Waste Knots

Aquaponic Slalom Course

A Proposal for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan
Princeton University SoA, Fall 2012

Crocheted Chitosan Models Slolam Course Plan + PerspectiveCrocheting Hyperbolic Surfaces 
Fish Waste x Aquaponic Systems

Geometric Variation and Fluid Dynamics
This project identifies two imperfect systems of material flow within the city and proposes a solution that connects the two components into one ameliorated life cycle. The first aspect of material flow research involves the use of fish waste products in Japan. Japan is the largest consumer of fish cultures in the world and has thus a large opportunity to both propose new uses for fish waste as well as alternative methods of fish production. The other aspect of material flow has to do with inefficiencies in the Olympic canoe kayak slalom venue. The venue’s short lifespan during the Olympics begs the consideration of a possible afterlife. The infrastructural properties of the slalom course lends itself to the establishment of an experimental water ecosystem that can give relief to overfishing and offer alternative methods of fish production, i.e. an aquaponic fishery.

The symbiosis of fish waste systems and aquaponic cultures is achieved through the exploration of crochet as a tensegrity model. Crochet offers the ability to organize linear material into non-linear geometry while retaining a rare degree of flexibility and pliancy. Its organization of individual units (knots) into complex surfaces (i.e. hyperbolic) allows for articulation to engage at highly specific levels as well as at broad geometric and performative criteria. One specific material to come from fish waste, Chitosan, is a new supermaterial that is often used as a non-invasive plant growth enhancer. As the proposed crocheted material, chitosan closes the loop between fish waste, aquaponics, and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

For Tokyo 2020, the canoe kayak slalom venue will be held in Kasai National Park. Each summer Olympics holds only four canoe and kayak slalom events in total, which renders the sport highly inefficient in terms of cost and resources. The project proposes to convert the slalom course into an experimental aquaponic fishery. The aquaponic fishery would take advantage of the infrastructure already established by the Olympic events. A crocheted surface would be the medium through which the venue could successfully transform from one function to the other. The use of chitosan as the crocheted material would also complete the material cycle of optimizing the use of fish waste within the city.