designing new relations in the post-anthropocene
The Aquaflora Mask is here to help you breathe as the world's oxygen supply plummets. Not only does it look slimy and dirty. It also feels and smells slimy and dirty. Can you imagine wearing this for hours on end? People object to wearing masks during this pandemic, but would they react the same if you couldn't breathe without a mask?
The majority of people think that oxygen mainly comes from trees. This is actually not true, as more than half of the world's oxygen comes from the ocean. The oxygen comes from algae and phytoplankton. It is estimated that about 50-70% of the world's oxygen comes from the ocean. The drastic changes that have taken place in our climate over the past 50 years are changing this. The number of phytoplankton and algae has decreased due to the rise in temperature. They are down at least 40%. If the numbers continue to decline, we will end up in an oxygen-poor society. The design I have made is to emphasize the damage we as humans do to the ocean, and to outline the future of our new society. I criticize our human-centered way of life that has destroyed and will continue to destroy the ocean.
The mask I designed is made with aquaflora. The plants in the mask produce oxygen to help the wearer breathe. The moisture from your breath keeps the plants hydrated. The wearer needs this mask in an oxygen-poor society to survive.
Climate change is reducing the amount of oxygen in the world. This is not only bad for humans, but also for animals. Over the years, the number of phytoplankton and algae has decreased in large numbers. If we don't do something about climate change, we may all need an Aquaflora mask one day.
A school project using speculative design to depict the relation of humans in the post-anthropocene. This allows us to reflect on the unintended consequences of scientific, (bio-)technological and social developments. The project was created to encourage new perspectives on relevant issues, in this case global warming and the pollution of the oceans.
-Diana Nelson, B.S. Education, M.S. Aeronautics, Master Teacher K-12. “Save the Plankton, Breathe Freely”, National Geographic (2011)
-Unknown. “Are Our Oceans Dying? Phytoplankton has Declined Terrifying 40% in 60 Years”, The Daily Mail UK (juli 2010)
-Changyu Li, Jianping Huang, Lei Ding Xiaoyue Liu Haipeng Yu Jiping Huang. “Increasing Escape of Oxygen From Oceans Under Climate Change”, Geophysical Research Letters Volume47 Issue11 (juni 2020)