Download ‘Exploring Seagrass for Sustainable Design’ here
Exploring Seagrass for Sustainable Design
As the climate changes and sea levels are rising, the Netherlands needs to find new ways to live with water in the century to come. In this future the crops we grow and use will change: especially salt-water crops seem to have great potential as resources and raw materials.
The use of salt-water crops isn’t entirely new, a century ago the Netherlands had a thriving seagrass industry. The plant has some useful natural properties, and its leaves were used to stuff anything from pillows and mattresses to walls and dikes. Not much later the Zuiderzee was dammed in and a marine disease went around, decimating the Dutch seagrass population and collapsing the industry.
Now, efforts are being made to restore seagrass in Dutch waters, because of the plant’s proven benefits for marine ecosystems and its capacity to capture CO2. These efforts may be boosted if the plant’s beneficial properties were used once again in product design and could become part of a circular supply chain. In collaboration with researchers, designers and design students, the ArtEZ Tactical Design Professorship explored the possibilities of seagrass for sustainable design, because this plant offers us a point of departure for speculating about how we should design in order to reach our desired future, where both humans and seagrass can thrive. These explorations are brought together in this book which is freely available here as a pdf, see the link at the top of the page.