Due to the exceptional relationship between the human population of Svalbard (2500) and the polar bear population (3000), the encounter between the two species occurs often, and not necessarily in the best of terms. Although the bears are protected by strict laws, no one is allowed outside zone 10 (urban area of Longyearbyen) with out a rifle or a guide with a rifle. This become clear when entering any public building or store, you are asked to leave your rifle or hand gun behind….they provide security lockers for this. Albeit the high security measures, when encounters occur, whether in town or out in nature, bears are often scared off by flares, or shots in the air. But when a polar bear has not eaten for months, they are quite determined, and on many occasions, casualties have occurred.
The proposed design allows for a “soft” perimeter alarm, not one that will stop polar bears from approaching the designated area, but allows for an acoustic or visual alarm to be triggered. More over, specially in the long dark season (6 months) the laser allows for the inhabitants to recognise the alarm, and avoid unnecessary triggers. This flexible system creates a nomadic edge, which can be moved at will, defining the limits of safety, and the boundary between “animal” and “human” territory. This project was sponsored in part by CANADA GOOSE.