climate change  + wetlands + public engagement + design research  + experience design

Thesis Research

How might we create allegiance towards replenishing the edges of the wetland ecosystem?

Coastal wetlands are the first line of defense against extreme weather events. These natural barriers are falling prey to extractivist interactions resulting in the degeneration of the ecosystem and paralyzing their ability to guard our coastline. History repeats itself as boundaries continue to shrink due to rising sea levels augmented by imbalances of the Anthropocene. This thesis engages the urban citizen with a transformative experience to activate recognition and protection of underappreciated wetland ecosystems.

frequent climate events ︎︎︎ anthropogenic stressors

i. Experiments

ii. Workshops

iii. Process Zine

iv. Drawing Book

Born from a place of personal pivots and a penchant for earthy landscapes, forests, and seas. With an interest in learning about and contributing to lesser known wetland ecosystems. An endless cycle of shrinkage and degradation continues as anthropogenic stressors augment the extremities of a changing climate. This imbalance in our relationship with wetlands further exacerbates hydrologic patterns including soil conditions, increased acidity, salinity, lack of fresh water and change in rainfall patterns. All of this leads to the colonization of the vegetation by invasive species that tend to thrive in changing environments.

“My design intervention is three fold, exploring the trinity of object, interaction, and systems thinking. By creating an artefact in the urbanscape as an entry point to the conversation and making visible the ignored threads that ties us with the said landscape. Supporting print collaterals in the form of a poster and collection of postcards will aid in the process of knowing and building a relationship with the wetlands that surround us. Through a combination of this physical and written manifestation I am interested in activating community powered responsiveness that can lead to larger systems change against development and unsustainable practises in wetland sites.”

View the design outcome of this thesis here. If you are interested in knowing more about this project or contributing in ways it could reach a wider audience, drop a line on vmathur@risd.edu