top of page

The ephemerality of floating islands as an element for the design of water-adaptive infrastructures

Despina Linaraki

There is an increasing demand for creating designs that adapt to sea level changes and floods. Scientists and engineers around the world are particularly looking for solutions found in nature. Natural structures have the advantage of self-maintain, self-adapt and self-grow, without the need for funds, materials, technological and human resources. That being the case, this research is exploring the natural floating islands made of aquatic plants to propose design guidelines for water-adaptive infrastructures. This category of floating islands is a significant case study not only because of the natural buoyancy and physical adaptation to sea level changes but also because of their ephemeral character. The ephemerality refers to their living attributes as natural systems, their morphological alterations and their natural buoyancy. This research is comparing these attributes with contemporary designs to examine if ephemerality is the key to water adaptation.

KEYWORDS: Ephemerality, Architecture, Floating Islands, Water-Adaptive Design


Despina Linaraki is an Architect Engineer and Researcher. Currently, she is a PhD researcher at SeaCities, Cities Research Institute, Griffith University in Queensland. She has completed her Master of Science, 2015 from Columbia University in New York, at Advanced Architectural Design- Global Cities development. At the same time, she holds a Master of Architectural Engineering, 2013 from Technical University of Crete in Greece. Since 2014 she is a register Architect in Greece. Her main research interests are nature-based interdisciplinary solutions for the adaptation of cities to sea level changes and floods.

bottom of page