Five minutes on the seesaw with… Allie Katz

This series interviews some of the inventors whose inventions feature in our Spirit of Invention exhibition.

Allie Katz is the inventor of the Clean Air Necklace, that shows how clean the air is in real time using colourful LED lights. Discover your own inner inventor at Spirit of Invention – free to visit and open to all.

A side profile image of a person looking at the camera, wearing a glowing blue necklace

Image of Allie Katz, inventor of the Clean Air Necklace, wearing their invention

What is your name?

My name is Allie Katz, and yes, that is my real name!

Describe yourself in three words

Tenacious, creative and empathic

What would people find surprising about you? 

That I have no formal training in electronics, industrial design or engineering.

How did you become an inventor? 

Mostly by accident! I was simply seeking to create the things I wanted to see in the world and realised at some point that I had to become an inventor without even realising it.

Who inspired you the most? 

I’ve always been most inspired by people who think the furthest outside of the box,. as well as those who have had to fight the hardest to be taken seriously. I love DaVinci’s inventions and ideas that were always 100 years before their time, but I also look up to Ada Lovelace a great deal as someone was brilliant but undervalued in her time.

What is the one thing an inventor needs most? 

An open mind! Invention is about looking beyond what already exists to create something that has never before been seen. An open mind is essential to finding these objects that exist beyond our current reality.

What are you looking forward to in the future? 

I’m looking forward to continuing to create new, never before-seen things, as well as hopefully continuing to inspire others to explore their own creativity and inventiveness.

Is there one invention you wish you had created? 

No, because there is still the opportunity to create it!

Favourite thing to do when you are not ‘inventing’? 

I adore ceramics and love to create things out of clay every chance I get. I often bring my inventiveness to the ceramics studio as well, but sometimes it’s great to just sit and throw on the wheel until every inch of me is covered in clay!

Favourite place in the world? 

Not to be cliché, but it’s definitely my workshop. I have crafted the space so carefully to suit me, and so it’s easily my favourite place.


Come and see Allie’s invention – the prototype Clean Air Necklace – on display at Spirit of Invention, until 29 October 2023.