- For 700 years, Lau Fau Shan Area have been major powerhouse for farming various shell fish. However, the industry is decaying. problems that contributes to such tragedy includes but not limited to: 1.)Farmers today are still using primitive technologies to farm oysters, which is inefficient and unreliable 2.) Climate change resulting more frequent typhoons and bacterial growth, killing oysters 3.) Aging workforce. Due to the instability of income, little people are willing to join the industry.
- Farmers today are still using primitive technologies to farm oysters with little up to date technologies to assist. The geographic nature of Lau Fau Shan added difficulties to farm healthy oysters. That is partly due to the pollution from both mainland china Hong Kong; the area is also over crowded, as a result insufficient nutrients to feed the oysters.
- Traditional farming technologies in Hong Kong's context are no longer sustainable. Incidents such as red tide can eliminate entire harvest of a farmer, not to mention all the pollution and typhoons that are common in Hong Kong. It is Vital for farmers to adapt newer technologies to retrieve essential data for swift decision making to prevent disasters.
What question/s is your design investigating?
- The design investigates a new business model of sub leased spaces+slots+operation services of integrated marine farming and marine research. Particularly, in marine farming, the design explores the possibility of introducing a diverse marine farm that benefits all of the species with a densified yet nomadic farm.
- The design also aims to address the overcrowding issue and geographic disadvantages of the Lau Fau Shan area despite its shallow water (which is ideal for oyster farming). That can be achieved by relocating the oyster racks to the nomadic floating platform.
- The design creates a platform for research integrated farming experience with automated and continuous monitoring of the farms, the data collected aims to minimize fatality of ........... The integrated vertical farms means a diversified cultivation experience, with fish, algae, oysters and other shell fish together, which they benefit each other (ie. Fish waste are essential nutrients for algae to grow)
- The design of the vertical farm also include movable slots for optimized positioning of different species within. For example, baby oysters thrive in the surface of the sea, while adults oysters grows better in lower areas. Such movable slots allows the grown baby oysters to be relocated to lower slots.
How does your design aim to positively impact the oyster farming community?
- "Co-owned Floating Platform for Research & Automated Marine Farming" offers a more diversified atmosphere for oyster to thrive, at the same time automating the farming process. The design's hundreds of localized sensors (to each slot) collects essential data for better oyster growth, and are connected to data lake where incidents like typhons and red tide can be observed thus allows quicker decision making to minimize fatalities.
Research & Development - The Salvage Device
- What is it? What does it do? It is a floating platform with a salvage device. The salvage device can hoist underwater objects such as oyster racks to surface for further investigation. The device is also equipped with sensors to collect essential data for oyster farming
- What are the questions this work is asking? What new knowledge are you creating? The monitoring of underwater infrastructures are often costly and limited in the context of small scale - low budget implementation. This device attempts to offer low budget and interactive opportunities for small scale monitoring of underwater objects/ infrastructures.
- How are you going to test your assumptions? A miniature model of the floating platform was built with timber sticks and high-density foam. The mechanism of the salvage device was only represented with sticks and strings, and was not put in action. A small scale prototype will be built in successive stages.
- How to maintain your device? The device in theory is easy to maintain. It can be dis-assembled easily thus outdated parts can be changed with little effort.
- What do you think are the strongest and the weakest points in your project now? The device is perfect for undersea inspection.
- What construction technique are you using? low budget: bamboo scaffolding structure; steel structure
- Who uses it? Can you draw a particular user? Can you describe to me that user, how they look, your assumption on their backgrounds, abilities, preferences, and what drives them?
The users shall be researchers - particularly marine biologist, environmental activist, and people
- What are the benefits users can get from the device?
- What problems does your design cause?
- How do you operate and maintain this installation?
- How do people get on board? The device can be attached to a boat, thus people can get on board in any peris
- How much weight can you carry?
- How to maximum efficiency and convenience for the user
- Are there simpler ways to achieve the objective?
- Are there other possible use for clean seawater filtered by oysters?
- How long will it be in the water? Any duration
Health & Safety
- Is it stable? Safe? ship survivability？ Depending on the numbers of floating platoon; object salvaged, numebr of people on board, weather and wind load
- Is the device safe and environmental friendly to the ocean. If the budget is constructed by bamboo, it can achieve nearly net zero embedded carbon
Materials, process, scale
- What is the scale and materials? Where and how is it built? Where do the materials come from? Where do the materials go after it’s used/broken? Materials can be salvaged from discarded construction site's bamboo scaffolding
- What materials would you use? Where do you source it? Once used, where does it go?
- is it recyclable？ yes
- How long does the project take to be complete: build, bring on site and board? The platform can be erected within days, while teh installation of high tech devices such as the PV pannels and the 'crane'
- How to mass produce the device?
- Where does the installation get its energy from? renewable energy sources such as solar energy.
- Is it sustainable and how? yes it is sustainable
- Is your installation amicable to all marine lives? yes.
- How does it work? Especially the biology of it?
- Which other species will naturally be attracted to the oyster reef there, such as crabs, fish, mussels, algae and other species?
- Where do you think this installation would be? Choose a very specific site in Hong Kong waters. Why there? Tell me the characteristics of the place: water depth, tide, current, wave, closest port, fauna and flora, people and industries nearby. The device is perfect to be put in the waters of the lau fou shan area. The area is famed for its oyster industry. The device can monitor water quality and other essential data. The device can also monitor the growth of the oysters.
- Will it be influenced by the weather condition? Yes it will.
- Does your device perform differently when in different geographic environments(for instance, near shore, in shallow water, and in distant seawater)? In theory it will perform the same unless in really shallow water.
- Is it cost-effective? yes
- Is it possible to be mass-produced? bamboo: no ; steel: yes
- What is the product / outcome of this installation? Who benefits from it? What is the business model of this? The outcome of the installation will allow deeper understanding of the regional waters. Such data are crucial for growing healthy and sustainable oyster reefs.