John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Billowing smoke and furious animals combine in these "terror haze" illustrations.
China's air quality can get so bad it's like walking through a smokey forest fire. One wonders if officials would be be more aggressive with polluters if their offices were wallpapered with something like this:
Gaahh! What is that awful thing? Chinese designers Liu Yang and Kai Huo call it a haze "animal." I would add that it looks like a gorilla, a lightning storm, and the smoke monster from Lost entered a telepod and emerged as something that could make children weep for days.
The yelling electro-ape is just one horrifying monster in Yang and Huo's portfolio of anti-smog PSAs. The designers used computer illustration to summon a snapping dragon, a furious bear, and other menacing beasties, with the hope they'd get people talking about the pollution epidemic. They posted them in public areas around Shenyang, and distributed them on microblogs and Facebook. This week, their efforts were rewarded when the project snagged a winning title at the A' Design awards.
Here's how they describe the purpose of the animalistic campaign:
Every autumn and winter, haze always hit, especially most city Chinese north, haze is very serious, people live under the shadow of terror haze. Human, animal, plant, buildings and so on are all great harm. These illustrations by investigating the haze, haze of urban hazard for animal, painted a variety of animals and the earth smoke modeling. This design according to the harm of human as the creative source of haze, haze into earth, into a variety of animal, calling attention to avoid haze haze, haze, away from harm.
Yes—stay away from the haze. Message absolutely received, guys: