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Case Study: Ocean Sole's Impactful Collaboration with KAUST

KAUST Ocean Sole Collaboration, CEO speaking with crowd in front of masterpiece whaleshark
KAUST Ocean Sole whale shark exhibit

Higher Education & Research



King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)


To enrich the academic environment by integrating cultural and artistic elements into KAUST’s scientific community, enhancing student engagement and promoting global collaboration in sustainability and conservation.



King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), located outside Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is a graduate research university dedicated to advancing scientific and technological education and research. Known for its diverse global community and substantial endowment, KAUST sought to incorporate artistic and cultural enrichment into its Winter Enrichment Program, aiming to foster a holistic educational environment.

KAUST aimed to bridge the gap between science and art, providing students and faculty with a more rounded campus experience that not only focuses on academic rigor but also promotes environmental awareness and creativity. They needed a partner who could deliver engaging and meaningful art installations that resonate with their mission of innovation and sustainability.



Ocean Sole, renowned for its commitment to transforming flip-flop pollution into art and functional products to promote ocean conservation, was invited to participate in KAUST's Winter Enrichment Program. Ocean Sole provided:

  • Life-Sized Art Installations: A spotless whale shark sculpture created from recycled flip-flops, serving as a centerpiece for collaborative community art projects.

  • Interactive Workshops and Talks: Sessions led by Ocean Sole’s team, including CEO Erin Smith and Head of Impact Tilda Kane, focused on environmental conservation and the role of art in sustainability.

  • Cultural Exchange Initiatives: Engagements that highlighted the synergy between diverse cultures and shared goals of global environmental issues.


Ocean Sole dispatched a team of artists and leaders to KAUST, where they executed a series of activities over the course of the program:

  • Art Installation Setup: The team constructed and displayed the whale shark installation, which also involved the community in adding personalized elements to the artwork.

  • Educational Outreach: Conducted workshops for students and faculty, as well as for children residing on campus, emphasizing the importance of recycling and conservation efforts.

  • Public Speaking Engagements: Delivered motivational talks that aligned with the themes of innovation in conservation and the power of community in environmental efforts.


The collaboration was a resounding success, marked by:

  • Enhanced Campus Engagement: Students and faculty engaged deeply with the installations and workshops, gaining new insights into sustainability practices.

  • Fostered Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Highlighted the importance of integrating art with science, leading to broader discussions on innovative solutions for environmental conservation.

  • Strengthened Community Ties: The project helped strengthen the bond between the university and the global community, showcasing the universal relevance of conservation efforts.


“We are thrilled with the outcomes of our collaboration with Ocean Sole. The artistic installations not only beautified our campus but also played a crucial role in educating our community about sustainability. Ocean Sole’s involvement brought a unique dimension to our Winter Enrichment Program, making it one of the most memorable editions yet.”


- Program Coordinator, KAUST.


This collaboration between Ocean Sole and KAUST illustrates the powerful impact of combining art with education to foster environmental awareness and community engagement. Ocean Sole continues to seek partnerships with educational institutions, corporations, and cultural organizations worldwide to spread this important message and create unique, impactful experiences.

Please get in touch with Ocean Sole on if you would like to engage and collaborate with us!


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5150 Palm Valley Road, Unit 209

Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082 

Tel: (904) 907-3596

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