Dutch Digital Design
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World Earth Day 2022: ecological artist Thijs Biersteker

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The smallest biggest polluter exposed, interactively
Pollutive Ends

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Dutch ecological artist Thijs Biersteker was invited to make an artwork for the exhibition 'Continuous Refle(a)ction' at Beijing Riverside Museum in China. An exhibition about the effect of climate change, pollution and sustainability. What better topic to talk about than cigarette butt pollution as 5.7 trillion cigarettes are smoked per year. 65% of which is disposed in nature.

Thijs created Pollutive Ends, an interactive art installation that shows the real-time impact of one single cigarette butt, in a beautiful, but shocking way. The installation interacts with people in the room by adjusting the flow of liquids in line with their presence.

The impact is made visible by moving small elements of polluted water hypnotically right in front of the visitors' eyes, through an intricate tube system. The algorithm-driven pumping system calculates the amount of visitors that are in the museum, an estimation of the amount of cigarettes they could smoke and the amount of pollution that this would generate.

Beautiful. Something so aesthetically pleasing telling the story about something so ugly. In a simple but amazingly visual way.


  • Dutch Design Award 2020 nomination - category: Systems
  • > one millions views on German news site WDR
  • featured in Salone del Mobile (Milan Design Week)
  • @Continuous Refle(a)ctions 2 - Eco-art Virtual Exhibition, China