Researching Siberia as the planet’s carbon hard-drive, at Strelka Institute

Amidst the upheavels of 2020, I spent five months as part of the design research program called The Terraforming, at Strelka Institute. For the final project, my working group and I did a three week research sprint that resulted in “To Bury The Sky.”

The thesis of the Terraforming is that intelligent life has been designing the planet for millenia, often unintionally, and without today's global awareness.

This awareness demands the recalibaration of the focus of design, away from chairs, facades, and advertising, towards infrastructure, governance, and ecosystems. In essence, to the scale of the planet itself.

To begin this is to reckon with the central design problem at hand: excess CO2 in the atmosphere, which could push the planet beyond two degrees of warming.

To reverse this excess is not to return society to old practices by searching in vain for the emergency brake instead, it's to learn to steer. To focus on the source which is producing the problem in the first place and to direct the carbon back from where it came: the deep geological formations of the Earth.


For more on “To Bury The Sky,” including the full report, please see the website. Additionally, I invite you to explore the other inspiring, thought-provoking and ground-breaking projects that came out of the program here.