What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

This Building Will Eat Smog And Look Good Doing It

March 28, 2013, 3:00 PM
Shutterstock_80337874

What's the Latest Development?

A Mexico City hospital is in the process of building a tower, Torre de Especialidadesis, that is shielded with a special kind of tile that will neutralize the equivalent of almost 8,800 cars' worth of smog each day. The Prosolve370e shield tiles break down smog with a chemical reaction involving the sun's ultraviolet rays and materials, including titanium dioxide, painted on them. What remains are smaller amounts of less toxic chemicals, including calcium nitrate and water. The titanium dioxide itself is unaffected, and keeps the shield bright white while continuing the process of smog conversion.

What's the Big Idea?

According to Allison Dring, co-founder of Elegant Embellishments, the German design firm that developed the Prosolve370e tile, its shapes help create a "quasicrystalline grid" that can receive more amounts of UV light, "slow wind speeds and create turbulence, for better distribution of pollutants across the active surfaces." The 100-meter-long shield was also designed to be seen as attractive and tangible evidence that Mexico City, a metropolis with one of the worst air quality levels in the world, is paying attention to the problem of smog.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at FastCompany/Co.Exist

 

This Building Will Eat Smog...

Newsletter: Share: