Although it’s seductive to think of human beings as the dominant species on earth, many others play important roles too. Bacteria, insects, algae colonies, rocks and the technological systems with which we are co-evolving all have a dynamism and an agenda of their own, separate from the human perspective.

The Igneous Rocks demand that all the carbon is to be given back to them. 

Let’s start with a message from the Igneous Rocks, brought to us by Cristina Parreño and Sergio Araya, the creators of project CarbonToRock. Igneous rocks are the volcanic rocks of the Earth’s crust that have solidified, keeping carbon dioxide captured inside our planet and out of our atmosphere. According to the rocks, human beings have been taking carbon dioxide (CO2) from them and changing the earth more than all the natural processes together could have done. With our ever growing technological developments, humans have been altering the biosphere and the geosphere in the short time we’ve been on this earth. The Igneous Rocks demand that all the carbon is to be given back to them. 

How does this -almost mythological- story end? Designers Parreño and Araya deal with this question by exploring new ways for humans to live together with planet Earth. They propose a new tectonics of carbon dioxide, intentionally playing with the double meaning of the word: on the one hand, tectonics as the geological processes affecting the structure of the earth's crust, the Igneous Rocks, and on the other the principle of architecture to do so. 

As the (hi)story of the Igneous Rocks shows, volcanic rock is the most stable place to store CO2 for millennia and humans have the technological ingenuity to bring this change about

The tectonics of carbon dioxide comprise renewable rock constructive systems that remineralize the air-released-carbon and diminish the current carbon dioxide emissions. As the (hi)story of the Igneous Rocks shows, volcanic rock is the most stable place to store CO2 for millennia and humans have the technological ingenuity to bring this change about. By making volcanic rock blocks, Parreño and Araya pave the way for architecture to take the planet’s geological material knowledge into account. 

Fundamentally, CarbontoRock bids for repurposing our intentions with designing the earth’s geosphere as more collaborative, holistic and long-term. As rocks store history from long before the lives of our ancient ancestors, they show us the brevity of our lives in comparison with their own existence. This material knowledge inspires solutions bigger than recycling or driving an electric car. It inspires a geodesign that helps to control our own climate.

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