The quakescape 3D fabricator is a device created by several Victoria University students including myself in response to the 2010/11 Christchurch earthquakes in New Zealand.
We were inspired to respond to the disaster in Christchurch by creating the Quakescape; using our design skills and knowledge to make something that is both sensitive and attentive to the realities of the disaster. The painting robotic mechanism creates three dimensional, abstract representations as records of seismic activity by translating the earth’s energy into an artistic visualization of data.
Quakescape harvests earthquake data from the website geonet.co.nz and translates it into visual language. The canvas for the painting system is an accurate CNC-routed three dimensional landscape of Christchurch. Using arduino technology, paint is extruded onto the exact location of the earthquake in real time. The colours are representative of the magnitude of the tremors and are run on two horizontal axis by stepper motors powered by g-code generated through arduino.
The response to the disaster from New Zealanders both inside and outside of Christchurch was phenomenal. Quakescape is one of many projects made by designers and artists who were not in a position to pick up a shovel, but wanted to acknowledge, and show respect for what so many people in Christchurch have experienced.

Quakescape 3D Fabricator from Oliver Ellmers on Vimeo.

We are currently in the run for a young designer award.