The Smoking Jacket

The Smoking Jacket, by Fiona Carswell, has a built-in pair of lungs on the front that act as an iconographic “warning system”. The polite smoker can blow the smoke into a “container” at the collar, in order to avoid blowing it in the faces of people around them. The smoke then filters into a set of see-through lungs at the front of the jacket. Over time the lungs, which have an air-filter back, should darken from cigarette smoke.


I asked Fiona to explain me how it works: “When wearing the jacket, the smoker exhales cigarette smoke into a one-way air valve in the collar, trapping it in. The smoke is then channelled through some tubing to a pair of plastic lungs on the front of the jacket. Inside the lungs is air-filter material which darkens to a brownish stain after repeated exposure to smoke.

The lungs aren’t completely airtight, so the smoke will eventually seep out, allowing it to be used many times.”

So how did you get the idea? “My inspiration was not to change people, but to see if visceral, comic information displays could cause self-awareness and reflection in a way that literal, numerical displays can’t.

As it turned out, some smokers loved wearing the jacket, and wanted to wear it even when not smoking. However, as soon as it started to darken, that was the point at which there was a disconnect and they couldn’t reconcile feeling pride in something that other people thought was ‘gross’.”

The jacket is part of a series of similar ideas involving visceral, absurd information displays such as the Malignant Mole Bikini.

See also Daniel Goddemeyer‘s Smoke doll, designed to help decrease the amount of cigarette smoke that children are being exposed to; Tobias Wong’s Smoking Mittens; Japanese smoking manners – Part I and II