Working Toward WetLand

The one-page document I’ve been working on to explain WetLand:

Overview of the WetLand project

WetLand is an island-based ecosystem and mobile habitat that will float on the Delaware River.  To be offered in the summer of 2014, WetLand is a stage for storytelling about our community’s shared future, and about the impact each individual can have on the environment. Combining art, life on the water, architecture, and environmental technologies into one space, it promotes involvement through an environment based on exchange. A central part of the project will be take-away materials with instructions for building some of the systems on board WetLand.

WetLand resembles a partially submerged building, describing our potential environmental future. A 40x20x3’ seafaring vessel composes the primary infrastructure. The interior of the partially submerged house contains a live, work, and enclosed performance space. WetLand’s ecosystem include rainwater collection and purification, greywater filtration, dry compost systems, chickens, outdoor vegetable gardens, indoor aquaponics, and railing gardens circling WetLand’s perimeter. Building supplies for WetLand include reused materials from the local waste-stream such as steel, 55-gallon drums, wood, and architectural tensile fabric. Terraformed gardens around the perimeter of the structure will mimic a natural wetland. As experiments, we will monitor them to test their remediation qualities throughout the project. Through partnerships with local educational institutions such as Lincoln High School, WetLand will engage students to help steward the space, collect data about energy use and production, and test and maintain on-board water systems.

Events will be programmed with FringeArts. Residents will live on board and host activities, from workshops to skill shares. High school and college students in Philadelphia will help steward the space, collect data about energy use and production, and test and maintain onboard water systems. Equal parts symbolic, social, stage, shelter, and service, WetLand is an argument for thriving local economies that consider our environment.

Where: WetLand will be constructed at Pier 9, across from FringeArts in Old Town, Philadelphia. It will be tugged to Penn’s Landing adjacent to the Seaport Museum and open to the public on August 15,2014.

When: WetLand will launch August 15th on the Delaware River at Penn’s Landing and run through  September 31, 2014.

Why:   Art is integral to imagining new worlds.  WetLand is a mobile, sculptural habitat and public space atop a barge made to explore solutions for sea-level rise, housing, resource interdependence, and a decrease in useable land. Increased attention paid to the social and environmental impacts involved in resource production, distribution, use, and finally discard are important ideas to take away from WetLand. The structure integrates nature with urban spaces. WetLand helps local economies strengthen and grow by bringing together a broad range of communities to the space. This enables new friendships and collective experiences through exchange-based collaborations, while recognizing other ways of working and being together and living with nature.

How:  Building supplies for WetLand are reclaimed from the local waste stream to further narrate a future when reuse is common and parts are made with found materials. This project will be completed through FringeArts, the James L. Knight Foundation, the Independent Seaport Museum and the partnerships we make together.