The sea urchin in the room
The small or hidden, unrevealed and forgotten have been the priority in this project about how to make a climate issue more relatable to us individually. The acidification of the ocean is one, maybe less known, ecological issue and as for many of the different changes in climate it can be hard to relate to and understand what this really means. To get the whole picture of what is happening in the acidified ocean we need the pieces of the puzzles first, the small lives that are oh, so important for the marine ecosystem. The sea urchin gets, in this project, to represent the species that are affected by the acidification and thereby takes the role as an ambassador of the ocean.
With the intersecting fields of science and art, ‘learning design’ and sustainability, this design project explores how one might design a tactile learning experience. The project and the physical, interactive design object, the sea urchin, are intended as a platform on which we, the non-scientific public, can educate ourselves on fields that are outside our daily lives by seeking to reconnect to nonhuman species by replacing the systematic alienation to them as such.
My collaborators, except the sea urchin, have been a nature guide and a marine biologist who shared their knowledge with me from these fields.
On one hand the process has been informative on the other hand explorative. My collaborators, except the sea urchin, have been a nature guide and a marine biologist who shared their knowledge with me from these fields. The explorations in the process have been done with paper models, building prototypes and testing out ideas physically by building and making.
This project has allowed me to be the mediator that transformed a complex climate issue to an experience for the audience, with the purpose to bring empathy and awareness to the topic. My role as designer has been to take that information and knowledge from my collaborators, about marine biology and the nature guidance, and transform it to a new form and put it in a new context.