Climate change and the term “climate crisis” is due to its urgency to act one of the most present topics nowadays. Even though most of society acknowledges the threat of a heating planet, the severity that the data implies remains unknown to many. The raw environmental data and its presentation in numbers and charts have proven to be an efficient way of transferring information; however, without context and knowledge in the specific field, the data is often difficult to grasp for the majority of people.

The aim of this project is to make environmental data graspable by converting it into physical objects in order to convey meaning in a more intuitive and emotional way.


The scientific foundation of this project draws upon three intertwined frameworks that aim to highlight limits to the Earth’s ecosystem, as well as social thresholds for a sustainable development. 


Based on the research of thousands of scientists, it is evident that there are certain boundaries of what the earth's ecosystem can handle. To illustrate various ecological threats from a holistic perspective within one model, the Stockholm Resilience Centre research group developed the Planetary Boundary Framework in 2009. It aims to define a safe operating space for humanity to develop, considering the ecological capacities of the earth system, by providing a science-based risk analysis of the ongoing destabilization of the global ecosystem through human action. The framework specifies nine ecological boundaries which are used as the foundation of this project.


To use the global concepts of the Planetary Boundaries and Doughnut Economics on a national-level, this project draws upon the paper "The social shortfall and ecological overshoot of nations" by Fanning, O'Neill, Hickel & Roux, which provides downscaled planetary boundaries for over 150 nations. Their research shows that at the moment no country meets basic needs for its citizens at a globally sustainable level of resource use. An interactive overview for each country can be found on their website.


This project is about the creation of physical artifacts that are based on environmental data of the planetary boundary framework, in a method that is in line with the concept of data physicalization and data sculptures. The aim is to take on this artistic approach of data sculptures and apply it on functional objects, to incorporate the abstract data into the everyday life of humans and thus make it more relatable. Such an approach should evoke some form of realization about the severity of the current situation of the earth’s systems and enable people to engage with information in more multi-sensoral and emotional ways.

For each boundary, generative processes construct a version of everyday object, based on the underlying data. The procedural systems are therefore designed in a way that undesirable bio-chemical data leads to a declining degree of usability, up to a point where the object gets useless at all. In this way the object does not just convey meaning through its sensual appearance, but also through the degree of functionality.