Meet AirBird. The architect-designed chirping smart sensor.

Meet AirBird. The architect-designed chirping smart sensor.

Inspired by the metaphor of the canary in a coal mine, AirBird’s sensors detect C02 and humidity, and should either build up to unacceptable levels, the bird will chirp, prompting you to open a window

Air quality is something intangible but essential, something we can all agree on but can rarely quantify in a readily available way. The AirBird is a new interior gadget developed by a team of architects, data scientists and a window manufacturer, bringing three sets of specialisms together to create a device for every environment. Described as an ‘indoor climate sensor,’ the AirBird is driven by tech and data analysis from Danish studio Leapcraft, with a playful form shaped by GXN, the ‘innovation unit’ spin-off of award-winning Danish architects 3XN. Finally, the window specialists VELUX have pitched in their manufacturing expertise.

GXN has a track record of side missions to 3XN’s core projects, which include Copenhagen’s Blue Planet National Aquarium and Olympic House, the headquarters of the IOC in Lausanne, and our very own Hygge Christmas Market Pavilion in Kings Cross in 2016. GXN undertakes designs for digital systems, mapping user behaviour and studying materials, new technologies and the most sustainable approach to shaping and running a new building. AirBird is essentially a C02 sensor, an increasingly useful device that is hooked up to an app and constantly monitors the levels of C02 in your home, office or classroom. Using the grotesquely rudimentary but extremely effective metaphor of the canary in the coalmine, AirBird’s fate is less grim. Sensors detect C02 and humidity, and should either build up to unacceptable levels, the bird will chirp and flash a light, prompting you to open a window. This is no canary, but a rather more elegant and abstract origami-style bird form that’s designed to be wall-mounted or sat on a shelf.

Over the years, GXN’s research points to the fast-expanding role of live data in changing user behaviour. The simple feedback loop created by the AirBird is designed to make all the difference in productivity and general well-being, inspiring and encouraging us to make small but vital improvements to our day to day environment. A classic piece of ‘nudge design’, the arrival of a flock of AirBirds should herald a true breath of fresh air. §

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