Design student James Boock is turning Christchurch’s seismology into something more than a record of natural disaster. Quakescape, a project conceived in the aftermath of last year’s earthquakes, transforms seismological data into a work of art in realtime, splashing color across a 3-D topographical model of Christchurch that corresponds to the magnitude of the earthquakes that occur there.
Using stepper motors that move a paint nozzle across two horizontal axes, Boock’s fabricator streams seismological data from GeoNet to paint the topographical model as earthquakes happen. When an earthquake happens, Quakescape moves the nozzle to the corresponding geographic location on the model. It then deposits a drizzle of paint to the epicenter corresponding to the magnitude of the tremor. See it in action below.