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?


Hilda Kalyoncu

Marius Schnabel

Martin Wehl

Johanna Wellnitz


6th Semester

Speculative Futures

HfG Schwäbisch Gmünd


Maik Gross

Paul Kaeppler

Personal Role


App Design