Swamp Thing

Researched, planned and designed for a thesis project, Swamp Thing is the product of several social and design problems facing degrading ecosystems. Many species face extinction; awareness can be brought through design (eco-tourism). The Swamp Thing project is focused in the wetlands of South Florida, aimed to bring attention to degrading populations of rare orchids and animals. The site was carefully researched and surveyed several times in order to obtain a solid understanding of its needs. The structure is a mobile unit that is assembled on-site that can withstand changing water levels. It provides a minimal impact lightweight shelter for researchers, campers, bird watchers, etc.

The structure provides a waypoint or destination for the user, highlighting the environment around it. The design is based off Buckminster Fuller’s tensegrity structure. The main advantage of this design is the lightweight design combined with its minimal, yet highly efficient use of materials. The disadvantage of the original tensegrity design is the deployability, which was one of the major hurdles of this new design. A working scale model was designed and built in order to illustrate its deployability. Working robotics are programmed into the model to fully automate and synchronize the erection process.