top of page


Anthroturbation, according to geologists Jan Zalasiewicz et al. (2014) refers to human subterranean modifications of Earth's crust to extract resources or store waste, through mine fields, boreholes, tunnels, underground wires, pipes or deep repositories, to name a few. Each action is a topological disturbance to the terrestrial fabric, whose ramifications alters the Earth's stratigraphic layers from within. The scale and order of anthroturbation has no previous precedent in the planet's geological history, leaving unique textures and structures underground in ways that will exceed human lifespan.

The project captures this phenomena through simulating patterns of decay using computational design and digital fabrication strategies into a constellation of outputs, namely, diagrammatic explorations, generative animations, material experiments and a 3D printed face mask. Here, decay denotes to what philosopher Reza Negarestani (2008: 185) describes as something that 'builds without creation'. It is a subtractive building process by exposing the interiority of a form. Anthroturbation is an act of decay, as it constantly modifies existing older sediments beneath Earth and therefore exteriorises the Earth's interiority into ever shifting forms. 

This project received an honorary award from the RESHAPE 2018 Sensing Materialities Wearable Competition, hosted by Noumena, in Fira de Barcelona. The work also received funding from the Postgraduate Research Expenses (Edinburgh College of Art) and has been disseminated in international conferences, museum venues and public talks. 

Project type:




Design Research

2017 - 2018

Agent-based Simulation, Procedural Modelling, Digital Fabrication

Data-driven Visualisations, Generative Animation, 3D-printed Mask

bottom of page