Palladium chloride, or PdCl2, is a palladium-based compound used in carbon monoxide detectors and to test corrosion resistance in stainless steel. The chromic ink responds to the presence of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere, transforming when the CO2 rises above a certain level in a reversible color change from yellow to black. London-based fashion designer Lauren Bowker developed a dye from PdCl2 for fabric applications and created a pollution-absorbing jacket that communicates the presence of carbon emissions.
Bowker’s invention speaks to an increasing awareness of global environmental hazards, including not only greenhouse gas emissions but also human health–related toxins, like secondhand smoke. According to the designer, the PdCl2 is a visual platform that explores the aesthetic dimensions of environmental health concerns. Her invention uses a language of visual communication to reveal invisible hazards of our surroundings.
Contact: The Unseen, London, UK.
For more information, see Transmaterial Next: A Catalog of Materials that Redefine Our Future