superABSORBER is a proposal for a new kind of highway wall barrier system which in addition to mitigating light and noise pollution also absorbs airborne pollution. The sponge like surface of the system creates a “destructive interference pattern” which dissolves sound and light while increasing the surface area for maximum pollution absorption. Organic and inorganic pollutants present in our cities’ air are broken down through a chemical reaction that occurs on the photocatalytic cement surface absorbing much of the pollution generated in our interstates globally. In the United States alone that is 1.4 billion tons of airborne pollution generated each year. As an ever-changing material, the superABSORBER is enlivened by the passing of the automobile while mitigating the negative by-products of the roadway. The superABSORBER would appropriate the rapid construction of our world’s highway wall barriers to amplify their functionality and mitigate pollution.

Miles of sound barrier walls are erected daily. In the United States alone we have 46,837 miles of highways and miles of sound barrier walls. The superABSORBER rethinks the existing highway barrier option to address a pressing problem.

The first to benefit from implementation of superABSORBER would be people living and working in close proximity to highways as these areas are already too dangerous. In Los Angeles the school district has already suspended construction of schools near the highways due to the seriousness of the problem. Second to benefit would be all of us with the enormous reduction of airborne pollutants that would be made possible by implementing this project. Significant reductions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming will be reduced. This will help everyone and quickly. The superABSORBER is a simple and easy to implement idea with exponential effects.

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read Metropolis magazine Next Generation Design Competition Runner Up announcement

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2010    featured in A+U: Architecture and Urbanism in essay titled Testing Ground: Emergent Green Materials and Architectural Effects

2009    cited in Discover Magazine in an article called Tooling with Nature by Blaine Brownell.

2008    featured in BusinessWeek, and Metropolis Magazine

2008    published in Transmaterial 2: A Catalog of Materials That Redefine our Physical Environment, Princeton Architectural Press.

2007    featured in Architectural Record

2007    selected as runner up by the Metropolis Next Generation Design Competition

2007    exhibited at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo —Metropolis Magazine Next Generation Winners.

2007    exhibited at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, New York, New York








Collaborator: Douglas Hecker

Team: Mark Gettys, Janice Fowler, Marc Leverant