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The Hidden Qualities of Salt

2019 - Due to the presence of matter particles and toxic gases in the air, many people live in an unhealthy environment. The purification of the ambient air is of great importance, especially for asthma patients, people with COPD, and skin problems. Purification can be achieved in a natural way, by using the purifying property of salt. This project illustrates how this can be translated into the home environment.


The collection consists of a humidifier, a lamp, a radiator, and a face mask. The humidifier consists of a reservoir filled with saltwater, and an evaporator mechanism connected to a timer. The timer is set to allow saltwater to evaporate into the air for 15 minutes every 2 hours.

The lamp was made in collaboration with Mika Tsutai (Kyoto Institute of Technology), who took part in the ArtEZ Product Design Residency for two months. The lampshade is made of paper fibers, combined with salt and natural glue. During the experiment, these components start to crystallize. This causes the components to become a solid structure. The lampshade is heated by the light. The heat creates the potential to emit negative ions, a principle based on the operation of the Himalayan salt lamps.

The radiator is based on the same heating principle that is applied to the lamp. The surface of the radiator is coated with a layer of salt and paper spray, the heat from the radiator water flows through the pipes, causing the salt to emit negative ions.

The facemask is developed to be part of the visual communication and underline the importance of researching material potential. The salt is crystallized by capillary action into the fabric of the caps and is released by the condensation of your breath.

Through 'The Hidden Qualities of Salt', I've researched the role of design in healthcare and hope to address the possibilities of supporting treatments in addition to conventional care.​​​​​​​

© Mireille Steinhage 2024

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