The Bauhaus of the Seas Sails consortium partners foster communities to engage in an environmentally sustainable, socially fair and aesthetically appealing transition by supporting mission-oriented demonstrator pilots projects. These pilots start from an intergenerational, intercultural, and interspecies co-design process, which integrates the diverse voices and interests of the communities (including non-humans) and the underlying aquatic ecosystem. 

Each consortium partner will adopt the drop typology to showcase how a co-design process with architecture, design, sustainability, ecology and culture at its core can deliver highly innovative, concrete activities and experiments that address environmental and societal challenges. Drops are focused and localised initiatives developed at the territorial level, which aim to generate a ripple effect. Under the drop, ripple, wave metaphor, this effect extends from the demonstrator pilot level to the city, region, national and continental levels, thus demonstrating how each pilot is scaled and replicated across time and space. 

A pilot activation process is carried out by locally delivering a series of Expert Development Programmes, which will promote liaising between experts, demonstrators and local cultural institutions and ecosystems with the goal of producing public-facing programming that aims to engage citizens in participatory ways. These will offer both expert training and also ripple into highly engaging experiences open to everyone; they will also develop toolkits as prototypes or models for replication and deliver experiential and storytelling-based transfer of knowledge.

The rolling up of pilots, or ripple process, concerns on the ground, concrete application of sustainable solutions in specific sites and communities. It conveys the deployment of demonstrator lighthouses in the form of prototypes, activities and designs, realised with funds allocated by the Bauhaus of the Seas Sails project and complemented by municipal and cultural partners. These are well aligned with the development agendas of the cities where they are deployed, in order to guarantee they will influence and shape full-scale, long-term projects funded by municipal partners that are scheduled to take place after the project’s three-year development period.

Consortium partners will adopt a range of 8 drop typologies:

Zoöp Model © Zoönomic Institute

Multispecies Assemblies

Inspired by the zoöp concept created by Bauhaus of the Seas Sails partner Nieuwe Instituut and practised by other consortium members, the Bauhaus of the Seas Sails-zoöp develops, curates and shares knowledge about ecological regeneration and governance of the local pilots. Zoöp is an organisational model for cooperation between human and non-human life that safeguards the interests of all zoë (Greek for ‘life’). The zoöp model makes the interests of non-human life part of organisational decision making. Through digital distributed ledger technologies (e.g. blockchain), this drop typology also delivers a dedicated platform for the sharing of experience and good practices on participatory governance and co-design at the local level. 

As a Bauhaus of the Seas Sails-Zoöp, each pilot will be part of the international network of the Nieuwe Instituut’s Zoönomic Institute following an already well-established process, which entails the assignment of a “Speaker for the Living”. This is an independent regeneration expert who sits as an Observer to the Bauhaus of the Seas Sails-Zoöp Boards, which every year decides on new regenerative goals and the measures to reach these goals.

Multispecies Assemblies will enable citizens and other stakeholders to become aware of climate impacts and risks addressing systemic climate justice issues. They will also allow them to engage in the co-creation and sharing of data, knowledge and solutions fundamental for a climate resilient transformation, including by building on citizen science, social dialogue and social innovation, namely by creating a geospatial platform that compares and contrasts activities and their impact in space, society and culture. 

Algae Route, a rediscovery of edible coastal seaweed project by chef Joana Melo Duarte © Joana Melo Duarte

Regenerative Menu

This drop aims to promote the creative implementation of foods that have a regenerative function in the local aquatic ecosystem and that are flexible in their design to adapt to further climate changes. At the core of the Regenerative Menus approach is the idea of embracing a flexible form of eating – shifting, for instance, to drought-resistant crops in a period of water scarcity, or filter feeders during times of polluted or acidified waters. Departing from the interdependence between food and human life which the architect and author Carolyn Steel summed up in the term “sitopia,” to grasp the extent to which our bodies, habits, cities, landscapes and climate are shaped by food choices, this drop typology uses interdisciplinary approaches to the creation and testing of innovative menus. As initiatives that cross gastronomy, architecture, and design, Regenerative Menus are also based on research concerning food sources, production, and consumption, as well as their impact. Through a co-design process with local partners, ranging from chefs to sustainable algae producers, this drop aims to test the implementation of new menus and foster a multidimensionally more balanced diet in local schools and cultural institutions in designated pilots.

Eric Klarenbeek and Maartje Dros, AlgaeLab, Atelier LUMA © Antoine Raab

Blue Makerspace

This drop aims to create a design research space and a knowledge-sharing programme that focuses on water-based materials from a non-extractivist perspective. Advocating for consciously sourcing and exploring natural resources, it fosters applied research projects in design, textiles, architecture and the agro-food industry. It is inspired in the Algae Platform concept created by Atelier Luma in the aquatic ecosystem of the Camargue around Arles (France), which works with a network of specialists exploring material applications, production possibilities and scenarios for sustainably integrating algae, salt, shells and other sea-based resources from the Camargue aquatic ecosystem into urban environments, such as façade tiling, public furniture or product design. This drop’s aim is to create a new maker space that combines culture and critical thinking with a technological and entrepreneurial spirit dedicated to the blue economy. 

