About Isoculture

Imagine a city of the future isolated from the wider environment where humans become self-sustaining.

Food, energy, medicine, for example, is derived from human origin and man-made biological systems.

Outside of the Isoculture city the environment will become a ‘no-mans’ land to help it recover from widespread human impact.

In terms of their presence on the planet – humans aim to disappear.

The Isoculture project embraces future science & technology and prompts changes to our self-perception to redesign our human world. And by artificially recreating and updating the natural world, we understand and value our current relationship within the ecosystem on profound new levels.

Ultimately, underpinning the project is the question of whether it’s possible for humans to live in isolation. As such, the Isoculture prepares humans for unknown future challenges such as to live in hostile environments, a time of great biodiversity extinction, or maybe for life on another planet. Inhabitants seal off the city so not to encroach further on the surrounding environment.

Welcome to the Isoculture.



The project was initiated by Michael Burton and Michiko Nitta who posed the question:

Could humans ever live in a truly self-sustaining system, which is isolated from the wider environment?


Isoculture founders

Michael Burton

In 2007, Michael graduated from the MA Design Interactions programme at the Royal College of Art. Previous to this, he worked in Contemporary Dance at Laban, conservatoire and studied BA Fine Art Sculpture at Bretton Hall, Leeds University. Michael works on the edge of speculative design, arts, and as a researcher. He creates objects, images and films as insights into richly imagined scenarios exploring the choices we face in our evolution as a species and in redesigning life itself. Michael exhibits and presents internationally, most notably including work shown at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, on tour at various galleries in Australia and the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art. He leads a collaborative practice, working with organisations and individuals including scientists, performers, choreographers, designers and architects.


Michiko Nitta

Michiko studied at the Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design and Royal College of Art , worked as graphic designer and user experience consultant. She has subsequently exhibited her work in the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt in Berlin and the V&A in London. Michiko has a number of publications to her name, spoken at conferences in the UK, US and China, currently working for artistic & commercial projects as an indivisual artist and mostly, as part of Burton Nitta. A key theme that underlies her work is the relationship between nature and humans, often taking extreme vantage on how humans can change their perception to live symbiotically with nature.






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