Chris Bennett & Matthew Brown
It has only been since the mid 20th century that the world transitioned from Grotius' “Freedom of the Seas,” where everyone had equal rights to one of territory and control. As countries went to War, the quest for power brought forward the necessity for a regulatory framework for the worlds seas.
The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) extend nations economical control to 200 nautical miles. This extension of state control of the seabed, water and surface, is as Leland Thormahlen argues in the text ‘Boundary Development of the Outer Continental Shelf,’ historically dependent upon a system of past models that were derived from land use models. Additionally, states have disputed over further control of Outer Centennial Shelf’s, which extend control into international waters, also known as the High Seas. These models rely heavily on state jurisdiction through a planimetric understanding. In The Patrick Geddes ‘Valley Section’ of 1909 and John McHale’s ‘Man’s Increasing Vertical Mobility,’ a new framework of how to understand sectional relationships is formed. The ocean through section reveals the critical relationship between sea and air.
Since the 1950’s, the international law of the sea has changed, raising questions as to who controls maritime airspace and what new authorities regulate foreign aircraft in the airspace beyond the territorial sea. By developing a new representational optic to view these dynamic relationships, one can begin to see a new technique to position the multiplicity of forces that effect the conditions that surround the EEZ and Outer Continental Shelf. This project begins to explore these representation techniques and optics positioning a new view of the EEZ and Outer Centennial Shelf that privileges the relationship of the sectional characteristics that link all of these regulatory spatial conditions. With this new optic, new questions are raised such as, ‘What new models and cartographic representations can be developed to understand a new relationship of the EEZ, OCS, and international airspace?’ Is airspace control ocean control? If so, then whose seas are they?
"Whose Seas?" research booklet: issuu.com/oceanicturn/docs/whose_seas_booklet
This research video was created as part of The Oceanic Turn Advanced Seminar, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Spring 2014: gsd.harvard.edu/#/academics/courses/adv-09132-spring-2014.html