PollenWave- Royal College of Art 2023 Grand Challenge 3rd Place Winner
The RCA Grand Challenge is the biggest single-institution postgraduate design project in the world. Bringing together over 450 design students, consisting of over 100 teams, Grand Challenge is dedicated to making tangible actions towards sustainability through community engagement.
Students explored ways design can leverage and stimulate citizen science-led practices for increasing the health and productivity of the world’s oceans. The 22-23 years theme focused on community-centred knowledge and solutions, and aligns with the goals of the UNESCO Ocean Decade (2021–30) to support efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health.
Our team was assigned the town of Stranocum in Northern Ireland. Working alongside the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) and local community, we isolated design intervention towards the declining wild Atlantic Salmon populations at sea.
For more information please visit the RCA website.
The severe decline of wild Atlantic salmon populations in the ocean requires urgent attention. According to the Bushmills Salmon Station, the number of salmon returning for breeding has decreased from 30% in 1997 to less than 5% today, with numbers expected to drop to 2% in the coming years. This alarming trend is mainly attributed to climate change, which increases water temperature, reduces oxygen levels, increases toxicity, disrupts the food chain, and causes diseases.
Pollen wave uses autonomous underwater vehicle to pollinate the ocean with disposable, biodegradable sensors to monitor and capture granular data about water temperature, dissolved oxygen, and pH in vast ocean areas.