Myth of Flooding

This thesis aims to use programmatic and analogical thinking to design flood-resilient infrastructure and/or architectural devices, allowing Tuvaluans to continue to inhabit this disintegrating and shifting territory. Tuvalu is a low-lying coral reef Pacific Ocean, an island nation, found midway between Hawaii and Australia. IPCC scientists believe that this nation will be uninhabitable in the next 50 years due to the imminent threat of Climate Change-induced sea-level rise and volatile flooding.

This piece of work weaves contemporary defensive, embracive, and nomadic architecture, with Chinese traditional myths and militarized devices. Historically, flooding acts as an eraser of culture and urban fabric. Rather than totally obstructing flooding, the work partially invites water into the fabric of Funafuti Island, to enter the spatial interior, in a controlled way. And, by incorporating fragments of disappearing culture into the architectural devices, an innovative way to unfold and preserve essential historical knowledge for the future, is structured. Moreover, flooding is not merely a surface problem. The WWII US military-built runway disrupted the coral reef and water aquifer in Funafuti Island, indirectly magnifying salt-water intrusion and regional flooding. Thus, this proposal creates specific interventions and engages flood-induced issues such as water scarcity.

3D-modeling, mapping, and notation enrich the spatial relationships and expand the relational matter and conversations of the seascape, landscape, architecture, and the island’s resources. Tuvalu is a phosphate-rich island nation, forming from guano deposition. The potential of these kinds of economically significant resources, on the uninhabitable islands, may contribute to financing the built infrastructure to withstand the flooding. More broadly, the holistic lens of inspecting the situation enables us to frame the complexities of flooding in multi-dimensional ways. The diverse design approach engenders the increase of the resilience and adaptability of Tuvalu, critical in the uncertainty of increased flooding scenarios.
Faculty Advisor:
Perry Kulper