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Ocean Cube Exhibit Educates Families on How Everyone Can Help Save Our Oceans

Ocean Cube Exhibit Educates Families on How Everyone Can Help Save Our Oceans

The pop-up features five rooms that all repurpose plastic to fit their themes.


Ocean Cube, an interactive pop-up exhibit in Soho that brings readers into a futuristic undersea world, is now open through August 18. The exhibit encourages visitors to do their part in repurposing plastic to help save our oceans and their animals and features five rooms that all repurpose plastic to illustrate a facet of a bigger theme. Each room tells a story using lights, colors, and hanging objects. Each part of the exhibition creates a futuristic ocean feel, educates viewers on the current state of the sea, and shows how both individuals and corporations have a responsibility to conservation.

The first room in the experience shapes plastic into dangling, spiraling ornaments that hang from the ceiling and bring the visitor underwater to experience the ocean of the future. The second room, “Coral Tunnel,” hangs long fine strands of glowing plastic from the ceiling to bring the “polluted surface” of the deep sea to life. A placard informs guests that 30% of the coral in the Great Barrier Reef died in a 2016 heat wave, immediately illustrating the effects climate change has on our oceans.

The third room, “Net Guard,” is painted a bright green and filled with fish nets and buoys that represent the first line of defense in protecting the guest from pollution and potentially predatory ocean creatures. The most Instagram-worthy room, “Jellyfish Station,” connects visitors with whale and jellyfish “vehicles” ensconced in twinkling lights, meant to “serve as transportation in humanity’s new life underwater.” The jellyfish emit a bioluminescent glow that serves as a guiding light for the underwater journey.



The final room, “Recycle Bank,” features dozens of plastic bottles that are a little overwhelming to push through. In the middle of the ceiling, a shark figure hangs, unable to escape. The density of plastic in the room is meant to help guests understand how animals must feel trying to move through our polluted oceans. All of the plastic in the room was destined to be trash, but Ocean Cube pulled the bottles from the waste cycle to make them into something totally different–and encourages families to do the same.

“We hope that you use this time to reflect on your own habits, and create some change,” the placard reads.

Leah Giles, who welcomed visitors to Ocean Cube, said that while individuals need to do their part in conservation, talking to people in power is the most efficient way to create change.

“It shouldn’t be up to the consumer to make the right choice [with their plastic],” she said. “It should be up to the brand. It takes the entire government to bring that type of change.”

Main Image: In the "Jellyfish Station" room, whales and jellies serve as modes of transportation. Courtesy Jacqui Neber

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Jacqueline Neber

Author: Jacqueline Neber is an assistant editor and a graduate of The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. When she's not focused on writing special needs and education features, you can find her petting someone else's dog. See More

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