Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Exploring the potential uses of ocean plastic and public engagement activities for raising awareness

Tao, Xingyu



Ocean plastic started to attract attention from many levels of society. Scholars have done geographical and quantitative research, but the research on the exploration of either ocean plastic as an accessible material or public perception towards ocean plastic has not been thoroughly examined. This practice-based research will explore to what extent this gap will be addressed by conducting a series of actions related to design and public engagement.
This research is multidisciplinary – it uses theories and literature to explore ocean plastic as a global issue but also uses science to examine the qualities and properties of ocean plastic as well as sociological enquiry to raise awareness.
By reviewing the literature to understand the need for addressing ocean plastic chanllenge, the researcher finds complex meaning in ecological, economic and political agendas of ocean plastic. The study investigated the design potential of ocean plastic by applying conventional and digital methods in the polymer laboratory and design workshop. The laboratory experimentation with recycling ocean plastic includes mainly Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) and Polystyrene (PS), collected on the beaches in Scotland. The context of ocean plastic is reframed through working with people with various backgrounds to raise the public awareness of ocean plastic and encourage the public to take actions to recycle ocean plastic in the future. The participants were shown the prototypes/ results from the experiments at the same time interacted with them. These objects are deployed as tokens with the potential to represent the experience of involving into protecting the marine environment. The researcher kept in touch with some participants to track their behaviours towards ocean plastic after the workshop and analysed the extent to which their perception of ocean plastic had changed. In this way, the researcher can make materials which encapsulate the sense of experience, memory, care, awareness and dissemination for the public.

Presentation Conference Type Poster
Conference Name Cumulus Roma 2021: Design Culture(s)
Start Date Jun 8, 2021
End Date Jun 11, 2021
Deposit Date Sep 29, 2022
Public URL