keeping you afloat.

Entry for the Architects without Borders – Ready to Rumble: Earthquake Awareness competition, which was featured in Occidental Park during the 2016 Seattle Design Festival. The competition challenged teams to propose life-saving tools, methods, systems, or products at any scale in order to provide Seattlites greater awareness to the seismic activity of the region and to better prepare them in the event of the “big one.”


01 Interaction

As a wireless access point and mobile charging station, every buoy serves as a watering hole, allowing people to refuel and engage in conversation in public.

02 Interaction

With augmented reality, each buoy is capable of educating the community on earthquake awareness through mobile interaction.

03 Relief

In the event of an disaster, each buoy is contains basic emergency supplies. Equipped with PV panels, buoys also maintain a self-sustained power supply.

EarthBuoy can be deployed in both an urban and rural setting. The modular design allows it size and supply cache to be customized to the community it serves.


A. Anodized Aluminum Pod Frame. Light-weight skeletal frame with reinforced bracing which transfers loads to composite core and shear lugs.

B. Exterior Pod Panel. Custom panel that provides for different buoy functions. See items J, K & L for additional details.

C. Light Emitting Diode (LED) Panel. Panels activate normally at sunset, but during an emergency will turn on immediately.

D. Supply and aid tray. Pods come equipped with trays, fully stocked with a predetermined cache of supplies. See item H.

E. Composite Traction Core. Reinforced concrete encased by C-Channels in a triangular welded arrangement.

F. Shear Lugs. Transfers lateral loads from module to module, and act as a network socket for inter-module communication and engagement.

G. Base Service Panel. Unlocked in the event of an emergency allowing for access to supplies within to first responders.

H. Supply Cache. Once supplies – water, blankets, first aid kits – are unloaded, empty tray is removed and next tray slides down into place.

I. Buoy Base. Functions as supply distribution point, battery housing for solar panel array, and mobile USB charging station.

J. Solar Panel. Provides self-sustaining solar energy for buoy, and supplies power for mobile USB charging at base.

K. Finish Panel. Customizable to fit within the context of the neighborhoods and communities in which the buoy resides.

L. Antenna Panel. Receives and transmits information along buoy network, and serves as WiFi antenna for free community internet access.

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