Following findings from a study published in the Nature Ecology & Evolution journal this April, it has become public knowledge that the phenomenon dubbed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (an area of 620,000 square miles between California and Hawaii) is serving as host to an entire coastal ecosystem. Marine wildlife is using the massive area compiled of human plastic waste as a floating habitat, and scientists are shocked at the number of species that have managed to establish life in this otherwise hostile environment.
The news once again brings into sharp focus not only pressing issues of climate change and ocean pollution but also the question of environmentally-induced migration, even at a microbial level. Architecture is moving into more and more experimental realms when it comes to considering locations for the communities of our future – and rising sea levels have promoted water to the top of the list. But these deliberations are not as recent as one might think: floating cities have been around for centuries and individual homes on water are common in areas of Benin, Peru or Iraq, among others.