Project finds an opportunity in remote learning to restore coral in Miami's Biscayne Bay.

New York, NY July 28, 2020 // -- Working to address the critical need for remote learning during the Covid crisis, a group of artists and educators with unique, remotely accessible studios are stepping up to help universities -- and also potentially restore coral populations in Miami’s Biscayne Bay. The Digital Studio Project is helping schools retool for the pandemic crisis by providing remarkable online access to design and fabrication facilities around the world to universities this fall. The project works to turn the challenge of remote learning into an opportunity to connect students with rarely accessible tools and experiences through a digital platform.



One key project, 3D Printing Coral Restoration, puts together a monumental scale 3D printer with a unique art-science collaboration working to restore underwater coral reef structures in Miami’s Biscayne Bay. Coral Morphologic was founded in 2007 by marine biologist Colin Foord and musician J.D. McKay in Miami as a multi-faceted platform for the development of symbiosis between humans and coral.


The project seeks to create remote experiences that are truly active and inspiring. “Artist collaborations and cooperative projects help students think creatively about the use of new technologies. Our goal is to inspire students with meaningful and fulfilling projects. We are hoping to offer much more than a technical resource -- our goal is to keep students engaged,” says Marshall Birnbaum, the project art strategist.


The Digital Studio Project works to collect the most remarkable fabrication studios in the world and connect them to existing, accredited design programs through live, interactive participation. The project is also structured so that once Covid restrictions are lifted students can continue to work with the studios on more advanced and hands-on opportunities. In the case of Coral Morphologic, students participating remotely this fall will produce large 3D printed coral structure prototypes from special 3D printing medium formulated for coral propagation that will work underwater to host and proliferate the growth of new corals. Students will be able to travel to Miami next year to exhibit these prototypes, participate in the underwater installation, and study the results.


“We are working to design projects that provide students with remote learning experiences that are truly exceptional, as opposed to stop-gap solutions. We want to help motivate students to stay enrolled, give them crucial working skills, and engage with real-world projects they can follow through on as life returns to normal,” adds Birnbaum.


Inspired by a project this spring that facilitated a remote collaboration between a fiber-based robotic construction studio and the University of Pennsylvania School of Architecture, the project helps schools provide critical practical experiences for programs in fine arts, design, and architecture. The Digital Studio Project does not offer courses directly to students but instead provides resources to established universities.


The Digital Studio Project is currently soliciting schools to participate in 3D Printing Coral Restoration and several other studios. Schools or studio facilities that would like to participate can contact the Digital Studio Project at Contact@digitalstudioproject.com.




Listen here to a recent BBC feature on Coral Morphologic



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Digital Studio Project Press Release
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Digital Studio Project 2020_Introduction
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