Water Futures presents a discussion with renowned architects and designers, OOZE, that reimagines our connection to water in the urban environment. Drawing on their work in Rio de Janeiro and Chennai, as well as a new study from NYC, OOZE explores alternatives to failing centralized water systems - rethinking how we collect, treat and distribute water locally and how natural water cycles can be made more tangible. With an introduction by Anthony Acciavatti, Columbia GSAPP professor and author of Ganges Water Machine: Designing New India’s Ancient River.

Marking the midway point in Water Futures, a yearlong research program, the event kicks off an exhibition of proposals such as:

New Public Hydrant by Tei Carpenter and Chris Woebken - Introduces new forms of public interaction with the fire hydrant.

New Water Tower by Studio Swine - Redesigns the traditional water tower to collect and filter rainwater into drinking water.

Water Bodies by OOZE - Examines how water is incorporated into our lives at the scale of our households, our neighborhoods and our city.

The proposals explore off-grid thinking and small-scale infrastructures that include new ways to harvest rainwater, clean wastewater at a local level, and provide free drinking water as an alternative to the scourge of plastic bottles. The exhibition aims to reinvigorate the relationship urban residents have with water by weaving water more visibly and imaginatively into cities and our lives.


OOZE (founded in 2003 by Eva Pfannes & Sylvain Hartenberg) is an international design practice based in Rotterdam, operating between the fields of art, architecture and urbanism. Their work explores how our lives and cities can be more synchronized with nature, and combines an elaborate understanding of natural, ecological processes with technological expertise and deep insights into socio-cultural behavior. Their ongoing project “Água Carioca” in Rio de Janeiro has been exhibited at Studio-X in Rio de Janeiro and the Sao Paulo Architecture Biennial (2017), and is the recipient of the Lafarge Holcim Awards Bronze 2017 for Latin America. Ooze is currently working on the Water as Leverage program of the Dutch Government and 100 Resilient Cities in Chennai, India.


Reimagining Urban Water is presented by the A/D/O Water Futures Research Program and curated by Jane Withers. Water Futures addresses and explores the drinking water crisis and asks: How can design help address this in the future? Responding to the tensions around water in the urban environment and the shift for cities to ban the single use disposable plastic bottle, Water Futures aims to inspire designers to take action in reimagining our toxic drinking water culture and design alternative realities.

Learn more at a-d-o.com/research-programs/water-futures