AI generated image by Fam Studio made with DreamStudio, using a text to image prompt: “A photograph of a family enjoying an immersive experience about a bright natural world inside a holographic room” © Fam Studio

Ocean Literacy

Inspired by the concepts of Escola Azul and the Eco-Schools Network, as well as from the work of the FamStudio design practice, this drop aims at educating new generations to be more responsible and participative towards the sustainability of the oceans. Together with crucial research teams and partners from Silpublic, private and social sectors, this drop aims to translate scientific findings into actionable insights and design actions and products with industry and cultural partners.

© Memex Project

Inclusive Digital Storytelling

Developed from the MEMEX project created by IIT and ITI/IST, this drop targets cultural exclusion as a hazard for displaced communities, which struggle with forced assimilation and/or placement into ethnically stratified social structures. Social inclusion and cultural participation are promoted using a geolocalized digital storytelling platform empowered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies. This drop explores the use of digital storytelling as a co-design strategy for community building and intercultural, polyvocal dialogue, serving as a strategy to co-create with communities at risk of exclusion and non-humans whose voices are rarely heard concerning our living spaces. It will also be an instrument to track ongoing changes during the implementation of pilots. The stories will be collected by citizen involvement and participation to promote the innovative use of cultural heritage to support economic growth, social cohesion and environmental sustainability, promoting intercultural dialogues, intergenerational gaps, and interspecies interactions. This drop will make stories a source of empathy and engagement between multicultural communities.

Superflex, As Close As We Get, © Lars Hestbæk

Wellbeing Reefs

Taking inspiration in the work of art collective Superflex and researcher Alex Jordan at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behaviour, this drop will conceptualise and contribute to regenerating a natural reef removed to allow for the creation of a shipping channel, which resulted in increased coastline erosion and a reduction in human and wildlife present in the area. As such, this drop will develop a toolkit to support strategies for humans aiming to build better for life under the sea, informed by scientific findings as well as the study of non-human populations and their behaviour. The improvement process will take time to evidence itself, so the drop will establish measurement tools and techniques but also train local contacts to continue the process. In addition, the research will map historical information about the environment of human and non-human communities. It provides a baseline that can be assessed before and after the project, as well as a proposal to local design and construction teams to identify available systems and knowledge that can support the regeneration of habitat for local wildlife, which also helps the ambitions for human use of the space. 

San Basilio (Dorsoduro sestiere), Venice © Fabio Pittarello

Blue Seniors

Seniors are an essential and growing part of a community that hold traditions, experience and knowledge but that also have special needs and fragilities. Due to the lower accessibility of the built environment, living on coastal cities and islands presents its own specific mobility problems. This drop thus addresses the silver economy while promoting spatial and cultural justice; it adapts to the age of users and their physical and cognitive limitations, such as reduced mobility, physical security, home safety, health, memory loss or loneliness relief. It also explores interactive design as a support for inhabiting a place, starting from examining seniors’ peculiar needs and involving them in the design and evaluation of platforms and/or tools elaborated and prototyped in workshops. They will be characterised by an inclusive and intergenerational approach that aims to bridge gaps among different communities – such as seniors, families, social services, designers or entrepreneurs – and that is applicable to other contexts. 

Recreation dykes and, Doel nuclear power plant © Grenspark Groot Saeftinghe | Sven Dullaert

Future Tidal Architectures for coastal areas, port cities and wetlands

In collaboration between Deltametropool Association, Next Generation Podium, and PortCityFutures, this drop will engage young architects/urban/spatial designers in imagining future scenarios for coastal areas, deltas and wetlands, taking into account the challenges of sea-level rise and changing rainwater patterns. Developed and transformed over millennia, these landscapes are home to large population groups and host complex social structures, from infrastructure (such as large ports), to heritage buildings and monuments uniquely related to their territory. They are also particularly affected by climate change. This drop addresses the design of interconnected urban and social plans for coastal and port cities, as well as their neighbouring rural areas and wetlands, while aiming to reconcile opposing interests and population groups based on co-design processes with citizens. Through collaboration among local stakeholders across territories, it aims to develop adaptive strategies in these viscous spaces, which are uniquely challenged by sea-level rise and changing water patterns. This drop will thus provide new platforms for connecting stakeholders of different scales and power levels – such as port authorities, city/regional governments, citizens or NGOs – through design competitions, open plans, social strategies and design fictions.