Elegant Embellishments

0larbreux3.jpgElegant Embellishments is working on a decorative tile that can be installed quickly to reduce air pollution in urban environments.

Emissions from combustion engines are identified as the largest contributor to air pollution in cities. The tiles, when positioned near pollutant sources, can re-appropriate polluted spaces for safe pedestrian use.

The tiles are coated with titanium dioxide (TiO2), a pollution-fighting technology that is activated by ambient daylight. TiO2 is a photo-catalyst already known for its self-cleaning and germicidal qualities; it requires only small amounts of naturally occurring UV light and humidity to effectively reduce air pollutants into harmless amounts of carbon dioxide and water. When positioned near pollution sources, the tiles neutralise Nox and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) directly where they are generated.

“We also are big believers of modifying architecture with surfaces- creating decoration for decoration’s sake while making buildings smarter without huge overhauls or expense, explains Allison Dring from Elegant Embellishments, “Technology like this one rarely has a face, let alone an interesting one.”

The name Prosolve370 was chosen mainly in reference to how cars are named: with the engineering of the vehicle in mind.

“We developed the tiles with the inspiration of car detailing- smooth and perfect lines that could be machined easily instead of crafted, as often is in architecture,” added Allison Dring. Engineered with computer-generated forms and rapid manufacturing techniques, the geometries of the tiles are favorable to the photo-catalysts’ requirements. The multi-faceted surface and seemingly random geometry maximize the effects of the TiO2: by exposing an increased surface area where sunlight is otherwise limited, and by providing omni-directional reception of light.


Working prototypes of the tiles have been used for 2 installations in the London Architecture Biennale in June 2006. Millennium Chemicals developed the de-polluting technology.