Embassy of Water

Type Embassy
Embassy of Water

Discover what the power of design and the force of nature can do to restore the water cycle and listen to the Voice of Water. The Embassy of Water will collect water designs and bring them together in a sparkling pavilion on Stadhuisplein during Dutch Design Week 2023.

Restoring the water cycle

Water takes many different forms, making a journey of many kilometres through the air, over land, through the soil and into the sea. But we as humans have interrupted this natural water cycle. We take, direct, abstract, pump, block, pollute and wastewater.

We have reduced the natural cycle by half: water no longer seeps into the soil, but is drained as quickly as possible through sewers and ditches, streams and rivers to the sea. These disruptions lead to drought and flooding. But something can be done about that: we can restore the water cycle.

From people-centred to life-centred thinking

The Embassy of Water is taking the lead, working with designers, water partners and experts to find practical solutions and a different way of thinking about water. We want to move away from human-centred thinking (we extract, use and discharge water) to a life-centred approach: we borrow, reuse and restore water.

A lot of good things are already happening. The Netherlands tries to retain water better (every drop counts), draws more inspiration from nature (nature-based solutions and nature-inclusive construction), and starts from the principle of ‘water and soil guiding’. But the Embassy observes that we are still too often working on the water crisis in a people-oriented way, as if everything is technically manufacturable and water is a product. That is why we invite the Voice of Water to the discussion table: someone representing Water and standing up for its interests. Water becomes a partner. You talk with Water instead of about Water. We work together.

What does life-centred design for water look like?

During Dutch Design Week 2023, the Embassy of Water will present concrete designs and design directions that originated from water-centred thinking. We can build homes that purify water instead of polluting it. We can improve our relationship with water. We can take better care of water. The Embassy of Water shows what the future can look like if you put water first. We show how we can give water design insights from recent years a solid place in area development and housing construction. In this way, we can create a living environment that restores the natural water cycle. We borrow water from the cycle and give it back clean.

If we can return water to its original, vital form, we will get a liveable city in return. Thus, together with water, we transform our living environment into a living environment.

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