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Design Under Sky discusses landscape architecture, the utilitarian but leaning towards the conceptual, thinking on modern occurrences and peripheral boundaries.  

DUS is the blog and personal design studio of Adam E. Anderson, a designer based out of the East Coast, currently a Critic at the Rhode Island School of Design, and a designer at Landworks Studio.

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« Further Submersion: Seaweed Farming | Main | Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell »

Submersed Frontier

{Multi-beam bathymetry - Plymouth England:  Image via Google Earth}


For the sake of argument let’s say it’s too late; the tracks have been laid for climatic disaster and we are full steam ahead.  In an undetermined amount of time the polar ice caps will melt and per the computer graphic synopsis shown on Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth large portions of our coastal land will submerge under rising sea levels.

Then perhaps speculation in a new underwater frontier becomes viable, along with increased efforts and focus on preservation of what might necessitate future habitation.  As deep underground dwellings were once thought a potential sanctuary refuge from a post-apocalyptic world, are we close to seeing actual construction of alternative submerged habitat solutions, developed by opportunists looking to profit from the fear of an environmental catastrophe?

Google may be indirectly hinting at such a possibility.  Their newly developed Google Earth layer allows web users access to undersea landscapes, including the habitat of threatened species that live off the coast of England.

The new "layer" of Google Earth Outreach will feature video streams, photo galleries and stories from marine protected areas (MPA's) around the world.

The Government's conservation agency Natural England has contributed information about 43 marine sites around the coast of England that offer some protection to species such as the basking shark, as well as seahorses, corals and algae.

One of the sites users can visit "virtually" is Lundy Island, off the North Devon coast, England's only statutory marine reserve and a no-take zone banning fishing and enabling wildlife in the 3.3 square kilometer area to thrive.

Dr. Helen Phillips, Natural England's chief executive, said she hoped the new MPA layer in Google Earth would bring the marine environment to life and raise awareness of the need to conserve and enhance it.

Naturally its a far stretch to theorize that the new Google "Sea" is anything more then an attempt to raise awareness of oceanic preservation.  But with this ability of immediate visual access for what will surely cover immense areas of underwater habitats, a familiarity will grow that popularizes not just scientific but agricultural and architectural study of under water landscapes.  In my ruminant conceptualization of the potential for a modern day Atlantis I found a few topical examples courtesy of Pruned that suggest that I wasn't simply "being weird" again as my girlfriend has often expressed, but rather great minds do think alike!

The Oceansphere and Aquapod both are structures for fish harvesting, designed for protecting rapidly reducing fish populations.  Along with new developments of coral and seaweed agriculture, the Aquapod could become the new "chicken of the sea" farm.

I love the sea, but I'm no seasteader, so I hope a retreat to underwater landscapes doesn't become a necessity, but the option is compelling.

Reader Comments (2)

As a coastal community the lighthouses of Prince Edward Island not only served the practical purpose of lighting the way home before the era of GPS navigation, they now offer a unique opportunity to those who visit. Prince Edward Island offers a variety of lighthouse tours ranging from the scenic to the informative.
May 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulius
the great workThanks for making such a cool post which is really very well written.

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