Seismic See-saw – Design Informatics Pavilion

Exploring Programmable Donations

Continuing our series of articles on what you can find in the Design Informatics Pavilion, learn more about ‘Seismic See-Saw’ – a physical manifestation of the concept of programmable donations.


Blockchain technologies could allow the future of giving to be more transparent, personalised and responsive.

The OxChain project has developed a unique process of donation which is controlled by smart, personalised contracts that are signed and sealed on a blockchain. The conditions of the contract are chosen by the user from a template. The use of blockchain ensures the contract is immutable, and allows the third party escrow that secures and releases the donation to be entirely automated.

If the donation is returned to the user they can assign their donation to a different cause, under alternative contractual conditions, or withdraw their donation altogether.

Seismic See-Saw makes physical the technology of blockchain donations, where the donations are held in the centre and depending on if there is any measurable earthquake worldwide are either sent to the charity or returned to the donor.

This system of escrow not only grants donors more control over how and when their donations can be used by a charity, but also allows charities to know how much capital they would have access to immediately in the event of disaster.

Seismic See-Saw breaks the status quo of one off payments and monthly subscriptions.

Seismic See-Saw is a project that forms part of the ESRC funded project Ox-chain,