The University of California Irvine is the newest partner to join MCST with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in discussion.
Orthogonal: Design, Build, Sail with a Dash of Anthropology.
Orthogonal seeks to leverage some of the unique design qualities of Micronesian voyaging canoes to develop a new kind of sailcraft, exploiting modern, but largely sustainable, materials. Orthogonal in conceived in a technological "middle way" to exploiting advantages of modern materials but designed to be built on a beach with simple hand tools. Orthogonal also seeks new design solutions for shunting sailplans. The goal is to design and build fast, cheap, easy to build and maintain, easy to sail, safe, ocean going sailcraft of a range of sizes for inter island travel and trade, fishing and other uses. We are now well into the Orthogonal project and have a 30’ outrigger craft mostly built. I’d like to explore the possibility of building such craft with island communities.
Prof Simon Penny is a senior interdisciplinary professor at UCI, his research and teaching focus on radical design, artisanal making and sustainability, embodied cognition and Oceanic anthropology. He has a longtime engagement with environmental issues and alternative technologies and is also a lifelong sailor.
Last October Professor Penny ran an interdisciplinary conference called An Ocean of Knowledge: Traditional Seafaring, Sustainability and Cultural Survival, Sites.uci.edu/ok17 with support from NSF and UCI Oceans Institute among others. Prof Penny recently spent time in Micronesia and is deeply involved with the struggle to save and resuscitate traditional seafaring technologies and techniques in the Pacific, including contributing to a petition to UNESCO to list these traditions as Intangible Cultural Heritage.