Design with Diploria: Coral Infrastructure for a New Coastal Future

The growing stressors of global climate change and urbanization have brought about the decline of one of our planet’s most critical biomes – coral reefs. As coral reefs vanish, we lose not only their surrounding ecologies and economics, but also their structural complexity, which allows them to efficiently serve as natural breakwaters that protect coastlines from flooding and erosion. Design with Diploria showcases a multi-site exploration of these entanglements within Miami’s urban context by working to restore an enigmatic, but diminished, local ecosystem as an infrastructural and social resilience strategy. This proposal aims to both foster coral resilience in tandem with urban resilience and to reconcile urban activity with coral ecosystem health in a way that creates equity and kinship across species lines.

Learn about Matt’s work at



Pier Pressure: Addressing Ecological Opportunities of Nearshore Infrastructure in Lake Washington’s Union Bay

Along much of Seattle’s freshwater shorelines, seemingly isolated problems like erosion and shading are compounded and repeated by docks, piers, and houseboats.

This results in a much bigger ecological problem: the erasure of the critical nearshore habitat that supports all life in the lake. What innovations in nearshore infrastructure design can provide multifunctional benefits for people and the environment?

This design thesis considers the existing conditions of five representative zones along the University of Washington’s waterfront. Insights from restoration ecologists, engineers, local experts, and trends in aquatic infrastructure inform the design of this urban site. Pier Pressure proposes holistic solutions through a systems approach that enhances built interventions through ecological design.