (it's on display at the Museum of Modern Art), just-released device invented by French designer Mathieu Lehanneur and scientist/Harvard professor David Edwards has certainly piqued my interest. The ANDREA isn’t as economical as my budget air purification methods (it retails for $199) but I’m quite intrigued by its award-winning design that combines cutting-edge technology with potent natural plant filtration.
First, you place a common household plant — aloe vera, spider plants, peace lilies, and red-edged dragon trees are said to perform best — in the machine. Next, turn the ADREA on and it “naturally purifies air by drawing it with a whisper-quiet fan to propel it through the leaves and root system of a plant, then out through water and soil filtration and back into the room environment.” The ANDREA doesn’t require replacement filters and is said to perform with 53 percent efficiency when filtering formaldehyde and is 40 times more efficient at combating indoor air toxins that typical HEPA or activated carbon filters. It’s also worth pointing out that instead of trapping pollutants in a filter, the plants placed inside the ANDREA metabolize and completely eliminate toxins through a biochemical process.
What do you think? Would you pay $200 for a device that helps a houseplant perform its inherent pollutant-busting duties or would you rather keep your plug-in air filters and household greenery separate?