Altering Waters: Living in extremes

Altering Waters: Living in extremes
credits: Manuela König & Lena Tünkers
An immersive exhibition challenging current perceptions of water and exploring our evolving relationship with it through distinct futuristic sceneries

Düsseldorf & Berlin, Germany
Team members
Manuela König
Field of work
Architecture, Design, Curating, Research, Other
Project category
Raising awareness
Project submitted

"interloci" is a collaborative project that harmoniously blends the disciplines of architecture (space) and futures exploration (time). Its fundamental aim is to challenge conventional thought patterns, inspire the discovery of novel spaces, and empower individuals to envision new possibilities for self-design. This future-oriented spatial endeavor is realized through the combined expertise of its two founders and curators, Manuela König, an architect and exhibition designer, and Lena Tünkers, a process designer and futures literacy expert. Together, they curate and create immersive spatial and sensual experiences that delve into humanity's perception of alternative realities, allowing participants to engage in profound physical encounters that reflect the need for a change of perception.

In the midst of multiple crises that define our current era, there exists immense potential for transformative change, offering us the opportunity to redefine the world we want to inhabit. These ongoing shifts are already radically altering our environments and spaces, necessitating a fresh approach to navigate and embrace them—consider, for instance, how we must now confront floods and extreme heat waves in landscapes and urban areas. In this context, the project recognizes the vital importance of flexible navigation, active self-design, and critical reflection as core competencies for adapting to and appropriating new spaces and environments today and in the near future.

To harness the potential for transformative change, the project will curate a spatial and sensory experience that focuses on the most pressing and globally impactful topic of weather-related transformations, with a special emphasis on "water" in the context of extreme weather. By engaging with alternative realities of "water", participants will be encouraged to broaden their perspectives, understand the importance of adaptation, and envision diverse futures.

Amidst the changing temperature of our atmosphere, the shifting water availability and patterns impact how and where we live. Observing public discourses, the prevailing perception of water can be summarized and exaggerated as follows: a sense of insufficient water through extreme and seemingly unpredictable water events, water being the source of all life, and injustice of water access. Intriguingly, these new water dynamics not only alter our physical environment but also challenge our conventional notions of time and space. Traditional seasons blur, landscapes transform, and our relationship with nature evolves.
To navigate this changing paradigm, we aim to open people's perspectives toward novel ways of thinking and perceiving water. By applying Futures Literacy, we have examined current assumptions about water and crafted alternative assumptions (so-called "reframes") that question and challenge current discourses. Speculative objects designed by collaborating artists will be based on these alternative assumptions and placed within an immersive space, inviting engagement and interaction. Each object serves as a portal to a distinct and thought-provoking futuristic realm, all centered around the theme of water.
The architectural design of the exhibition invites visitors to immerse themselves in a new and unfamiliar environment. Inspired by different aggregate states of water, elements made of water-based gel visually blur and seemingly dissolve the boundaries of the exhibition space. The floor is covered with a surface made of a gel-like material, which conveys a spatial experience when stepping on it as an interaction of the body and the environment.
The exhibition is aimed to take place for six weeks in 2024. During this time, we hope to foster dialogue and deeper understanding regarding the evolving relationship between humans, water, and landscape in the face of these transformations; maybe even questioning the very essence of water's role in our lives.