December 29th 1955. After the tragic accident of a five-year-old boy who died after being stung in Queensland Australia, lethal jellyfish – Chironex Fleckeri – was named. The name was derived from the Greek ‘cheiro’ meaning ‘hand’, the Latin ‘nex’ meaning ‘murder’, and ‘fleckeri’ in honour of its discoverer. Nonetheless, it is now commonly known as the Box Jellyfish.
Jellyfish, or Jellies, are typified as free-swimming marine animals consisting of a gelatinous umbrella-shaped bell and trailing tentacles. The bell can pulsate for locomotion, while stinging tentacles can be used to capture prey. They are the most energy efficient animals, and move through the water by radially expanding and contracting their bell-shaped bodies to push water behind them. They also pause between the contraction and expansion to create two vortex rings.
The design study simulates the pulsations of a jellyfish and its rhythmic locomotion by exploring the materiality and its physical property. At the same time, it considers this emerging creature’s architectural construction and its biological performance. Through traveling over the water little by little, the nascent jelly contracts, expels, extends and resets. The underwater condition is a stage, where the exchange of water material and the unseen vortex take place.