"Rain" Watchers

"Rain" Watchers
An outdoor space for people to experience the rain, and more than the rain.

Eindhoven, Netherlands
Team members
Tianao Yu
Field of work
Design, Landscape architecture, Visual Art, Multimedia, Research
Project category
Raising awareness
Project submitted

Hi, this is Tino. I chose this name, and I enjoy it every day. My design studio is littlefishtino.

As an artist and a designer, I focus on the human senses, non-traditional ways of communication, green mental health, and social/political issues. Being non-binary helps me to see the world in a non-binary way.

I am a curious and practical person who wants to offer new experiences and stories to the world. If there are things that don’t make sense to me, I always ask and learn about them. If I find them also don’t make sense to many other people, I
question them, research, let people see the problem, and experiment with solutions.

Years of working as a television director and journalist help me to listen, talk and seek answers. Studying art let me find ways to think through my body, and learning social design gave me chances to practice connecting to people, do deep research, and share stories. I have offered many people new life experiences and information through exhibitions and performances including Dutch Design Week.

Right now, I am working with a Dutch mental health organization to explore new possibilities for green mental health with clients and psychologists, through my design projects.

Mental health struggles are getting to more and more people. But lack of support, the long waiting list , and many other reasons are making it even harder. After waiting for too long and many times of breaking down, I started to seek help from nature.

People in the Netherlands always say there is no real nature, and everything is man-made. But I believe nature is everywhere, and if we pay attention, we can explore nature as a healing environment at any time.

While looking around, there are always people, cars, streets, and buildings. But if you look up, there will be fewer man-made things and mostly sky, clouds, and trees. We are also always surrounded by wind, which is also nature. They are so approachable, and they are always changing.

Since last year, I started to lie down and observe how trees and clouds move. Those nature movements are so unpredictable, beyond my ability to predict, which can keep me focused. By observing the movements for a longer time, I could finally take a break. It also gave me pleasure and excitement without using language. I shared it with many clients taking mental health care.

Since as an important and special part of nature, rain brings diverse emotional effects to people and places, but sometimes it blocks people to stay outside and connect to nature. I want to make another exercise.

Collaborating with GGzE which is one of the biggest and oldest mental health care organizations in the Netherlands. I am building (probably) the first public outdoor space for people to experience the rain, and more than the rain.

There is one installation for people to sit down, look up, and watch the rain transforms into shapes and moves around. Two hanging sculptures and some special plants also interact with the rain and wind. Trees, grass, and the lake are also parts of this space. By being there, all the senses are invited. There are also always beautiful surprises when you visit there after the rain, or in any weather.