In August of 2012, The Seasteading Institute was contacted by Megan Rorie, a graduate student in the College of Architecture at the University of Houston. Megan was intrigued by the idea of seasteading, so when it came time to select a topic for her year-long capstone “extreme-environment” architectural design project, she suggested to two of her colleagues, Joseph Hyslop and Micah Jacobson, that they try to propose a design for a seastead platform.
The Institute was happy to encourage their efforts, particularly in light of the fact the George Petrie, our Director of Engineering, works from an office located just north of Houston. During weekly meetings throughout the fall semester, Petrie advised on the pros and cons of different strategies until the students finally settled on a three-phase approach to the project. Their primary business model was based around offering proven but non-FDA-approved medical treatments on a floating medical facitlity located just beyond the territorial waters of the United States, utilizing a ship as a platform. This first phase was intended to demonstrate the economic viability of the business model, setting the stage for a more ambitious second phase, which envisioned the conversion of a decommissioned offshore drilling rig to house a more ambitious scope of medical treatment and a variety of research facilities. A third phase envisioned construction of a purpose-built floating platform to support a full-on tourist destination complete with hotel, casino and all the trappings of a seaside resort. These phases were written up and presented in a series of storyboards (see below), with the third phase visualized in the form of a 3D video rendering.
Imagine a platform, located off the coast of Southern California, miles out to sea. This is not your standard drilling rig, but rather a state-of-the-art “seasteading” platform. The facility would also house doctors, their families, a research facility, and experimental researchers themselves.