New York architects The Living, mentioned in an earlier post, are behind another noteworthy project: Amphibious Architecture.
This one, completed in collaboration with xClinic, Natalie Jeremijenko, and many others, and commissioned by the Architectural League for the recent exhibition Toward the Sentient City, is an environmental monitoring station—a subtle filigree of colored lights—floating in the rivers of New York.
As such, it is more or less a direct outgrowth of their earlier project River Glow.
Amphibious Architecture is a floating installation in New York’s waterways that glows and blinks to provide an interface between life above water and life below… Two networks of floating interactive tubes, installed at sites in the East River and the Bronx River, house a range of sensors below water and an array of lights above water. The sensors monitor water quality, presence of fish, and human interest in the river ecosystem. The lights respond to the sensors and create feedback loops between humans, fish, and their shared environment. An SMS interface allows citizens to text-message the fish, to receive real-time information about the river, and to contribute to a display of collective interest in the environment.
The idea of text-messaging fish adds a dream-logic to this project that I find intensely enjoyable. A man lost somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean who retains his sanity only by texting Leviathan. Screenplay by Ernest Hemingway.
Check out more of The Living’s work on their website—and spend a few moments, while you’re at it, with the decisively trans-species design work of their collaborator, Chris Woebken. Woebken’s well-known Animal Superpowers project is particularly fantastic.