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designEARTH lab

Ecological Design, Natural Building, Land Art, & Alternative Media


designEARTH is a real world laboratory that engages directly with material & space to reveal innovative solutions for the looming ecological crisis. At the core, we are practicing artists who find hope in direct action and social interventions, throughout the semester we are joined by passionate and visionary students to embark upon hands-on processes of material exploration & spatial interventions.


The mission of the designEARTH lab is to explore how to create beautiful, innovative, and sustainable and socially relevant structures/3-D outcomes. As artists and designers we navigate the intersection of Ecological Design, Ephemeral Structures, and Innovative Technologies.

The lab is committed to a strong work ethic, social consciousness, and an appreciation for aesthetic outcomes as a natural extension of functional.


Through a collective hands-on process we create designs that are: intimately functional, authentically constructed, elegant and make ecological sense. We are often provided live client projects in remote settings around southern India, these projects incorporate a design/build camp component where a class inhabits these spaces and engages in a intensive making process.


ECO-Sculptural Facade @ Madras Crocodile Bank,

designEARTH was invited by the Madras Crocodile Bank to design & create a sculptural façade to announce their presence to a wider segment of population. We arrived at two sculptural techniques: Steel Framed mixed media forms & sand casted Papercrete relief sculptures.

ECO-Sculptural Facade at Madras Crocodile Bank.

ECO-Sculptural Facade at Madras Crocodile Bank.

ECO-Sculptural Facade at Madras Crocodile Bank.

ECO-Sculptural Facade at Madras Crocodile Bank.

ECO-Sculptural Facade at Madras Crocodile Bank.

ECO-Sculptural Facade at Madras Crocodile Bank.

Treehouse Artist Studio @ ANET in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands,

designEARTH was invited by the prestigious ecological research center, ANET, to design and create a sustainable Treehouse for their future Artist in Residence to utilize as a studio space. We were fortunate to team with a few extremely talented local craftsmen and international designers to create a one of a kind structure.

A tree house in Andamans.

Sustainable Chicken Coops @ Terrapin Farms

Terrapin Farms, Bagalur Cross Bangalore, hosted the designEARTH class for an entire semester. Our first design challenge was to create shelters for their laying hens, thus treating the Chickens as our client. Students researched their patterns, bio-mechanics, and basic input/outputs. Then created micro earthen domes to shelter their egg laying behavior.

Sustainable Chicken Coop in Terrapin Farm.

Terrapin Farm.

Earthen Cottages @ Rare Earth Farms

Rare Earth Farms hosted the designEARTH classes for a series of weekend intensives. During these hands-on workshops, the designEARTH class partnered with the Chakra Design Collective in design and construction sustainable earthen cottages for future home stays at this gorgeous organic farm.

Rare Earth Farm.

Rare Earth Farm.

Traditional WoodFired Oven with Earthen Sculpture at KaradiMalai Camp
designEARTH was invited by Rom Whitaker to design, build, and sculpt an Earthen Wood Fired Oven for the Karadi Malai Camp. One of our greatest honors to date and perhaps one of our greatest joys as well. This took place over an extremely challenging and rewarding weekend intensive at the camp. A stunning Leopard oven was sculpted at the end, with this activity specifically lead by Co-Director Arnab Basu.

Traditional Woodfired mud oven.

Traditional Woodfired mud oven.


  • Jackson Porretta, Designer, Faculty & Admin, Founder & Co-Director of the designEARTH lab
  • Arnab Basu, Artist, Faculty, Co-Director of designEARTH lab
  • Yashas Shetty, Sonic Artist, BIO Hacker, Media Expert, Minister of Information
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