2022 Independence Seaport Museum Exhibit

In 2021-2022 the Ecotopian Toolkit Project turned its focus to the Delaware River and to water justice in collaboration with the Independence Seaport Museum (ISM). 

This collaboration began in Bethany Wiggin’s Fall 2021 “Environmental Humanities: Theory, Methods, Practice” class, which guided the call to toolmakers. Together with the ISM curatorial and educational teams, particularly the high school students in their River Ambassadors hands-on learning programs and designer Dan Kennedy, they considered what kind of tools we need with and for the Delaware River and watershed.

Each step of the process was documented and shared through an evolving exhibit at ISM intended to engage visitors in reflection, participation, and action.

This work now will culminate in a companion print catalog and our online resource for future visionaries to use in their own inquiry, conversation, and craft. We are hopeful that these outcomes will become tools themselves, ensuring that our home environment is tended to, well-considered, equitable, resilient, and dynamic for generations of future Philadelphians.

Click below to find details on each documented phase of this exhibit:

In Phase 1, the exhibit asked Museum visitors and River Ambassadors to suggest what tools they need for water justice.

Phase 2 announced the selected toolmakers and shared their proposals, followed by documentation of their tool creation process.

In Phase 3, we documented how the River Ambassadors play-test the new tools in and around the Delaware.