Searle Design Group has been engaging in research on climate change and how it impacts Rhode Island. Last September SDG designed and built an educational installation about sea level rise in the ocean state for PARK(ing) day Providence. During the event, SDG spoke to many community members about their hopes and concerns for the future of the Ocean State. This inspired a deeper investigation into the unique challenges Rhode Island will face as sea level continues to rise and climate patterns change. This expanded research has resulted in the development of a catalogue of design strategies for coping with sea level and flooding as well as a matrix of applications for these strategies.
Our conclusion so far - our little state needs to start thinking a lot bigger. This means shifting the conversation from one about sustainability (the static maintenance of existing conditions), to one about resiliency (the dynamic ability to recover faster and better from disaster), and thinking systematically to plan for worst-case scenarios.