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ANDREA by Mathieu Lehanneur and David Edwards

French designer Mathieu Lehanneur and Harvard professor David Edwards have launched a filtration system which uses living plants to purify the air indoors.

The air purifier, called ANDREA, was proposed as a concept two years ago (see our previous story) when it featured in MoMA’s exhibition Design and the Elastic Mind.

After two years of development and testing, ANDREA goes on sale in October.

Here's some more information from Mathieu Lehanneur & David Edwards:

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ANDREA, the air purifier that uses indoor plants, designed by Mathieu Lehanneur & David Edwards on sale by October 2009.

Since its outline design two years ago ANDREA has gone thru stringent tests to ensure perfect efficiency, enabling the system to step into the real world.

Its market début could not have come at a better time, with calls last month by consumer watchdog UFC-Que Choisir? that public authorities ban dangerous chemical used in common household products.

The safe-goods whistle-blower pointed out - ahem, cough, splutter, wheeze - that the air we mortals breathe in the places where we live and work can be 5 to 10 times MORE NOXIOUS than what it is out on the street! Heading the XXX death's head list of invisible poisons are glues and plastics that give off formaldehyde particles.

ANDREA is the ideal response to counter domestic pollution, putting a green lung with enhanced capacities to work to filter air and capture toxic particles.

How does it work? Indoor air is cleaned in turn by both the leaves and the roots of the plant housed in the unit. This innovation enables much better de-pollution of indoor air than the ground-breaking tests done by NASA in the 1980s - the starting point for experiments by Mathieu Lehanneur & David Edwards. Curiously, the best-performing plants are quite common. They include Spathiphyllum (spath or peace lily), Dracaena marginata (red-edged dragon tree), Chlorophytum comosum (spider plant) and Aloe vera.

ANDREA is ideal for spaces up to 40 m2 and upkeep is easy since it consists mainly in watering the plant.

At a recommended retail price of 199 dollars, ANDREA is also accessible and looks like becoming a must-buy for autumn 2009. This is design that cleans up design.At a recommended retail price of 199 dollars, ANDREA is also accessible and looks like becoming a must-buy for autumn 2009. This is design that cleans up design.

Andrea will be sold from october in the United States by Frontgate, Hammacher Schlemmer and Amazon.