How do you make ideas reality?

How do you turn a great design into a reality? An artist can make the most beautiful flower, but what is the best way to copy that underwater, where resources are limited? Team Reefolution did a study on how best to use concrete and glass bottles to build our constructions.

Vera designing and drawing.

Meanwhile we have also developed some techniques and collected the materials we need to work with. How do you combine all that experience and knowledge into something workable? That requires some time and additional study. Luckily we have a very diverse team of volunteers to support us, from biology students to sculpture artists and professional welders. Every one of us has years of experience in his or her field and combined with the Internet we are far from running out of creativity.

Our prototype flower was a purely functional design to test different materials and techniques and aesthetics played a minor role. In the real CoralGarden functionality and aesthetics will go hand in hand and form a pleasing and effective reef. Besides attractiveness for marine life and providing a growth substrate there are a couple of things to keep in mind in the design fase:

-How to use as much local materials as possible and keep the costs low?
-How to safely and surely transport and install your statue?
-How to ensure the perseverance of your statue in hard times, like storms and strong currents?
-And of course, how to make it attractive for us humans as well?

Combining local glass bottles and concrete in a good design is one of the challenges.

Our flowers’ feet must be strong enough to support the weight of the leafs. But strong often also means heavy. That implies we will have to build up our statues from different pieces. In which case it is preferable to use as little tools etc. as possible. Working under water is quite difficult compared to working on land.

Our final design resembles a smooth cone. It consistst of several pieces that can be combined through a tongue and groove joint. The concrete will have to be poured into a mould. Square or rectangular moulds are easy enough to make. But how about rounded ones? We have some thinking sessions ahead of us!