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Embassy of Water


onderWATERwereld (underWATERworld) is a movement that advocates a reassessment of the conversation about our water management.

M/Wensput met Deltacommissaris Peter Glas

In the Netherlands, there is a growing realisation that water is not a commodity that conforms to our desires, but that we must engage in a relationship with water. The underWATERworld exhibits a collection of projects that explores a water system designed with reciprocity in mind.

Mensput - Wensput (The Human Well - Wishing Well)

An immersion in reciprocity.

Open the tap and an endless stream of water follows. The toilet flushes water to invisible, forgotten places. Our water systems are set up for abundance and convenience. This makes it easy for us to disconnect ourselves from the water cycle, the ecosystem, and nature. But we are not separate from them.

The Human Well - Wishing Well invites us to reconsider our relationship with water. From taking and taking to giving and taking. From water consumption to water reciprocity. By asking the question 'What would water wish from people?', Mensput - Wensput (The Human Well - Wishing Well) encourages visitors to empathise with water. Scratch the answer onto a coin. By tossing the coin into the well, you make a wish for water.

By actively asking what reciprocity would look like in our water systems, designers Axel Coumans and Fides Lapidaire propose a water revolution.

Bodies of Water

Water quality is essential for a healthy environment for humans, animals and ecosystems. Unfortunately, the water quality in the Netherlands is the worst in Europe. The Water Framework Directive (WFD) is a European law aimed at improving water quality in Europe. It looks like the Netherlands is not on track to meet the WFD goal for 2027.

What are we talking about when we talk about water quality? And how can people relate to it? Bodies of Water (BoW) is a collection of swimwear that makes the invisible quality of our water bodies visible. The graphic pattern of the swimwear changes and reflects the viability of our water. It responds to the water you swim in.

With swimwear as a second skin, BoW gives vulnerability back to an urgent issue. It makes an abstract problem, with a lot of bureaucratic language, accessible to everyone.

Fides Lapidaire, TwynstraGudde


Watermonitor is a biosensor that monitors water surface quality. You can think of biosensors as super detectives that, at a minuscule level, can quickly detect substances such as drugs, heavy metals and industrial waste in the water. Completely self-sufficient, they continuously provide real time data. This allows us to constantly monitor the quality of our water, enabling quick action when necessary.

How does it work? A small amount of water is fed into the sensor device. The sensor components are designed to detect micropollutants. Their presence causes a change in the movement of the particles, which is then recorded as a signal. To increase sensitivity, thousands of particles are available in the sensing chamber, enabling accurate detection of micropollutants.

TU/e, Wetsus, STOWA, ITN SuperCol & ITN Consense

About Fides Lapidaire

Fides Lapidaire is social designer bij TwynstraGudde waar ze organisaties en mensen uitdaagt om anders te kijken naar complexe vraagstukken.

M/Wensput, Hoe wil water wonen? — © Fides Lapidaire, Axel Coumans

Bodies of Water — © ai