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Catching a Wave

There is an ever-evolving need for new ideas about sustainable development in a world of constantly shifting biophysical and social realities. This is especially pertinent in coastal land and seascapes: spaces where a myriad of societal activities and productive and dynamic natural systems co-exist.

Catching a Wave (CaW), an iterative sea-level rise multi-media installation, has brought together a research consortium from four universities based in the United States, United Kingdom, and Ireland. CaW was deliberately conceptualized to act as a catalyst for constructing a transdisciplinary approach for shifting individual and collective mind-sets toward action for more sustainable oceans and coasts and the people who live, work, and interact within these spaces.

Focused on five SDGs; SDG13: Climate Action and SDG14: Life below Water, SDG3: Good health and wellbeing; SDG15: Life on Land; and SDG17: Partnerships for the Goals. CaW was designed to increase awareness and resonance of the SDGs and oceanscapes with multiple audiences.

While CaW specifically set out to transform the way in which actors, stakeholders, and society interact with ocean and coastal spaces, the process of message development has remained dynamic and driven by an iterative co-design process Catching a Wave engages both artists and scientists to generate collaborative pathways for sustainability action.

Designed to move the conversation beyond a ‘service mentality’ of separate product delivery into the development of transdisciplinary collaborations, this integrated, interactive, and immersive project, Catching a Wave, demonstrates the power and synergies between art and science, and further the evolution of a model for collaboration by identifying challenges to integration.

capturing images of the wave
The process of wave capture from technical through digital and physical forms (i) Camera rig designed for photographing the water, (ii) the resulting digital image of captured wave and (iii) a glass wave from above.

Further reading:

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Shona Koren Paterson
Dr Shona Koren Paterson - Building on an academic transdisciplinary background in Natural Sciences (Marine Biology, Resource Management) and Social Sciences (Climate Adaptation, Social Justice, Environmental Policy), Shona’s guiding focus remains the generation and translation of defensible research informed by the needs of society and co-created with the intended beneficiaries. Her research is motivated by international frameworks such as the UN 2030 Agenda, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the COP21 Paris Agreement. She has spent her working career building partnerships and knowledge exchange networks with local communities and stakeholders to achieve mutually beneficial social and ecological goals. With a special interest in marginalised communities and social justice and equity, Shona’s recent research has focused on global flood risk and resilience, climate risk assessments, adaptation and adaptive capacity in urbanising coastal areas.  Embracing a transdisciplinary approach, Shona works at the interface of science-policy as well as effective and fit-for-audience communication of data and knowledge to ensure increased impactful discourse around risk. She has research experience in the Caribbean, USA, UK and Ireland, as well as a global perspective through involvement with Future Earth and its associated global research project Future Earth Coasts.  

Related Research Group(s)

woman in slums

Equitable Development and Resilience - Centred on development and social justice issues, our group continually reflects upon how individual and collective agency can contribute to meaningful change around climate action and sustainability across Global North and South nations.

Partnering with confidence

UKRI Research England

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.

Project last modified 31/05/2023