By Henry Hsu, Irene Kim, Austin Ho, Varuni Edussuriya, Htet Linn, Vina Rostomyan, Marcello Raeli, Joshua Wong, Ashley Pinnick, Sarang Byrne, Lance Blake, Benjamin Weiss, Myles Larson, Katelyn Hill, Jenelle Dagres, Herbert Hsu | 2013
The unexplored ocean
How much do we know about the ocean? There are over 70% of our planet is covered by oceans, and yet almost 95% of the sea floor remains unexplored. The challenge of the project come from Aquarium President, NOAA Science Advisory Board, Dr. Jerry Schubel: to explore the inextricable links among humans, the ocean and the planet, and move the conversations outside the Aquarium and beyond their traditional audience.
Start the exploration from ourselves
14 students from 7 creative disciplines use our skills to tackle the challenge. The whole process starts with the question of how to make a movement where most of the commercial campaign are short-term based. We started to study the movements in the history. To further discover the diversity of perceptions of people to the ocean, we attempt to explore the topic in different filters and activities. We go to Catalina Island to experience snorkeling trying to find our fear and surprise to the ocean.
The project outcomes are exhibited in the Aquarium’s “Ocean Room”. The teams bring the core OPEN OCEAN movement and the four strands: Play to Discover, Art+Science, Citizen Explorer, Open Ocean Network to the audience of the aquarium.
OPEN OCEAN movement is designed for different kinds of audience to be part of it form the edges of any of the four strands. There are different touch points at the strands the people can engage with, and, subsequently drawing the participants deeper into the movement with greater impact. All strands interconnect and strengthen the potential of OPEN OCEAN of the future.
Special thanks to advisor Nik Hafermaas, Maggie Hendrie, and Muireann McMahon. Also thanks to Prof. Jerry Schubel, Adina Metz, Dr Jeff Schel, Dan Good, Don Walsh, and Sylvia Earle.
Being inspired by imagination
With more facts we learned about ocean the our exploration about it, the pattern emerges that set the projects into different topics: Technology, Marine Science, Myth and Imagination, and Community.
Designers starts to involves into the categories that interest them. As a part of the Myth / Imagination and Technology tracks, I propose a method to inspire the publics and have them tell us their imaginations towards innovations and future about ocean exploration; the method is to collects ocean related technology, sci-fi, environmental images and illustrations and make them into a deck of image cards, and we use it as an instrument to interview people and ask them about the the cards that interest them the most.
By having people describing the their selected cards, we found more stories coming from the people’s great experience and imagination than we expected. This shows the potential that future ocean exploration can be more open for interpretation for publics, and the findings should be shared to keep the momentum of public involvement.
Emergence of Open Ocean
All the groups merge into one group under a umbrella movement, Open Ocean, after mid-term. The idea is that the big movement is consisted of four different strands and will meet at the central core where the public consciousness is fully engaged with the idea of ocean exploration.
The works of ours are also presented in front of 100 of the US top explorers at the Ocean Explorers 2020 Forum. The feedbacks are overwhelmingly positive, and we’re able to invite some of the most famous ocean explorers to talk about their story and share their ideas including Sylvia Earle and Dan Walsh.
Play to discover
An open-ended and collaborative game called Halios is designed to engage audience of all ages in the context of gaming. Developers can prototype new exploration ideas into the game. By feeding real-time ocean data and the direct response from the players, Halios can be educational and also beneficial to the scientific community.
This program will bring artist, designers, and scientists together to create different forms of work to present the knowledge of ocean. The combination of creative skills and scientific minds can transform the hard messages into direct interaction and experience that engage audience of all ages.
The framework creates the sense of community through different activities. One of the main activities is discovery through ROV. The ROV is a kit for explorers the can be remotely control and monitor under the sea. The kit can be integrated into schools and communities, and different types of events can be built upon it. The data from these ROVs can feed back to Halios or the Open Ocean Network (see below).
Open Ocean Network
A 24 hour web-based network about the ocean. Oceans exploration stories, interviews, and documentaries can be streamed on the network. It is also a platform for the user-generated content from other strands of the movement.
"Almost 95% of the sea floor remains unexplored"
– Prof. Jerry Schubel, President & CEO, Aquarium of the Pacific
Experiment design & research
Issues about ocean exploration
Cross-disciplinary team work
Demographical difference in ideas about ocean
In a Neushell