image credit: Natalie Jeremijenko
A couple years back, we posted on a collaborative project between The Living, Chris Woebken, and Natalie Jeremijenko’s Environmental Health Clinic. The now completed Amphibious Architecture project seeks to captivate participants by immersing them into the ebbs and flows of aquatic ecosystems — areas that are generally under-explored and under-engaged in the public realm. Installed in the East and Bronx Rivers in New York City, the glowing flotilla consists of sensors below the water and lights above. The sensors monitor water quality and fish presence, and the lights react to the information being collected by their gatherer counterparts below the water. Anyone can text message the sensors to receive real time information about the status of the river. This urge to make the invisible visible to the public is compelling, overlapping a myriad of social and ecological networks throughout the city.
The team further describes the aim of the project as such:
Instead of treating the rivers with a “do-not-disturb” approach, the project encourages curiosity and engagement. Instead of treating the water as a reflective surface to mirror our own image and our own architecture, the project establishes a two-way interface between environments of land and water.