Ocean Rising Brings High Fashion to Sea

Ocean Rising is an initiative of SOI and Nekton to deepen people’s relationship with the Ocean by galvanizing connections and tangible initiatives within significant sections of global culture from the arts, fashion, sport, music, gaming, film, literature, and food amongst others. Ocean Rising is currently focused on music and fashion, resulting in several exciting collaborations, including bringing fashion designers onboard R/V Falkor (too).  

Artist-at-Sea Pei-Wen Jin speaks to chief scientist Laura Simon Sanchez.

During the Dynamics of Sinking Microplastics expedition in August, SOI hosted independent sustainable fashion designer Pei-Wen Jin,  the winner of the 2021 Redress Design Award and Emerging Designer Award. Pei-Wen, based in Taiwan, has a research-driven design process, including strong development in pattern making, and is actively involved in a research project with the Environmental Protection Agency in Taiwan. During her time on Falkor (too), Pei-Wen sketched design concepts while learning about the presence of microplastics at sea. Pei-Wen recognizes that the garment industry is one of the world’s leading plastic polluters and that 80% of the fashion industry’s environmental impact begins at the design process. As a designer, she aims to eliminate waste from the start while also investigating solutions for effective recycling.

Artist-at-Sea Pei-Wen Jin’s fashion sketches of the crew aboard R/V Falkor (too) during the Dynamics of Sinking Microplastics expedition.
Artist-at-Sea Shan Hua sculpts a piece that she will then 3D scan, and use the rendering as a base-model to change using VR. Once the VR creation is complete, she will 3D print it.

Shan Hua, Digital Art Winner of the Vogue China Fashion Fund, and Vogue China Videographer Augrey Siegal also joined the expedition. Shan’s work revolves around the symbiotic relationship between natural forms and human emotions and reflects on our roles. While onboard, Shan worked in virtual reality to design a creature based on the CTD, which she then brought into the physical realm with a 3D printer. Audrey Siegal captured Shan’s time onboard for a Vogue China short documentary. 

Beyond hosting members of the fashion community onboard R/V Falkor (too), Ocean Rising teamed up with the world-renowned fashion designer Jenny Packham to promote Ocean awareness. Packham, known for dressing royals like Princess Kate and celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker and Paris Hilton, created a 2024 resort collection inspired by the Ocean.

Peerside Launches New Diversity Program for Maritime Career Training at the Florida Institute of Oceanography

OI is thrilled to support Peerside, a new career-development program out of the Florida Institute of Oceanography (hosted by University of South Florida) aimed at increasing diverse participation in the ocean sciences. Peerside launched this summer and utilizes a year-long cohort model to introduce participants to Ocean careers.

The donated research vessel Western Flyer is being used by Florida Institute of Oceanography to create a new model for ocean science education. The program, called Peerside, is launching this summer with a select group of postsecondary students who will explore careers in ocean science, develop beneficial industry connections and conduct ship-to-shore research. Funding for this new at-sea ocean STEM program is supported by the Schmidt Ocean Institute and Schmidt Family Foundation.

In addition to receiving mentorship from scientists and mariners, Peerside participants will spend one week onboard the R/V Western Flyer, donated in July to the Florida Institute of Oceanography by MBARI. R/ V Western Flyer served as MBARI’s flagship research vessel for twenty-five years and now embarks on a new chapter of inspiring the next generation of ocean scientists and mariners.

The Florida Institute of Oceanography hosted a welcome and homeporting celebration for the vessel, which was attended by dignitaries from around the country and university officials. In addition to Florida Institute of Oceanography’s Director, Dr. Monty Graham, attendees included the University of South Florida’s president, Dr.  Rhea Law, Office of Naval Research’s Director of Ocean Battlespace Sensing, Dr. Tom Drake, MBARI’s Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives,  Dr. Heidi Cullen, SOI’s Executive Director, Dr. Jyotika Virmani, and SOI Advisory Board Member and Director of the National Ocean Partnership Program, Dr. Alan Leonardi.

“Schmidt Ocean Institute is delighted to support this program that will work towards education and training for a more robust ocean science workforce,” said Dr. Virmani in a press statement. “Early-career experiences at sea are important for inspiring and encouraging the next generation of scientists, maritime professionals, and educators.”

We invite you to share the newsletter with your friends and encourage them to subscribe, so they do not miss our first look at Schmidt Ocean Institute’s activities.

Chapter 5 Newsletter – 2023 • Menu
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