Terracoin

Imagining a world in which our foot­print becomes our cur­rency. Terra­coin is a specu­la­tive design pro­ject that centers around cli­mate change. It aims to make scar­city of resour­ces and the carbon foot­print more rela­table, by con­necting it to having finan­cial issues.

A dystopian scenario

In a dystopian future sce­nario some time after 2020 after the Paris agree­ment failed as a radical last option govern­ments esta­blished a world wide cur­rency that exists in parallel with local cur­rencies.
Every month each citizen receives a fixed amount of terra­coins, tied to the earth’s resources. Each product and service that is sold to customers has to calculate exactly what resources were wasted for their creation¹. The resulting number is its cost in Terra­coins.

the Terracoin package

As a visual repre­sen­tation of the scena­rio, we designed the offi­cial terra­coin package that every person would receive to keep track of their budget. It con­sists of a digital wallet and a physical object to represent the perso­nal footprint².
The visual language of the project takes inspiration from Tadao Ando, Kenya Hara, Dieter Rams and the illustrations from »Anatomy of an AI System«. We aimed for a time­less, clean, almost clinical appeal, creating a mini­malistic image of the future.

the digital wallet

Evoke a feeling of familiarity and realism
Illustrate how Terracoins work

The wallet is tied to the indi­vidual using a unique ID, showing their expan­ses, opportu­nities to generate income, but also how work and private life are influ­enced by the intro­ducing of the terra­coin. The budget is split into four parts that repre­sent the most signi­ficant areas of influence on cli­mate change.

the physical device

Emotionalize the spending of terracoins
Ephasize ubiquinty and scale of the problem
Convey urgency and grab attention

Apart from being a visu­aliza­tion of your budget, The device uses light to intent­ionally change peoples emo­tional state, emitting bio­dynamic re­laxing light when your budget is just fine, and gradually changing to unevenly flicker­ing light, when you budget is reaching a criti­cal area, be­coming more stress­ful the worse a person manages their budget.

project objective

Our primary objective is to raise aware­ness for how limited our ressour­ces actually are³, by tying the for us mostly unre­latable issue of scarcity of ressources to very real and rela­table monetary problems.
While being extremely unrea­listic, it is also a very inter­esting thought experi­ment to imagine societal and economic conse­quences of the currency. What inequa­lities would be increased, what new inequalities would arise because of the coexis­tence of the regular cur­rency and the terra­coin? How would those two cur­ren­cies influ­ence each other?

Team

Hilda Kalyoncu

Marius Schnabel

Martin Wehl

Johanna Wellnitz

Context

6th Semester

Speculative Futures

HfG Schwäbisch Gmünd

Supervision

Maik Gross

Paul Kaeppler

Personal Role

Concept

App Design

Prototyping