The data that's analyzed by seismologists following a large earthquake is usually the record of a catastrophe — it typically means something really bad has just happened. But what if you could take this data and turn it into something beautiful instead? That's the thinking of designer James Boock who has rigged together an elaborate paint-globbing mechanism that uses seismic wave data to generate colorful abstract images. The end result is one-half geology, one-half art.

It's called the Quakescape 3D Fabricator and its construction was inspired after a major quake hit Christchurch, New Zealand last year. It works by taking earthquake data from the site GeoNet and converts it into a series of visual patterns.

The canvas is a moulded, topographical landscape that's shaped like a real section from Christchurch. The colors, which are ejected from a series of hanging cartridges, represent the magnitude of the seismic waves.

Boock put this together with the help of Josh Newsome-White, Brooke Bowers, Hannah Warren, George Redmond, Richie Stewart and Philippa Shipley.