Water Pressure: Designing for the Future

Water – whether too much or too little, clean or unsafe – is one of the most pressing human preoccupations. Already, 40% of the world’s population is affected by water scarcity and, with human-induced climate change, this is getting much worse. “Water Pressure: Designing for the Future” – an exhibition of the MK&G and Jane Withers Studio – looks at the water crisis from a global perspective, displaying ideas and proposals that illuminate the potential for shaping a radically different future. About 75 innovative works from the fields of design, architecture, art and science – based in many cases on natural principles – open up new routes to overcoming the current situation. Conceived as an odyssey in five parts, the exhibition presents inspiring solutions to global issues such as water scarcity, flooding, pollution and disrupted hydrological cycles. A closer look is taken at the port city of Hamburg and the current and future challenges it faces, from flooding to water shortages.

Among those represented in the exhibition are: Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative (Ecuador and Peru); Aqualonis and the Water Foundation (Germany); Ausblau Studio (UK); Colorifix (UK); DeToXiFy (India); Rose-Lynn Fisher (USA); KWR Water Research Institute (Netherlands); Fernando Laposse (Mexico); Georgia Institute of Technology (USA); H+S+N Architects (Netherlands); Isla Urbana (Mexico); Karl Troels Sandegård (Denmark); Material Cultures (UK) for Bauhaus Earth (Germany); Latoya Ruby Frazier (USA); Marjetica Potrč (Slovenia); NLÉ Architects (Nigeria and The Netherlands); PNAT (Italy); raumlaborberlin (Germany); Robertina Šebjanič (Slovenia); SCAPE Landscape Architecture (USA); Studio Biocene (UK); Sungaiwatch (Indonesia); Sanivation (Kenya); Synchronicity Earth (UK); Taller Capital (Mexico); The Dry Collective (Finland); Tom Hegen (Germany); Tredje Natur (Denmark); Waiwai (UAE) and WaterSchool (Netherlands).

The Dutch firm OOZE Architects has created a new work ‘Reimagine Water Flows’ which explores the water challenges for the MK&G building and city of Hamburg, speculating on how the museum could re-adapt itself to recycle water, an ecologically sound urban model and how such new infrastructures can make Hamburg more climate resilient. The Austrian design duo mischer'traxler is developing the walk-in installation "Vital Rain", which is being realised for the MK&G with the support of the Stiftung Hamburger Kunstsammlungen (SHK) and will be on permanent display in the museum.

An exhibition by MK&G in cooperation with Jane Withers Studio, London.

Will Cape Town Run Out of Water?, Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images