Oreaster officinalis is a new hybrid species designed to populate collaborative ecosystems.
A species that inhabits both tangible physical spaces and virtual immersive environments.

Oreaster officinalis

A whole new relationship

We are in reach of a whole new relationship with the ocean, a wiser, more sustainable relationship. The choice lies with us.

Sir David Attenborough, The ocean and us, BBC Earth, United Nations Ocean Conference, 2017.


Oreasteridae is a family of sea stars characterized by having five arms around a stiff, convex and ofthen brightly colored body. The best known species is the Oreaster reticulatus, which inhabits shallow waters of the western Atlantic, where it is distributed from Brazil to North Carolina (USA). It is a common inhabitant of the phanerogam meadows and soft bottoms of the Caribbean, where it is recognized by its size and color, which make it highly visible. Large and strong, it features a raised, inflated disk with short arms. Its body, of intense reddish color, is covered by convex plates with spines or buttons of golden color. Despite its reticulated appearance, this species is commonly known as red cushion sea star.

Oreaster officinalis
Oreaster officinalis

As a tribute to this amazing family of marine invertebrates, Carlos Alonso Pascual has designed Oreaster officinalis, a pouf that can be placed both in tangible physical spaces and in any shared 3D virtual environment, including corporate offices or open worlds.

Human beings as sea creatures

Human beings are sea creatures, dependent on the oceans just as much as whales, herring or coral reefs.

Sylvia A. Earle, Can We Stop Killing Our Oceans Now, Please?, Huffington Post, 2013.

When You Wish upon a Sea Star

For too long, these starfish have been captured to be sold as decorative or magical objects, which has led to their progressive decline. Although the final shape of the pouf is more reminiscent of other species of sea stars such as the Culcita novaeguineae, also known as the cushion star, we have preferred to keep the name Oreaster in homage to this well-known Caribbean species.

Oreaster officinalis Oreaster officinalis
Oreaster officinalis

Officinalis, on the other hand, is a medieval epithet applied to species with uses in medicine, herbalism, and gastronomy. It literally means "of or belonging to an officina", the storeroom of a monastery where medicinal plants and other items were kept. In a world where ecological collapse is an increasingly likely scenario, the epithet officinalis indicates first of all the will to cure and regenerate the planet. But, within the framework of this project, it is also to indicate belonging to a creative work environment such as medieval craft workshops.

Oreaster officinalis Oreaster officinalis: Dimensions

Pole Star

¿Dónde está la estrella de los nacimientos?
La tierra, encabritada, se ha parado en el viento.
Y no ven los ojos de los marineros.
Aquel pez -¡seguidle!-
se lleva, danzando,
la estrella polar.

León Felipe, Drop a Star, 1929.
Oreaster officinalis

Drop a Star

A new species that comes to populate the hybrid ecosystem where we will most likely develop our creativity in the future. In addition to being inserted into physical spaces, this 3D model can be used in virtual and augmented reality applications to create a more meaningful shared experience.

Oreaster officinalis

#design #hybridreality #sensemaking #biophilia #inspiredbynature #bioinspiration #ocean #oceanlife #metaverse #NFT

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