11 Most Creative Air Vent Designs

Mersey Tunnel aircon

It’s the vent of the Mersey Tunnel, not the rear end of The Starship Enterprise Source

Air vents are a vital part of our society, not just functionally, but culturally as well. What would have happened to John McClaine if the Nakatomi Plaza had opted for a more open-plan ventilation system? What would have happened to Llewellyn Moss’s millions if his motel had been air conditioned? It’s unthinkable; it really is.

Die hard air vent

It’s an article about air vents; he had to be in here somewhere. Source

Luckily, air vents criss-cross our day-to-day existence with great regularity and, as such, the designs of these modern-day essentials have begun to take on new and exciting forms. So, sit back and take a deep breath of (hopefully well-ventilated) air as we bring you the eleven most creative air vents in the world.

11. Stereo Vent

graffiti air vent


Possibly the work of London-based graffiti artist Banksy (or maybe someone else out to make a name for themselves), this air vent represents the grill for a rather angry child’s boom-box. It is worth pointing out that while this vent art is very creative, it is also illegal, so we can’t condone this level of imagination.

10. Polar Vent

polar bear inflates with air conSource

If you go down to New York today, you’re sure of a big surprise… a polar bear hastily made out of carrier bags that inflates as a train passes underneath. Yes, welcome to the wacky world of Joshua Allen Harris and his incredible street “art”. Josh doesn’t limit himself only to deformed polar bears, but lends his creativity to mythological creatures such as the minotaur and this Loch Ness Monster-like beasty. NY City Council must love him.

loch ness monster inflates with air con


9. Tramp Vent

aircon vent heating sleeping bag


Just because you live on the street doesn’t mean you have to be stupid … or cold. This sassy hobo has managed to utilize the hot air we throw away to heat his own personal sleeping bag come sauna. Perhaps if he managed to capture enough of it, he could start his own hot-air balloon ride company. We wouldn’t partake.

8. DIY Vent

air vent with duct tape and googly eyes


This vent has a touch of the Blue Peter arts and craft about it. It also looks a little bit like the Cookie Monster, which earns it a whole swathe of bonus points. Most importantly, it indicates that for an air vent to be creative, you don’t need the skills of a world-class engineer or the foresight of a bohemian New York vigilante artist; just some Gaffa tape and a good stock of googlie eyes.

7. Floral Vent

airvent with flowers and lights


Flowers look nice; air vents do not. It’s as simple as it is painful. Luckily, the creator of this air vent has had the foresight to mask his oxygen tube betwixt a small collection of pretty flowers, therefore negating the natural horror of the extractor.

He is a clever old bean and should be saluted.

6. Tiled Vent

tall aircon vent


I imagine this vent has a huge concept behind it that we wouldn’t understand. It’s probably about how we often ignore the importance of functional architecture in our shared spaces, and how we blindly pass by the inherent and fragile beauty of our industrialized cities.

We bet skateboarders can pop mean kick-flips off its base too. Gnarly.

5. Art Deco Vent

graffitied old air raid shelter


This building was used as an air-raid shelter during the Second World War. Its air vent has now been turned into a rather pink and rather lovely mural. It saved the people of London from bombs back then, and it’s saving the people of London against drabness now.

All in all, it’s been a worthwhile venture.

4. Arty Vent

Air vents in Cheapside District London


Created by Thomas Heatherwick, who has been noted for his striking urban design and architecture, these two air vents stand in London’s Cheapside District. Heatherwick has created many of the famous (and infamous) pieces of art that splatter many British cities; his most famous is probably the B of the Bang installation in Manchester (which had to be dismantled due to safety issues).

These two twisted and contorted pillars are rather tame in comparison. We prefer DIY Vent; sorry Tom.

3. Super-famous Vent 

Marilyn Monroe Dress over air vent


We all remember this scene from The Seven Year Itch. If this happened in today’s blame culture, I’m sure the City Council of New York would be receiving a strongly worded letter from Ms. Monroe’s lawyer. As it stands however, it has become one of the most iconic moments in cinema, meaning the image of this vent must be one of the most replicated, and therefore famous, in the world. So famous, in fact, that a giant 26-foot statue commemorating the moment has been unveiled in Chicago. Nice.

Marilyn Monroestatue of Dress over air vent


2. MC Hammer Vent 

MC hammer vent


We’re not convinced that the character represented on this vent is MC Hammer, but we can be certain that he is attempting the Hammer Dance or one of its many variations. STOP! Extraction Time.

1. Curvy Vent 

curvy vents


You guessed it; Gaudi created an air vent and, in typical Gaudi style, it doesn’t seem to have any rhyme, reason or purpose. The vents on top of Gaudi’s Casa Mila in Barcelona aren’t the strangest we’ve seen, but certainly do create a bit of a talking point. 

Gaudi air vent


So there we have it; eleven of the most creative air vents ever conceived. Some designed by executive architects, some designed by inspired Spanish lunatics and the rest made by chaps with too much spare time and Gaffa tape on their hands. While laughing at air vents is all fun and games, we must remember the hazards implicated in their design. 

man stuck in air vent


Sadly, not all of us were made to exist so closely alongside the world of the vent. If you do feel the need to traverse your building inside an extraction tube, make sure you butter yourself up good and proper. You’d hate to end up like this chap.

Have fun out there, and stay ventilated.


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