Carbon Collective

Climate Fiction


U.S. Active Offshore Drilling Zone, Gulf of Mexico

Options Studio: Carbon to Rock

Instructor: Cristina Parreño


Co-inhabiting oil rigs to clean the Gulf of Mexico


The industrial capacity of humanity has left an enormous physical and carbon footprint on the planet. Carbon Collective envisions an architecture where this capacity is deployed to co-inhabit the Gulf alongside biological producers.


Site Model, Spun Sugar: Modeling Cycles of Particle Matter in the Gulf

Igneous Dymaxion: The earth as tectonic network
In this reinterpretation of the Dymaxion projection, each segment of the unfolded globe highlights a junction of plate boundaries rather than continental centers.
Beyond Oil On April 20, 2020, the price-per-barrel of U.S. oil plummeted below zero US-dollars for the first time. This trend indicates that a future without oil might not be so distant for the Gulf, but with ~4,000 rigs currently active, the decomissioning process is daunting. Standard procedures involve sinking the rigs for artificial reefs or scrapping for recyclable material, but neglect the immediate climate crisis facing the Gulf and the oceans beyond.

Who occupies the Gulf? In parallel to widespread human industries such as agriculture, shipping, and oil, a separate population occupies the gulf undergoing production of their own.
Rising temperatures, acidification, and declining oxygen content create favorable conditions for biological producers such as Jellyfish and phytoplankton (algae). These conditions are not sustainable: overpopulation and over-production displace the Gulf’s more vulnerable inhabitants. Within the next 150 years, even humans will struggle to continue living and working in the Gulf.





Proposal: Accelerating the Living Carbon Sink
The extensive infrastructure of decomissioned oil rigs become a base for intervention, letting us speculate on new models of inhabitation. Jellyfish require little oxygen, making them uniquely capable of thriving in these hazardous waters. These Jellyfish can be harvested both as fertilizer for rice production and protein for human consumption, providing a pathway to transition the Gulf oil labor force into new carbon-friendly aquaculture.
Axonometric: Jellyfish FacadeEnclosure is required to prevent captured carbon from being dispersed back into the Gulf. A multi-layer facade of bubble walls, pollution filters, jellyfish nets, and the mass of the jellyfish themselves are used to protect the fertilized water from being displaced by ocean currents.
Section: Jelly-falls As the jellyfish die, their collagen bodies sink, clumping into aggregations known as jelly-falls. These masses of jelly reach the sea floor, where water pressure prevents the biological carbon from resurfacing, effectively storing the carbon from both the algae and jellyfish biomass.
Ground Floor Plan: Algae Colony

Vignette: Waste Delivery by Air

Vignette: Algae Colony Walkway

Vignette: Diving with Jellyfish
Perspective: Scaffold for Jellyfish Research
Pods attached to the legs of the platform allow humans to enter the habitat of the jellyfish swarm.
Here, visitors can experience the visual spectacle of the carbon sinking process, while researchers
can ensure the process continues efficiently.

Danny Griffin Selected Works 2014-2021