The course Interactive Communication Systems I aims to provide a look into exhibition design. After initial research into multiple topics, we were expected to choose one and present it to a user group of our choice. With this project we wanted to educate children in school and their parents in an exhibition setting about the causes and solutions to the sea’s condition.

A Man-Made Disaster

The Aral Sea between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan was formerly one of the four largest lakes in the world. In the early 20th century the Soviet government decided to irrigate the desert and grow rice, melons and cotton. The remaining water flowing into the Aral Sea could not match losses through evaporation and the sea began to shrink. By 1960 between 20km2 and 60km2 of water was diverted each year. In the 1970s the Aral Seas level fell by 50-60cm each year. By 2009 only its northern part and a small strip in the south remained.

The process of drying up the sea has left plains covered with salt and chemicals from weapon testing and industry, pesticides and fertilizer. The region’s fishing industry has been devastated which caused rising unemployment. Dust storms are blowing toxic sand into settlements, causing serious public health issues.