Back to All Events

Ecotopian Toolkit for Wetland: Cecily Anderson and Joanne Douglas

After a successful 2016 pilot The PPEH Lab at Wetland returns as the focus of our Ecotopian Tools for WetLand public event series. Seven winning artists will facilitate community events to jam out prototypes for living on warmer waters, and your contributions are desired!

On Saturday, June 6, micro-grant winner Cecily Anderson will collect input for a map of the changing Lower Schuylkill River and Joanne Douglas will lead a workshop about using textiles to register change in the tidal environment at Bartram Garden's annual River Fest.

Read more about our adventures on our Floating Wetland blog!

This spring, several art and design installations will extend from Bartram's Garden Community Boathouse. Moored to the banks, and addressing the shoreline, they aim to influence the surrounding area. These installations are the result of an environmental design competition - Ecotopian Tools for WetLand - which began as a call for proposals and juried selection process. Winning toolmakers include Cecily Anderson, Joanne Douglas, Carolyn Hesse, Gabriel Kaprielian, Mandy Katz, Jacob Rivkin and Eric Blasco. Projects are situated to buoy the legacies of Bartram's Garden and WetLand - a boat that serves as a gathering place, art project and science lab- and timed to jibe with the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities' Ecotopian Toolkit conference, April 13-15

These prototypes for ecotopian tools will introduce strategies for inhabitants of the Lower Schuylkill watershed to consider as we learn to adapt and, in some cases, to float on warmer waters. Cecily Anderson will develop a map of the Lower Schuylkill that is receptive to user's inputs. Joanne Douglas will use fibers and dyes to register environmental information along the river bank. Carolyn Hesse will adapt a floating, mirror-like installation that will animate the river's surface. Mandy Katz plans to develop a comprehensive field guide to plants of the Lower Schuylkill in consultation with the Philadelphia Botanical Society. Gabriel Kaprielian will create floating habitat pods that cultivate plants and attract river-dwelling animals. Jacob Rivkin and Eric Blasco will build a "bio-pool" - a passive floating form that will cleanse the river water it gathers. 

A series of weekend workshops at Bartram's Garden from April 29-June3 will feature each tool with the aim of promoting stewardship of the Lower Schuylkill River in and around Bartram’s Garden. Through these public events and related programs of PPEH, we invite you to participate in exploring how we all might learn to float–and to live and thrive–on warming and rising river waters. Climate prediction models agree that Philadelphia is becoming hotter and wetter. How can we best adapt to the higher temperatures and other extreme weather events that increasingly make up the new normal?  

To learn more about WetLand, read the Press Release, review Instructions for Living with WetLand and its Emergency Operations Procedures handbook.