Data + Design Project

The Japanese Earthquake & Hiroshima in 3D

Friday 10.28.2011 , Posted by

What does an earthquake look like in 3D? Artist Luke Jerram created the small piece above to contemplate the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan. By taking a seismograph of the event and rotating the image using computer aided design, he was able to print the result in 3D cylindrical form using rapid prototyping technology. The piece measures 30cm x 20cm and is intended to explore how data is read and can be represented and interpreted. The seismograph chosen represents 9 minutes of the earthquake, which for anyone who’s experienced the ground shaking under their feet, is an insanely long time.

The second piece in this article, titled 28 Seconds of Hiroshima, is an object of contemplation, exploring the visualization of invisible phenomena (in this case sound) and another great tragedy for Japan. For this piece Jerram used a sound file of the Hiroshima atomic bomb, rotated it and transformed it into a 3D digital form. It was then printed using the method of stereolithography. For more on Luke Jerram’s work, see his fascinating website

If you liked these thought provoking works, you may also be interested in our post Harmful Virus’ Made of Beautiful Glass, another project by Luke Jerram.

Want more on the Japanese earthquake? See Slow Motion Dancing for Japan


Paul Caridad

Written by Paul Caridad

Bicycled the perimeter of USA, hitch hiked across the States dressed as monk. Nomadic for the next few years. Would love to connect, so check out my links below! email:

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