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SeaWeaver Project Concept

The approach of the SeaWeaver project is to take the core element of seaweed farming; the rope substrate, and integrate it with another body of knowledge built upon that same core element: weaving, to design a more robust seaweed-growing structure that can passively foster the ecosystem around it.

Weaving is a diverse world of practices; its features and abilities have been developed and explored in every human culture. Woven elements are modular, and can be interwoven with one another into precise forms with extremely high strength and flexibility. This project will translate the needs of a seaweed-growing structure into into variable elements with the following stages:

1) Identify specific needs of seaweed-growing and seaweed ecosystems

2) Explore and specify woven forms which can satisfy those requirements

3) Adapt woven elements into modular building-block design components

4) Interweave components into a single structure which addresses all needs

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Abundant rope for seaweed holdfast

Low-density weaving patterns (many)

Pattern variability, boundaries & modularity

Fully interwoven structure

This framework will allow addressing individual requirements as they arise, establishing woven-solution elements, and integration into a single interwoven form which can collectively address biological, ecological, and structural needs of a semi-permanent marine construction.

Project Goals

The scope of the ocean, its threats, and therefore SeaWeaver, is very large. In order to develop a solution that's successful, beneficial, and scalable, this structure will hold the following requirements through all stages of the development process:

  • Non-polluting by design

    • No materials that can leach micro-plastics into the ocean environment. Organic materials are optimal

    • Interwoven elements designed to resist dislodging large pieces and creation of flotsam

  • No-Harm design

    • Careful consideration of ecological circumstance of each prospective location, including native species, ecological history, habitat loss, etc.

    • Clear openings in structure: Up = Out

      • Design should prevent both larger animals and humans from becoming trapped in the structure

    • Redundant anchoring to ensure the structure does not move from its installation location

  • A scalable solution

    • Cannot be expensive, small amounts of funding have a large impact:​​

      • The cost of materials & fabrication and installation should be as low and non-prohibitive as possible

      • The structure should be passive, low-tech, and require little-to-no human involvement after installation

      • The structure should be long-lasting and have a thought-out end-of-life

  • Incentivize inclusion

    • Structure should be buildable by anyone with intermediate weaving knowledge and proper materials

    • Design elements should be variable so that diverse locations can adapt weaving parameters to optimize the structure to local ecology

  • Be beautiful and inspiring

    • Design should make people want to become involved, spread awareness, and contribute

Project Structure

Section 1 of the project focuses on exploring and identifying tools which can work toward a comprehensive concept solution. "Tools" is a vague category including weaving patterns, design software, and creation pathways; anything that can be utilized in a seaweed-growing system. Section 1.1 will examine specific weaving & knot-tying crafts for their modular attributes. In Section 1.2, digital software tools are explored to provide visualizations & realistic simulations of flexible structures. Section 1.3 will examine how the digital framework of 1.2 can serve as blueprints for creating physical structures.

Section 2 the takes the tools established in section 1 and integrates them into an initial design concept that aims to satisfy multiple structural and ecological goals established earlier on this page. Section 2.1 examines physical and parametric elements of a woven pattern examined in 1.1, and re-shapes them into a more advantageous configuration. In Section 2.2, this concept is physically produced to assess the feasibility of interweaving altered components together, and further demonstrate the model in a live aquarium context.

Section 3 displays the concept in an aquatic environment with live plants and animals. Section 3.1 features a prototype in a freshwater display aquarium, providing visuals of the structure in its environmental context & wildlife interaction. Section 3.2 will discuss planned future demonstrations & testing models which approach the target environment: marine-water aquarium models, on-site environmental pilots, structural optimization and testing models.

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