Inventor turning clean indoor air into artform

GLENCOE, Ill. A North Side man may have found the solution to both problems.

Lucy Lucia was looking for a creative way to fill an empty wall. When she learned about a new self-contained product that could literally add life to the wall, it became the perfect solution.

"This is a unique type of art. It's living art. It's art that detoxes the home environment," said Lucia, of Glencoe.

Michael Repkin, owner of Repkin Bio-systems, has a patent pending on the creation. "What we've been doing is looking at ways that people can put the most amount of plants in the least amount of space and have something that's really durable," he explained.

After Repkin constructs the bio-system, Paula O'Connell turns it into art. O'Connell, owner of Environmentally Sustainable Designs, said, "My role is to make it beautiful and to incorporate it into the environment that we're using it in, whether it's a home or an office."

The art panels can be configured in any number of ways. Repkin stresses that in addition the aesthetics, the concept is functional.

"We can actually take the poisons that are coming out of things like furniture, adhesives, paints that are in our house. These plants can actually break it down and turn it into things like sugars and proteins that they need. So in a way, the poisons for us becomes food for them," Repkin said.

Lucia said she believes it's a win-win situation. She said, "The thing that I notice about it is when I come around that corner and I hit the front face of the configuration, I feel happy."

By the way, the fabric covering the system is also eco-friendly. It's made from 100 percent recycled plastic.

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