Which aspects of home compel people to remain when that home's inundation is inevitable? Is it the material reality of home as a building? The social structures and relationships embedded in the place? The place itself as a hallowed ground? The choice to stay is born of responsibility, desire, and commitment to preservation of self and of place.
Hypsography depicts an absolute understanding of the earth's surface. Admittedly abstract, the continuous representation of bathymetry and contour, (represented as a gradation from dark to light) repositions the z-dimension as a fluid and contiguous ground, effectively eliminating the definitive "edge" between land and water. Through this lens, one reestablishes an understanding of terra firma and aqua firma as a vertically layered, dynamic system; it displaces an accepted idea of them as two abutting horizontal environments. The density within the map represents the accumulation of human settlement; precariously they are often concentrated within littoral zones.
Male's bathymetry, typical of the country as a whole, fosters strong wave breaks due to the steep reef slope that surrounds it. While great for surfing, strong waves also overtop revetments and erode shores, challenging the casual nature of terrestrial life there. Yet the incessant barrage of waves also suggests an opportunity to exploit wave power for energy generation. On Male, waves arrive from the south and break most strongly on the eastern shore where the reef plateaus. The Gaadhoo Koa, as this channel is known, is rich with potential for design exploration. While the city's surrounding water is a constraint to sprawl and a danger to people and infrastructure in low-lying areas, it is also an opportunity to improve energy access and sustain housing demand.
Humankind's approach to establishing place is a complex of ordering, shaping, and making - resulting in seemingly homogenous desires of possession and ownership. Relative to our mammalian counterparts, humankind's disparate intentions of possession have culminated in a perverse human-centric approach to place: habitation and settlement in isolation from ecological systems. When parceled environments are conceived in isolation from the ecologies they exist within, a rift between human-centric settlement agendas and consequence is reinforced. Parceled urbanism overrides ecological networks with political, social, and economic agendas, thereby threatening its own sustained existence. While the frameworks responsible for urbanism's formal configurations are slow to change, today the surrounding environmental configurations are evolving at a rapid rate. Static principles of boundary, parcel, and property work in opposition to environments in constant flux, thus calling into question humankind's ability to frame the ecological agenda of our constructed habitats.