Water Dispenser_Floating University Berlin

As water becomes more and more scarce in third world countries, people are forced to walk miles and miles just to have access to what is a vital necessity, which they will be restricted to quantity wise. Yet, we, westerners, seem to forget how fortunate we are to have access to unlimited amount of drinkable water through our daily routines. Through our project, we aim to make visible this laborious process of accessing drinking water. The aim is to make the visitors to work effortlessly to earn their water.

We design then a water dispenser which demonstrates this luxury by physically engaging visitors’ bodies. They become the energy source of our manual machine which brings awareness to water preciousness. Our object also invites visitors to collaborate together in a playful way to access a cup of potable water. The pumps need to be manually pushed in order to properly balance the tanks with the sufficient amounts of water. 

In a chain of reaction, once one tank filled, it allows the next one to be. Eventually, the visitor will succeed in enjoying a glass of water containing various sorts of ingredients but can also gain access to water to irrigate the tomatoes. This device would be ideally assembled close to the kitchen, as it would become a useful element to accompany the visitors while they consume food and beverages.

Initial situation 

As soon as we arrived at the floating university we were struck by the imposing structure. It was not yet completed but obviously already interesting enough to raise many questions. 

The first day it rained, it was damp and quite cold, sensations that we still remember when we looked out for the first time from the structure that overlooked the basin. 

All really incredible. Above all the first survey where with knee-high boots we literally immersed in the mud and water to explore every single corner of what was for us something completely new, a space where we can run our imagination and design dinner. 

Obviously it was not all that good because the structure was still under construction, an open-air construction site, where we had to deal with the first problems.

 Where to place the project, how to do it, where are the materials? This part must still be built? How will it be in the future? Surely a learning process that has given us so much in a short time, with an approach for most of us new and interesting and that has opened new points of view.

Conclusion and results

Once we were on site, it was predictable that our plans were going to shift. We managed to find materials in our surroundings, whether it was directly at the Floating University or at shops nearby. Once everything was planned out and gathered, the build-up was the fun part. We managed to adapt our project around the already existing structures, even using them as bases to frame our water system upon on. The assembling of each element worked out as we had planned. The pumping system worked fine, a touch of delicacy was needed though, in order to use the pump to blow the balloon for the water to come running down. There was something however that we had not predicted from the start: how functional our system was about to become. This was a fact that got us a little confused from the beginning. We had first intended to create a drinking water dispenser in the kitchen department. When we arrived on site, we were guided towards the bathroom, to create a hand washing system so that people could wash their hands after using the loo. However, we were able to overcome it thanks to the help of the staff and builders on site who were there to advise us and show us on their plans on how everything was meant to be planned out. Overall, at the end of this workshop week, our ‘water dispenser system’ worked out fine. We succeeded in illustrating our concept about raising awareness on water waste. We did have to change quite some elements once on site, the reason being that we were just discovering the surroundings, but this did not stop us from constructing the hand wash dispenser.

Group Project together with: Alex Blondeau and Stephane Borel 

See more on: Design Academy Eindhoven
                      Floating University Berlin