The effects of climate change are being felt worldwide, and the Shore Acres community in St. Petersburg, FL, is no exception to this. The Shore Acres neighborhood is already experiencing significant impacts of sea-level rise, and will be at even higher risk of experiencing its effects as time progresses. If we remain on our current trajectory, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that the area’s sea rise could reach over 9ft by 2100. This expected rise is nearly five times what the average sea level rise should be within that time frame, putting the neighborhood at risk. The way this information is presented often makes climate change a challenging topic for people to want to hear about or discuss, as it is usually spoken of in ways that make people feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed. This lack of conversation around such an important issue is a problem when trying to educate people about the future impact of climate change and how to become more resilient.
TIDAL sits at the entryway to the new Shore Acres Community Recreation Center in St. Petersburg, FL. The space is a communal hub where people in the neighborhood come together regularly to connect and engage with one another. The work was designed as an ever-changing community landmark that responds to the people, the surrounding landscape, and the interactions between them. The design of the form was generated using data from NOAA indicating the projected sea-level rise of nine feet relative to the resilient goal of a two-foot rise in the next seventy-eight years. TIDAL’s design utilizes the NOAA data, along with average tidal patterns of the area, to create a series of flowing pillars that reflect and refract the surrounding context. The pillars act like breaking waves along the main pathway leading people in and out of the building. These pillars are designed to act similar to a pier’s columns by becoming indicators of tidal change data and water rise over time.
TIDAL is made of recyclable polycarbonate and aluminum fabricated locally in St. Petersburg, FL to help mitigate the carbon footprint of the artwork. The work contains low-powered lighting and sits within a permeable planter bed to help with rainwater collection. TIDAL utilizes its playable design to spark an open dialogue to help us on the journey to a more resilient future for our planet.