Design Earth

Design Earth

They // Them // Theirs

[ID: A headshot of two people. The person on the left stares directly at the viewer with a stoic expression. They have short brown hair, dark red lipstick, and wear a nebulae shirt. The person on the right, seen only in profile, looks to the left of the picture frame, but not directly at the figure despite standing in close proximity. They wear wire-rimmed glasses and a button-up blue shirt with white dots.]

Cambridge, MA
2022 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by the Barr Foundation.

Founded in 2010 by Rania Ghosn and El Hadi Jazairy, Design Earth is a research practice that engages the medium of the speculative architectural project to make public the climate crisis. It is a recipient of the League Prize for young architects and designers from the Architectural League of New York (2016) and two ACSA Faculty Design Awards (2014, 2017).

Ghosn (b. 1977, Lebanon) is an associate professor of Architecture and Urbanism at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Jazairy (b. 1970, Algeria) is an associate professor of Architecture at the University of Michigan. Their work — as architects and educators — charts how technological systems have transformed the earth and imagines ways of living with legacy geographies such as oil fields and landfills on a damaged planet. Together they have authored Geographies of Trash (2015), Geostories: Another Architecture for the Environment (2020), and The Planet After Geoengineering (2021). They were also founding editors of the Harvard Graduate School of Design journal New Geographies, for which they edited the “Landscapes of Energy” and “Scales of the Earth” issues.

Exhibited internationally, Design Earth has done commissioned projects for Glasgow Science Centre (2021), Bauhaus Museum Dessau (2021), the Venice Biennale of Architecture (2016, 2018, 2021), and the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism (2017); its work has also appeared in shows at Triennale Milano, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Matadero Madrid. Design Earth’s project After Oil is part of the collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art.

Portrait photo by Thomas Gearty.

  • Artwork by Design Earth
    Trash Peaks, 2017. Photo by Kyungsub Shin.
    [ID: A woman kneels at a low table set with white ceramic dishes, holding a bowl and chopsticks. A folding screen is open behind her, depicting several mountains with various walls, ramps, and other constructions built onto them.]
  • Artwork by Design Earth
    Cosmorama, 2018. Photo by Tom Harris.
    [ID: Photo of a gallery installation. A grid composed of nine retrofuturistic celestial images and diagrams is hung on the wall. White rocks hang from the ceiling in front of the grid, hovering over a long white paper with black text on it resting on the floor. A white neon sign reading “cosmorama” hangs from the ceiling.]
  • Artwork by Design Earth
    Climate Inheritance, 2021. Photo by Bauhaus Museum Dessau.
    [ID: Photo of installation featuring a number of structures with three stacked light boxes, which show surrealistic images of the Statue of Liberty, maps, and other diagrams.]
Artwork by Design Earth Artwork by Design Earth Artwork by Design Earth