International design and innovation office CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati unveils Pura-Case, a portable wardrobe purifier that uses ozone to remove most micro-organisms, bacteria, and viruses from clothes and fabric. The project aims to address the needs of the “new normal" – that is, the emerging changes brought forward to our domestic life by COVID-19.
Pura-Case was commissioned by Scribit, the tech startup which recently converted part of its production line to respond to the current pandemic. Once a piece of garment is hung inside the case, an air purification system by ozone treatment cleans and deodorizes the fabrics. Currently developed as a prototype, Pura-Case is about to be launched through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign.
Viruses or bacteria can survive on clothes for long periods. Ozone, a naturally-occurring triatomic form of oxygen (O3), is commonly used in the health and textile industry to sanitize fashion items, objects, and spaces. Pura-Case brings this technology safely into the household. It uses ozone to sterilize clothes while reducing the need for unnecessary washing and thus the consumption of water. Employed together with public health guidelines of the World Health Organization, Pura-Case would help contribute to a more hygienic environment in the house.
“As the entire world adjusts to a new normal in terms of health and hygiene, Pura-Case aims to promote top sanitation standards in the key interface between us and the environment – clothes,” says architect Carlo Ratti, director of the MIT Senseable City Lab, who led the Pura-Case design team: “Pura-Case is an alternative to large-sized devices currently being used in hospitals. It can play a vital role in the post-pandemic world next year as we regain our old social life.”
Pura-Case can be installed in a domestic setting and complete a cycle of purification in about one hour. Users can place the clothes inside the case, which accommodates up to four hangers and close it with an air-tight zipper. Using only a small amount of power, an imperceptible discharge will activate the ozone to penetrate the fabric and purify it while at the same time removing its odor. Once the cleaning cycle is completed, the ozone is reduced to oxygen through a natural decay process, ensuring the case is safe to open. The entire process can be started and controlled either via the LED-lit top panel or remotely through the Pura-Case mobile app.
Created for offices and households, especially for the people whose work entails frequent contact with strangers – the most exposed to coronavirus infection in the last weeks – Pura-Case is made with sustainable fabrics treated to keep ozone inside.
The Pura-Case prototype by CRA was developed for Scribit, the write&erase robot startup named as one of the Best Inventions of the Year by Time Magazine in 2019. Since March 2020, when most production activities have been reduced by the pandemic, Scribit has redirected its efforts to develop projects with a positive social impact. Pura-Case has been developed at Scribit’s factory in Turin, northern Italy.
A project by CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati
Creative consultancy: Italo Rota
CRA team: Carlo Ratti, Emanuele Rossetti, Vitalie Ciornii, Andrea Bulgarelli, Andrea Baldereschi, Luca Giacolini, Alessandro Tassinari, Aurora Maggio, Daniele Belleri, Stela Karabina.
Renderings by: Gary di Silvio, Chenyu Xu