ACIE or Aqua-farmer Community & Interactive Experiences, is virtual reality shopping platform that builds relationships between salmon farmers and consumers through transparency, choice and immersive interaction.


Collaboration: Guardian, Future Weather System, MET Office

Type of Work: Design Research

Team: Kel Jackson, Jing Xue, Qingfan An, Sharon

My Role: Researcher, Co-leader, Graphic Designer

How can design foster socio-political and technological economies that tackle the ocean’s human, climatic and governmental challenges?

The aim of this project seeks to deliver design interventions that, building from a particular issue outlined by the literature review and research, demonstrate how the leverage points make this model operative through the combination of products, services and infrastructure.


After carefully analysed collected information, we identified that by implementing transparency as leverage point will have a vast potential for positive impacts on the local aqua-farmer community as well as ocean's ecological and environment system. 


As a group of three designers, we proposed an e-commerce platform that aimed at creating transparency between farmers and the public. To enable transparency between small scale aqua-farmers and the public, we encourage consumers to purchase farmed fisheries straight from local sustainable farmers via the social network, which will broaden the consumption of seafood specie as well as influencing changes in consumer behaviour towards sustainable ocean development.

Identifying Intervention Point

Aquaculture is increasingly drawing attention from different sectors all over the world. In 2017, the global fish market was valued at over 12.5 billion dollars with an expectation of 15.5 billion dollars by 2023, and a compound annual growth rate of 3.6% . Moreover, statistic shows that in 2016 seafood across the world currently making up over 27.6% of the animal protein we eat, and according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nation (FOA) statics, offshore Aquaculture production has the potential of reaching up to 68% in 2030.

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Identifying Intervention Point

However, aquaculture industry is highly dominated by large corporations, especially for offshore farming, which makes transparency into the system almost impossible . The power these companies held locally and globally makes it very difficult to hold them accountable for sustainable fishery resources. For instance, shrimp draggers drag for shrimps as well as by-catcher (which is made of a vast amount of other unwanted sea-creatures) then packed and shipped to aquaculture farms to feed salmons or other farmed fisheries. Furthermore, raising fish on a global scale often means that a fish often raised regionally, then flash-frozen and sent to developing countries for processing due to lower labour costs . The average farmed fish often travels approximately 5,000 miles before it ends at the grocery store . This practice of shipping seafood for processing creates a huge carbon footprint.


As a result, this unified system left small aquaculture farmers financially vulnerable and difficult to survive . To dismantle the system, we started with a transition design approach where we collected and analysed the current aquaculture industry from five sectors, specifically, technical, sociological, economic, political, and environmental aspects, in order to identify stakeholder concerns, relations and expectations. Then we represented it from a causal perspective that to be more aware of the internal structural forces between each stakeholder .

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Key Learning

  • Changing the governance of the industry's value chains could contribute to the sociological and environmental development;

  • Implementing small changes or innovation within one group of individuals could significantly impact on their social behaviours.

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