Amphibious architecture, I TXTed a beaver in the East River, neat… You can too, just text “EastRiver” or “BronxRiver” to 41411
Amphibious Architecture is a visual interface floating on the waterâ€™s surface, a veritable looking glass into the aquatic ecosystem. This manufactured point of connection submerges ubiquitous computing into the one element that covers 90% of the Earthâ€™s inhabitable volume and which envelops New York City but remains under-explored and under-engaged.
Installed at two sites along the East and the Bronx Rivers, this project is a network of floating interactive buoys housing a range of sensors below water and an array of light emitting diodes (LEDs) above water. The sensors monitor water quality, the presence of fish, and human interest in the riverâ€™s ecosystem, while the lights respond to the sensors, creating feedback loops between humans, fish in their shared environment. Additionally an SMS interface allows homo-citizens to text-message the fish and receive real-time information about the river, contributing towards the collective display of human interest in the aquatic environment. The aim of which is to simultaneously spark a larger public interest and dialogue about our local waterways.
Distinctly moving away from the pervasive â€˜do-not-disturbâ€™ approach to urban environmentalism, the project encourages curiosity and engagement. Treating the river water as a reflective surface to mirror our own homo-image and architecture, establishing a two-way interface between the terrestrial and the aquatic. The project thus creates a dynamic and captivating layer of light above the surface of the river, making visible the invisible through real-time mapping of the new ecology of people, marine life, buildings, and public space.