Jop Japenga´s Master-thesis about Ocean Search from Department of Industrial Design Eindhoven University of Technology was presented as part of the Dutch Design Week.
Jop has through his work explored stakeholder drives and future value exchange between research, sailors and public. The report dicusses a design of a platform for oceanic research to explore a future lifestyle. Liquid Living explores a potential future way of living through a combination of design and research. It is looks at a number of trends currently happening in society and technology, and at a future in which we construct our own identities, through mediated connections, in a place loose from location. In order to address this abstract future way of living, a current day design case ‘Ocean Search’ is used. It is a large project that creates a kit of sensors that measure different values of water quality that can be installed on regular sailing boats. As sea sailors travel around the oceans they will collect data for oceanic researchers to use. As part of liquid living, possible ways in which platform for oceanic data collection and communication might be set up are explored. Specific focus in this initial iteration lies with underlying motivations of people to join and with the sailors interface to the platform.Different design methodologies are applied in each step that works to a more specific idea of what the platform looks like. Through taking these steps for this specific design case, the perception of liquid living will change as well. It is the relation between the design action and the understanding of abstract futures that is the final reflection of this project.
Video Scenario: A video-log of a sailing trip to investigate an oceanic Eddy. On a satellite image of an offshore area, scientists discovered a region of unusually high primary production, which appeared to be related to an unusually large oceanic eddy. The scientists were interested in getting a snapshot of water characteristics (Temperature and Salinity) as well as estimates of nutrients and to actually measure the primary production (to verify the measurements taken from satellite). They also wanted information about the presence of other organisms such as fish, seabirds and marine mammals, which may use this unusual structure as a feeding ‘hotspot’.
Through a platform for oceanic research they found a sailor with the right sensors nearby, and requested him to visit the spot, take some measurements and have a look. Also, since these eddies often trap debris, local marine reserve managers were worried that an oil slick from an oil tanker that just cleaned its tanks in the vicinity will get trapped in the eddy and cause disturbance to the animals using this feeding hotspot. The organization asked the sailor to look out for evidence of such, either visual at the surface or through sensor measurements of the water itself.
The Master report can be downloaded from http://www.jopjapenga.nl/download/FinalReportLiquidLiving.pdf