A Future Afloat

Invention as a Child of Necessity

We all have seen Waterworld. I mean … haven’t we? I saw it in theaters when I was 18 years old and that was the first and last time I saw Waterworld. Some things about the movie make me very uncomfortable, like the idea of living on water when I suffer from motion sickness or the idea that Kevin Costner drank his own, purified urine (shudder). Should I mention the scene where his girlfriend wakes up with a sack over her head, freaks out and Costner knocks her out with a paddle? I think that is where I psychologically checked out.

Scientists have confirmed that ocean levels are rising and the ice caps are melting and coastal lines are eroding … we didn’t start the fire, but it was always burning, since the world’s been turning ….

We didn’t start the fire but we have to take responsibility and buck up to the fact that the world may not be livable. Sure it’s frightening and I am sure right now you want to click on over to Facebook or Instagram or anything but this. I get it, trust me. My boyfriend coaxes me back into bed some nights with dark chocolate and scalp massages just so I don’t freak out at my computer past 10:30pm. That way he can actually sleep before work in the morning.

Don’t be scared. Read on. Learn.

A few smart folks got together and made something wonderful –not for the rich people, not for the famous people, but for the kids.

This floating school was constructed in Makoko, a slum neighborhood in Lagos, Nigeria. The fantastic A-shape structure was designed and constructed by Mr. Kunle Adeyemi, a Nigerian architect. The first floor is a playground, the second a classroom and the third floor, closest to the sky, is an open air classroom. The school itself floats on plastic barrels, found trash that was reused and incorporated into the project.  It is designed to catch rainwater and utilize solar energy so the children will never be without electricity. You see? Humans aren’t so stupid after all. We can do it!

7jsGGcF6zhNp6iHq7z7lZGdQnz2hSnbxYLne_YQN_XU According to the ArchDaily: “Largely a self-sustaining, self-governing fishing community, this past summer the Lagos government destroyed and evicted residents to seize property for redevelopment along the waterfront.  What the future of Makoko will be is unclear – by political or environmental standards.  But NLE’s design and development of a sustainable floating community and its UN support indicates that the community is looking forward to adapting a resilience to its architecture.”

So the people lost. And then they were found. Upon completion, approximately 100 children will have access to an education in a self-sustaining school.

“NLE Architects, with sponsoring from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Heinrich Boell Foundation from Germany, designed the Makoko Floating School, phase one of a three-phase development that will become a floating community of interlocked and floating residences,” claims the ArchDaily.

“Phase two includes the construction of floating housing units that can be interlocked or float independently. Following the same aesthetic and functional principles as the school, the houses will also contain a state-of-the-art device designed by Japanese company (air danshin systems inc) that detects certain movements (such as earthquake tremors) and activated a compressor that pumps air into a chamber below the structure so that the dwellings may navigate safely over a flood plain. The final phase will see the creation of an entire floating community fully equipped to deal with flooding problems while maintaining an improved quality of life. Scheduled for completion for the end of 2014, the master plan is expected to mark a new wave in resilient architecture in high-water zones,” says DesignBoom.com.

This may be a glimpse into our future– an existence solely on water, so the human race can survive floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters. It doesn’t seem so bad when looking at the photos of the floating school– communities locking fingers and drifting over water, like floating flower blossoms; a human existence in rhythm with the Earth instead of against it. For once we would be smart about what we made, acknowledging what we were facing and investing in a future. Or are we?

UTBMas4aAPCBQPynr_y5f-M73zDgUrn0rzcsUjk_6UQ“Commissioner for Waterfront and Infrastructure Development, Prince Adesegun Oniru disclosed this on Thursday at a ministerial press conference, saying that the floating school was illegal as it had no approved plan,” says Kazeem Ugbodaga of PM News Nigeria.

The government plans to demolish the Floating School.

“It’s been illegal from day one. He waited until there was legal issue in the Makoko area before he started putting the school up. We were not going to do things against the law which would have been seen as contempt of court, so he carried on and brought in CNN to show the illegal floating school. Once things are sorted out, we would do what we have to do. If he {has} money to waste, let him continue, we would do what we have to do,” says Prince Oniru according to PM News Nigeria.

So the fire burns on and on,

Arm yourselves. This is worth fighting for.

ASEliHNaPNExsYxkDvEk“Last year, we presented the floating schools of Bangladesh supported by the non-profit Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha run by architect Mohammed Rezwan. Meanwhile, Dutch-based practice Waterstudio has developed numerous innovative solutions to building and designing offshore homes and developing emergency housing,” published ArchDaily.

“Mr. Paul Okunlola, architect and Programme Officer of UNHabitat, said the initiative was part of fulfilling the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, as well as part of steps to upgrade slums across the world,” wrote Tunde Akingbade of The Guardian.

Floating schools, Boston bombs, Cleveland slaves, Shot Moms.

Barack Obama, Nancy Grace, Jodi Arias …

American drones, England thrones,

Gay rights, gays fight,

Tornados, speedos, Hey Bro, sports blow,

We didn’t start the fire,

No we didn’t light it,

But let’s try to fight it.

All photos by NLE

Vita Lusty

Vita Lusty

Vita Lusty studied at Evergreen State College and later received her Master’s in Film Production at Chapman University. Currently, she is working on her second Master’s degree in Creative Writing at Antioch University Los Angeles. She is an actress, a dog-walker and rescues pit bulls. She loves classic rock, France, Hunter S. Thompson, and vegan food that looks and tastes like junk food. She lives in Los Angeles with her three dogs and very patient boyfriend.

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Vita Lusty

Author: Vita Lusty

Vita Lusty studied at Evergreen State College and later received her Master's in Film Production at Chapman University. Currently, she is working on her second Master's degree in Creative Writing at Antioch University Los Angeles. She is an actress, a dog-walker and rescues pit bulls. She loves classic rock, France, Hunter S. Thompson, and vegan food that looks and tastes like junk food. She lives in Los Angeles with her three dogs and very patient boyfriend.

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