climate change + wetland ecology + testing + narrative writing + experience design + material exploration
Understanding the salt marshes of Rhode Island as a means to communicate the impact of a changing climate.
Drone shot by department of Digital Media, RISD at a group site study, Jamestown
“Exploit the imaginative, speculate possible near futures and position them where the poetic crosses between science fiction and the built reality.”
Phase 1.0: Exploration
I was introduced to different sites, tools, and systems that help in understanding and assessing the many aspects of the Narragansett Bay.
Starting with a visit to the University of Rhode Island’s School of Oceanography to learn about remote sensing equipment, research, and analysis of water bodies by designing ‘underwater navigation systems’ with Professor Mingxi Zhou, to collecting plankton from Tillinghast farm and learning about its many behaviours and types, observing the collections under a microscope with guidance from Dr. Patricia Thibodeau.
Phase 2.0: Site Study
Visiting different salt marshes in and around Providence, Rhode Island including Colt State Park, Portsmouth, Tillinghast farm, and Hailer farm preserve. In the process, I used different documentation tools to capture audio, video, soil and water samples, etc.
Phase 3.0: Drawing Board
My personal experiences shaped a large part of the experiment that I conceptualised for this project. How could I bring my audience to understand, immerse, and value this lesser-known ecosystem? One that is often ignored in the excitement of running down the sandy beaches, or one that smells like “rotten food”; In other words, an undesirable landscape.
“Another step. This time peppered with doubt. Land, water, vegetation, traversing through the known unknowns. Will the next step dampen the black combat boots or graze the dry spikes beneath the sole? Do I belong here?”
Phase 4.0: Interaction
Simulating the experience of walking through a marsh and interacting with the ecosystem. This participatory installation used a multimedia approach with a combination of film, audio, graphics, and textures. Each audience member was asked to spend two minutes with the work and follow the instructions in the film. As the protagonist takes their first step in the marsh, the audience wears a shoe prototype and steps into the soil filled bucket infront of them. Much to their surprise, the tactile experience is designed in a way that it gives a feeling of walking in a wet, spongy landscape. The final step asks them to stamp their foot on the paper to reveal the message “Your footprint matters”.
exhibit + interaction ︎︎︎ video + narration ︎︎︎