dolphin embassies and other aquatectural wonders
the mermaid has just returned from an exciting visit. she attended the ‘aqua-tecture’ talk and also visited an exhibition in the same place entitled ‘radical nature’. the talk was really two talks.
the first one was given by frank gutzeit who talked about biorock, which is not a music style, but a new principle of using the make-up of seawater itself to build structures which can sustain corals and possibly human populations. also dubbed ‘sea cement’, it utilises electric currents to build limestone structures the way marine animals do. the mermaid was fascinated to hear about all those projects aimed at helping stray corals find a new home. the most mind-boggling thing was, however, the construction-in-progress of an entire ocean city called ‘autopia’ in the indian ocean.
the second talk was given by cesar harada and hiromi ozaki, initiators of the ‘open_sailing’ project, a research platform to create the first international ocean station. their project is explained really well in this video:
their idea is not to attract large sums of funding and build a flashy piece of architecture, but to construct the ‘nomadic ecosystem’ through the help of many amateurs. so, if you find their project inspiring, you can join them! the mermaid really liked the concept of this ocean station – how it houses people and gardens and how it spreads out and interacts with its environment and pulls together in adverse conditions. to the mermaid, this makes a lot of sense! the mermaid also liked the term ‘energy animal’, used for the experimental energy generation of the station. if you want to see hiromi’s and cesar’s talk, you can view their slides online.
inspired by the talk, the mermaid went one level deeper to the ‘radical nature’ exhibition, which featured more ideas on oceanic architecture. the mermaid was very amused by a group called ant farm who thought up a dolphin embassy which was supposed to be a true human-dolphin collaboration, but the way it was communicated to the dolphins had the mermaid in stitches. she truly hopes that the dolphins were entertained to a similar degree! who knows, one day, there will be an embassy as a platform for communication between sea creatures and humans. the merfolk are certainly working towards it, and, it seems, landfolk are, too!