Cassiopeia is a project developed in collaboration with ‘The Eco Org’, a non-profit organisation based in the Maldives. The Maldives are one of the most threatened regions on the planet by sealevel rise. Infrastructural and economic hardships exacerbate this situation. Due to this a variety of non-profit organisations are involved in local scale developments. However little collaboration is happening between the different operations on a regional or national level. Thus the Maldives are both literally and figuratively fragmented, as the map of developmental initiatives spread over the islands below illustrates.
Cassiopeia's purpose is threefold: 1. Provide a platform of exchange (orange) 2. Positive impact on ecosystem (green) 3. Positive impact on economy (blue)
1. Cassiopeia provides a physical platform of exchange, where both interested citizens and the organisations involved across the island nation can come together to learn about ongoing projects and possible collaborations. The ongoing projects are visualised on panels as seen below, quickly to move around and brainstorm.
2. Cassiopeia supports the local economy by providing jobs through an oyster farm and a jewellery artisan and retail studio based on the platform. Each item in the store comes with information and is connected to one of the developmental projects displayed on the platform. right: Concept for nacre jewellery design produced by Maldvian artisans. Design by Michelle Lowe Holder. below: Pearl and nacre artisan space on the platform.
3. Cassiopeia has a positive impact on the local ecosystem. A net enveloping the platform serves as a growth medium for an oyster reef (see below). The reef provides fresh spat for the pearl farm, filters contaminated ocean water and protects the platform from storm surges. Harvested shells are stored inside the net, stimulating new oysters to colonize it and establish the reef.
Team: Michelle Loewe Holder, Alexandra Huller, Eva Pujol, Jiayu Yang, Jasper Zehetgruber
Tutors: Nancy Diniz, Course Leader Alice Taylor, Lecturer Biology / Living Systems