Guest seminar at the More than Human Futures research group, Queensland University of Technology, August 2023.
Urchins and Corals – More-Than-Human design for the ocean
Dr Pirjo Haikola RMIT
Underwater designer and advocate Pirjo Haikola discusses her More-Than-Human, regenerative ocean, and experimental material design works.
Dr. Pirjo Haikola is an ‘underwater designer’, researcher, diving instructor, sailor, and ocean advocate. She is a Lecturer at RMIT University and a collaborator in the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program for the Great Barrier Reef. In this talk Pirjo discusses her More-Than-Human and regenerative design projects, spanning from exhibitions and events aiming to increase ocean literacy, to collaborating in marine conservation projects through design and material innovation. For Pirjo, marine species and ecosystems are stakeholders and clients. One of her recent projects, the Urchin Corals installation and films, commissioned for the NGV 2020 International Triennial, brings to the surface issues in Port Phillip Bay and at the Great Barrier reef showing transition from healthy, vibrant, and biodiverse ecosystems to barren wastelands. The Urchin Corals is also an example of how material experimentation for exhibitions has led to research collaboration, in this case with the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP) for the Great Barrier Reef. RRAP is the world’s largest effort to protect an ecosystem from climate change. With a team of 360+ scientists the program is a collaboration between science, design, and engineering for a nonhuman client – the corals.