Oyster Rafts | 蠔木筏

image
image

The challenge

  • Oyster farming industry has been here in Hong Kong for more than 700 years, it has been introduced by people from Shajing (Nowadays Shenzhen). Lau Fau Shan is know for producing 'golden oysters' due to its perfect water quality and seabed for growing oysters.
  • The competition in Lau Fau Shan also led to overcrowding in the Lau Fau Shan area and Deep water bay, the oyster farms put huge pressure on the ecosystem.
  • Lau Fau Shan area is filled with oyster farms in the center of the sea, and most oyster farms are too large and immobile to move around.
  • My design target to spread out the oyster farms in Lau Fau Shan to other areas of the sea and reduce competition in the Lau Fau Shan area.

Questions

  • Is it possible to divide oyster farms to smaller parts to provide the farm with mobility?
  • Can the smaller oyster farms be used as a raft/boat while preserving its original purpose?
  • Can the rafts be rented out to tourists as another source of income for the oyster farmers?
  • How to keep the transformation cost low? Is this idea appealing to the oyster farmers?
  • Are the rafts hard to control? Is it safe?
  • What are the target groups? Tourists? Students? Families? Fisherman?
  • Do the oysters attract fishes around the oyster rafts?
  • Can Oysters act as a filter to cleanse the seawater?
  • Oyster Rafts "蠔木筏" Give oyster farms the ability to split up and connect, which can help spread out the oyster farms in Lau Fau Shan.
  • Reduce competition between oyster farmers.
  • provides the oyster farmers with another source of income.
  • Promote and educate people about Oyster farming industry.
  • Expand oyster farm from Lau Fau Shan area to other parts of Hong Kong.
  • Oyster as a way to filtrate Hong Kong seawater.

Sketches

Question-driven design

User, community

  1. 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?
    1. Tourists traveling to Hong Kong that want to enjoy the view of Hong Kong shoreline.
    2. Families or students that want to explore nature on weekends and holidays.
    3. People that enjoys fishing or rafting.

Geography

  1. 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.
  2. Will it be influenced by the weather condition?
    1. This design helps the oyster farmers to prevent typhoon and other weather damage to the oyster farm. It gives the oyster farm the mobility to move around when the typhoon hits Hong Kong.
  3. Does your device perform differently when in different geographic environments(for instance, near shore, in shallow water, and in distant seawater)?
    1. It can split into small rafts near the shoreline for tourists to move around and enjoy the view, it can also be tied up into a big floating platform in deep water to prevent the rafts floating away.

Money

  1. Is it cost-effective?
    1. Yes it is cost efficient, a oyster raft is made out of bamboo, barrows and strings, which only cost a few hundred Hong Kong dollars. If tourist rent a oyster raft for 100 hkd a day the oyster farm can start making profit in less than a week.
  2. Is it possible to be mass-produced?
    1. Yes it is possible to mass-produce the oyster rafts. The construction method for the oyster raft is extremely easy which can be easily done by the oyster farmer themselves.
    2. These individual oyster rafts can also be connected as one big raft when it is not rented out.
  3. What is the product / outcome of this installation? Who benefits from it? What is the business model of this?
    1. Tourism can be a second source of income for the oyster farmers.
    2. Oyster rafts used by tourist can cleanse the sea near Hong Kong which benefits the environment.