What if museum buildings themselves contributed to real climate action, through their material fabric?

Weathering With Us


( Exhibit )

Conversations around climate change are often highly pessimistic, with new scientific data leading to despair and defeatism. There is an urgent need for symbols of repair and healing to replace these familiar narratives, which can stand in the way of meaningful climate action.

This speculative project by Isabella Ong and Tan Wen Jun imagines a new kind of museum architecture that might act as a beacon of hope for the planet. The building functions as a huge etching device, inscribing patterns into the sand below. The sand is ground olivine, a volcanic material found abundantly in the Earth’s subsurface. When seawater meets olivine, a chemical reaction occurs that pulls carbon dioxide out of the air. This process – known as mineral weathering – is a natural mechanism that regulates the Earth’s carbon level.

The patterns are generated from global climate datasets – carbon emissions, pollution index, meteorological information – which are then translated into visualisations to represent collective action. Seen from above, the rotating museum creates a vast mandala-like pattern in the sand. The mandala is a spiritual symbol in Eastern religions, used during meditation to help with healing. In this way, the form and material of the museum becomes a symbol of recovery and restoration – an important aspect of climate action that is all-too-often overlooked.

Weathering With Us visual

Weathering With Us original concept visual

Project Team
Isabella Ong and Tan Wen Jun
Project Name
Weathering With Us
Team Location