Chris Woebken
Amphibious Architecture, 2009
collaboration with xClinic (NYU) and The Living (GSAPP)

Though New York is surrounded by rivers, residents have little to no interaction with the water and little understanding of the ecosystem below. The Environmental Health Clinic at New York University and the Living Architecture Lab at Columbia University created Amphibious Architecture to allow a data-driven dialogue between humans, fish and their shared environment. Installed in the East River and the Bronx River, two networks of interactive tubes contain underwater sensors monitoring water quality, presence of fish, and human interest in the river ecosystem. The buoys light up when fish swim underneath and display the water quality with a shift in color. An SMS interface allows to communication with the fish, and to receive real-time information about the river, and spark conversations by contributing to a display of collective interest in the river ecosystem.