Two New York University grad students have created prototype sweatshirts that change colors upon exposure to pollution—“anything from car exhaust to second-hand smoke,” reported Abbie Fentress Swanson for WNYC’s culture section. One shirt dons a set of lungs, the other a heart. “Veins” running through the organs turn blue when a censor in the fabric detects high carbon monoxide levels, notes Swanson.
The students—Nien Lam and Sue Ngo—designed the shirts for a project they call “Warning Signs,” part of their master’s coursework for NYU Tisch School of the Arts. “Air pollution is kind of one of these things that’s all around us,” Lam says in Swanson’s piece. “You don’t see it, but it exists, and it’s invisible—and we wanted to bring that to light.”