From the Series
Amphibious Architecture by Natalie Jeremijenko and her team at xDesign Environmental Health Clinic is a visual interface that offers a looking glass into the aquatic ecosystem through SMSes. Submerging ubiquitous computing into the one element that covers 90% of the Earth’s inhabitable volume but remains under-explored and under-engaged, the project makes visible the invisible through real-time mapping of a new ecology of people, marine life, buildings and public space.
Installed at two sites along the East and the Bronx Rivers, a network of floating interactive buoys house a range of sensors below water and an array of light emitting diodes (LEDs) above water. The sensors monitor water quality, the presence of fish and human interest in the river’s ecosystem, while the lights respond to the sensors, creating feedback loops between humans and fish in their shared environment. Additionally, an SMS interface allows one to text-message the fish and receive real-time information about the river, contributing towards the collective display of human interest in the aquatic environment.
Distinctly moving away from the pervasive “do-not-disturb” approach to urban environmentalism, the project encourages curiosity and engagement, aiming to spark a larger public interest and dialogue about our local waterways.