Future Island-Island

Future Island-Island at the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival

Wednesday 26/06/24

The Future Island-Island team had an incredible time at the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival, where the energy, community spirit, and activities were exceptional. We were thrilled to get involved in the celebrations and host various Future Island-Island events.

Here is a glimpse into our memorable week:


The Big Rathlin Beach Clean

We began our activities with the Big Rathlin Beach Clean, an eye-opening event where we discovered the impact of marine litter on our beaches and how waste can be repurposed into new materials. With the help of our Beach Clean Guide, we identified and categorised the waste, separating 75% of beach litter and different plastics from residual waste.

Our efforts paid off as we collected 9.37 kg of waste, categorised into colour-coordinated bags.
• 🟡 0.96 kg – Plastic Rigids
• 🟢 0.51 kg – Braided Rope
• 🔵 2.3 kg – Twine
• ⚫ 5.6 kg – Everything Else

The waste will be analysed and reprocessed into new filaments and materials at the Polymer Processing Research Centre, Queen’s University Belfast.

Awakening Sustainable Pasts: An Island of Maritime Stories

We then immersed ourselves in the rich history of Rathlin, listening to captivating oral histories and tales of self-reliance from island residents. Exploring historic boats and the Madill Collection, we discovered how the Future Island-Island design team plans to bring new life to these stories.


We also got our first glimpse of the collaborative booklet from Future Island-Island (WP 2- Green Digital Transition) and the Rathlin Oral History Group, spotlighting stories from the Rathlin shore.


Architects of Change ‘Graffiti Wall’

Creativity took centre stage with the ‘Graffiti Wall,’ a display that showcased the hard work of young pupils who participated in the Architects of Change workshops as part of the Future Island-Island project. Their passion for the future of our planet was clear, and it was exciting to see the next generation so engaged.


Brockley Axe XR Showcase

One of the highlights was the immersive Brockley Axe XR experience, where people had the chance to explore the fascinating world of Neolithic craftsmanship using cutting-edge technology. This experience brought to life a digital twin of the Brockley Axe found on Rathlin, providing a unique glimpse into ancient techniques and traditions. It showcased innovation at its finest, exploring how to enhance sustainable tourism through digital technologies.


The Rathlin Raft Race

Some brave members of the Future Island-Island team pulled on their wetsuits and paddled their way to 4th place in the Rathlin Raft Race. Our ‘University Challenged’ team of three might not have had the fastest lap of the Bay, but with a pallet, boogie boards, and life vests, they gave it their all and proved that it’s not about winning—it’s about staying (somewhat) afloat and having fun.

Until Next Time

Thank you to the RDCA for inviting us to take part in the diverse programme of events. The team had a wonderful time engaging the community and highlighting the heritage and environment of Rathlin that so profoundly inspires our design-focused research. We look forward to seeing what next year will hold for the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival.