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HannahMakes: NFTree Sustainable Digital Art Made From The Physical World

Hi DesignSpark, my name is Hannah Joshua (I go by HannahMakes on the internet), I'm a physicist and recovering science journalist turned special effects technician. I make my living making stuff – from shoes that call you an Uber when you click your heels together, to pumpkin selfies and cross-stitched QR codes. I love whimsical tech with something to say.

Below I'd like to give you an introduction to an Air Quality project I'm working on – it forms part of a wider network of air quality projects that you can follow here on DesignSpark.

So why this project: NFT stands for "Non-Fungible Token", a smart kind of digital asset you can buy and sell. They're a hot topic right now – so hot, in fact, that they're causing the teperature of the whole planet to rise! The maths that underpins them requires a lot of machines to do a lot of calculations, using a lot of energy, and that energy comes with a carbon cost. So NFTs = CO2 = bad for our air.

Now, imagine if we could make NFT art that was not just CO2 neutral, but actually positive for the planet! My NFTree project will be created from nature, but sold to help nature profit. I want to see if crypto art can finance a whole forest.

Join me in the video below and I'll explain more.

Data source: The generative artwork will be created using Air Quality Data from the DesignSpark Projects.

Key Materials / BOM:

- Various Electronics £200
- Art supplies £50
- Plus: Minting the NFT. Could be $200-$300 per piece.

Similar Projects / Prior Art:

  • Link 1, TreeDefi's NFTrees – I'm gutted that someone thought of the name before me!
  • Link 2, Crypto Trees.
  • Link 3, Binance 10M Trees project.
  • Link 4, Digital Air Art Installation.
  • Link 5, Air Pollution Mural.

Fix: Although some of these projects have carbon offset in mind, their focus is narrow. They don't invite you to think about what NFTs mean for air quality in a broader context, or highlight how this issue is connected globally. If we can give people a story, a reason to care, we can make art that connects – and that's far more powerful. This art will represent real data, from real places, taken by real people.

Follow Marking Art Air Quality Project:

  • Making art that affects the air Part 1: NFT primer
  • Making art that affects the air Part 2: How to Write Your Own Smart Contract
Hannah is a former science journalist, now a special effects technician. When she isn't busy using giant robot arms to carve spaceship wings out of foam, or crafting circuitboards for stage shows, she makes videos for YouTube about her whimsical inventions. These also featured in her column for New Scientist magazine, which later spawned the How to Be a Maker tutorial series. Hannah is a passionate promoter of the maker movement, and an advocate for tools that make tech more accessible.