Collaborators: Caleb Callaway, Louis Hand, Geneva Casalegno, and Will Riley
January 2021 - present

I am a founding member of a team of designers and engineers from RISD and MIT working towards making a more resilient and equitable future for the blue sector. We at SCUP Aquaculture propose a solution to a multifaceted problem of warming oceans, rising tensions in inter-sector competition for ocean space, and a hope to secure a resilient food future around the globe.

SCUP Aquaculture is an award-winning blue sector project working towards piloting the first multi-use co-leasing site for offshore wind farms and aquaculture farms to promote equity in the ocean space.

illustration by Kai Geitzen 

Problem scope: 

1. Climate change is threatening a secure food future.

    ︎︎︎ Climate change will impact our food systems and add to the growing food defecit.

       ︎︎︎ Agriculture experts and biologists see bivalve and mollusk shellfis as future foods as they are zero-input crops

    ︎︎︎ Bivalves and mollusks are corner stones of ocean health 

2. There are many inter-sector tensions in the ocean space that lead to inefficiency and inequality.

    ︎︎︎ Wind farm deployment is slowed down by inter-sector competition and costly tensions with other ocean users, as seen in Vineyard Wind’s $6.2 million compensation to the Fishermen’s Advisory Board in 2019. These conflicts also slow the growth of offshore wind farms and clean energy adoption.

    ︎︎︎ Competition from commercial fishermen and the growing number of offshore wind developments in the US make already valuable sites even scarcer. 

    ︎︎︎ Shellfish farms are running out of room in viable growing spaces near-shore and want to expand to offshore.

︎ Currently, this is not an efficient or equitable system. We see an opportunity to combine offshore wind and shellfish harvesting that is well supported by research and local interest.

diagram to visualize blue sector tension

All of these parties are sharing an important and vulnerable resource, so why not find a solution that benefits everyone and the environment?

Multi-use platforms and co-leasing sites respond to environmental change, contested space usage in offshore development, and the need for equity in ocean space.

Our solution is inspired by the growing need for a resilient food system in the face of climate change. We provide unique value by integrating ecologic, economic, and social value in one system that promotes equity for the ocean’s health and its users.

map of blue sector and solution rationale

Process & Method:
Our methodology is based in community-based and co-designed solutions. 

We believe sustainable practices minimize their negative impact on our planet and its people and have the ability to exist long into a changing and uncertain future. Our work prioritizes the growing need for climate justice in the blue sector by paving a path for the co-existence of industries that have historically competed against each other for use of ocean space.

Through this project, we will re-envision how ocean resources can be shared and how societal needs can be addressed through community-oriented design.

Dave at Point Judith Kelp Co.

As a business, we facilitate the process of use and logistics of managing these sites, a specialty that exists nowhere else. Multi-use sites lack widespread success due to the lack of structure around the complex relationships involved.

With our platform design in use, we serve to ensure the continued success of the system. In the coming year, we are seeking funding for our initial pilot program and testing, but our future revenue comes from the ongoing operation and management of the platforms in use.

Our key partners are blue sector businesses, lobbying bodies, government organizations, research institutions, and wind companies.

NOAA, American Mussel Harvesters, Point Judith Kelp Company, Everything Seaweed, Matunuck Oysters, Orsted, the Commercial Research Fishermen’s Foundation, the University of Rhode Island Ocean Management, and more. 


🏆 1st, BlueGreen Innovation Challenge 2021
🏅 People’s Choice Award, BlueGreen Innovation Challenge 2021
🎖 Finalist, Ocean Exchange 2021
🎖 Finalist, 5th Place, WEGE Prize 2022 
🎖 Semi-Finalist, Moonshot Award 2022

︎︎︎ RISD News
︎︎︎ SeaAhead News


RISD Industrial Design Triennial, 2022

our team <3