Little Earths

Manifest Data Lab


( Concept )

Little Earths are small 3D printed models produced from climate data that express and represent the fragility of the Earth and its environmental systems.

The objects are made from sustainable plant-based filaments (including seaweed) and other recyclable materials such as ceramic and porcelain. Little Earths are small enough to carry on an everyday basis but are fragile and require delicacy in their handling. We conceive them as talismans for our relationship to the planet and seek to engage people in a durational artwork that pervades and intervenes in their everyday lives as an act of mindful care. Participants will receive a certificate of ownership and will be asked to document their reflections as custodians in visual and textual forms.

Thematically the project bridges issues of climate justice and green futures by developing new ways to engage with the knowledge and data of climate change as a relational and tangible form (rather than as abstract data). Little Earths can be given to the general public and to politicians and policy makers. Our transdisciplinary team including climate scientists and artists will lead workshops through thematically linked discussions on the culture and science of climate change. This format will also enable ways for participants to discuss, delve into and share their experiences as carers.

The data that the Little Earths are derived from comes from the same Global Climate Models (e.g. CMIPs) currently employed to inform policy debates at COP26, which outline the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) under discussion in Glasgow. Rather than promote a passive or didactic encounter with this knowledge, Little Earths explore how this data can be distributed ‘in the wild’ tenderly as a mobile form outside of normative scientific contexts. In this respect we do not locate the idea of the museum as a particular place or building but as set of potential social and relational encounters between people, their experiences, knowledge and artefacts.

Little Earths - prototype models and visuals

Little Earths has been developed from the AHRC funded Materializing Data, Embodying Climate Change project at the Manifest Data Lab, a collective of artists, designers and climate scientists exploring the evidential and social potential of environmental data.

The Manifest Data Lab is situated at Central St Martins, University of the Arts, London. The British Antarctic Survey is a partner organisation.

Project Team
Manifest Data Lab: Tom Corby, Louise Sime, Erin Dickson, Gavin Baily, Rachel Jacobs, Jonathan Mackenzie, Giles Lane, George Roussous, Cosmin Stamate
Project Name
Little Earths
Team Location
London, UK
Arts, curatorial and creative practice