Adaptation(s) | Pratt Institute

Solar One Education CenterOCEANIX CITY By 2050, 90% of the world's largest cities will be exposed to rising seas. The vast majority of coastal cities will be impacted by coastal erosion and flooding, displacing millions of people while destroying homes and infrastructure. As part of UN-Habitat's New Urban Agenda, blue tech company OCEANIX and BIG proposed a blueprint vision for the world's first resilient and sustainable floating community for 10,000 residents: OCEANIX city. Designed as a man-made ecosystem, OCEANIX City is anchored in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, channeling flows of energy, water, food and waste to create a blueprint for a modular maritime metropolis. December 2021, OCEANIX City named Busan, South Korea as the site in which the blueprint be prototyped. OCEANIX City is designed to grow, transform and adapt organically over time, evolving from neighborhoods to cities with the possibility of scaling indefinitely. Modular neighborhoods of two hectares create thriving self-sustaining communities of up to 300 residents with mixed-use space for living, working and gathering during day and nighttime. All built structures in the neighborhood are kept below seven stories to create a low center of gravity and resist wind.


Pratt Institute’s Adaptation(s) brought together four exhibitions to highlight ideas around the intersection of architecture and climate at the Pratt house on Governors Island in New York City. Three of them are recapped below. The work presented spanned conceptual ideas to real world projects. From a purely visual experience, it was enjoyable to wander around the relic interior looking at precision crafted scale models of future architectural visions.

Emerging Currents, the exhibition by Pratt students offered the most forward looking vision of barnacle-like structures designed for the flood prone neighborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn. One project in particular defied the box with windows vernacular, instead anchored by enormous trumpet shaped rain collectors.

Where possible, project details are included in the caption of each photo.

Photos and Intro Text: Dave Pinter
Project descriptions: SO-IL, BIG, Pratt

SO-IL Grounding Adaptations

SO-IL: Grounding Adaptations – An exhibition looking at adapting buildings to have ground-like capacities by SO-IL including a selection of completed and upcoming projects from Brooklyn, Europe and beyond.

BIG – Adaptive Archipelago

BIG: Adaptive Archipelago – A series of strategies for adapting various existing anA series of strategies for adapting various existing and artificial archipelagos to our planet’s changing climate by BIG including a selection of completed and upcoming projects including models of the “Big U” under construction in NYC, Oceanix and its prototypes in Busan, Korea.

Emerging Currents

Emerging Currents collects directed research projects that address how the design of new urban fabrics engages issues that scale from global warming to Brooklyn’s rising waters, community building to embracing climate refugees. The title of this exhibition refers to planetary flows as much as it does to emerging alternatives for our dense and complex urban archipelago. The exhibited work from ms urban design showcases how these ideas could take form in Red Hook, Brooklyn

Full Description

Student Participants:

Afreen Anium Khan
Aryann Bhamare
Nilüfer Haciosmanoglu
Niva Shah
Param Patel
Safeerul Haque Syed
Shravya Muralidhar Ponnaluri
Shreya Purushottam Neurgaonkar

Cities worldwide face pressing challenges related to unprecedented urban population growth, constraints on environmental resources and disruptions caused by rapid technological change and increasingly unpredictable climate patterns. Density and the compactness of cities, balanced with regional carrying capacity, can help absorb urban migration, reduce environmental impact, and create economic opportunities.

The collective research explores the qualitative dimensions and interconnectedness of these challenges. It investigates new urban models and develops a spatial syntax that supports increasing density in existing cities. It explores what it means to work contextually, by creating contemporary programs, urban “interiors”, and a masterplan using a Brooklyn neighborhood as an urbanism laboratory.

The studio imagines the future form of cities and the parameters that drive urban design in a world in which disciplinary boundaries are shifting and where design will be associated with much more than the creation of space to include the ideation, creation, and maintenance of the complex systems underlying our contemporary economy and society.