> The Seasteading Concept - part 1

Seasteading is an unexplored concept despite the creation of a thematic institute in 2008. Turn utopias (physical or not) into reality requires money, advanced technology and especially a radical openness to new ideologies, what means flexibility to governmental and legal constraints. So, what is the most freest place in the world to put in practice new ideas, new systems, new worlds? Yes, the ocean, outside the Exclusive Economic Zones. There are some great examples of how to take advantage of this territory not claimed by any nation. The organization Women on Waves performs medical abortions by bringing women from countries with very restrictive laws to its ship. Pirate radios like Radio Veronica broadcast from ships or maritime platforms. And some micro-nations has been created in abandoned structures, like Sealand (photo above) near United Kingdom, or in small islands, as the Caribbean Redonda. 

However the Seasteding Institute wants to go further, by studying the possibilities of experimenting and developing new political systems in oceanic cities. Peter Thiel (Paypal co-founder), like almost everyone, is discontented with current forms of governance and invested half a million dollars on the institute, initially planned by Patri Friedman (yes, Nobel winner's grandson). As a result, it has been produced curious projects by contest, of permanent dwellings mainly installed in abandoned oil platforms, but also in cruise ships or modular islands. The following 'seasteds' were awarded by the institute.

"The Swimming City (images above and below) is a vibrant seastead design from András Gyõrfi that looks like a section of a traditional city that was cut from its surroundings and relocated to the sea. The traditional architecture and familiar city structure give it the type of familiarity that would make it easy to live in for former land-dwellers. (...) The “city” is actually the size of a single neighborhood, so imagine a network of these communities, each supported on its own four pillars just above the water, forming a true city of the sea."

"The Rendering Freedom (image below) by Anthony Ling is not only about building a city for today, but about leaving open the possibilities for growth and change in the future. Modular construction on a stationary platform would mean that changing and adding to the existing buildings would be simple. The buildings themselves are even further elevated to help protect them from large waves."

"Emerson Stepp wanted to convey a sense of luxury to help ease the adjustment from living on land to life at sea. The Oasis of the Sea (image below) was meant to harmonize with the surroundings without simply fading into the background. The seastead’s architecture is designed to withstand the incredibly harsh environment that would plague an ocean colony, but the lush vegetation and organic design would help to make residents feel less like they live on a platform in the middle of a strange environment."

"Designed with sea-worthiness in mind, this enclosed city (SESU Seasted) (image below) from designer Marko Järvela uses thermal and functional zoning in its layered interior to keep utility consumption down. Passive solar design principles are also in use to take advantage of the ocean sunshine. Inside the enclosure, extensive vegetation cleans the air, improves the aesthetics of the seastead and provides food for the residents."


"From the five-man Team 3DA, Refusion (image below) challenges the public to think differently about seasteads in general. They don’t have to be industrial and boring or outlandishly futuristic; they can be functional and beautiful, and they come with a unique set of advantages. Being out in the sea means near-complete freedom and independence. For ocean researchers, a permanent seastead research environment affords an unprecedented amount of data collection opportunities."

"At The Seasteading Institute, we work to enable seasteading communities — floating cities — which will allow the next generation of pioneers to peacefully test new ideas for government. The most successful can then inspire change in governments around the world."

(projects description taken from WebUrbanist)
(The Seasteading Institute website)
(promotional video about The Seasteading Institute)
(Sealand official website)
(Kingdom of Redonda official website)

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