- « There is a need to start to shift the intelligence we have developed in cultivating land into cultivating water. »Kunlé Adeyemi, NLÉ Architects, mentor, Living with Rising Water.
Living with Rising Water
Climate and the geographical environment are the most basic elements in terms of how people live and to matters of hospitality. In the wake of rising global interest and concerns for resilient cities and water management issues, related to human habitat, building on Luma’s exhibition «Jean Prouvé, Architect for Better Days» in Arles, Henriette Waal initiated a regional investigation. This positioned the Luma Foundation as a place to address sensitive and often ignored climate change topics.
The complex, rich and unique territory of Arles and the Camargue region has the largest percentage of groundwater in France. The area is crossed by two arms of the Rhone and has kilometers of Mediterranean seafront, irrigated through a complex water network (sometimes dating from Roman times) and subject to torrential rains and drought. Urbanized environments and human activities are intertwined with protected areas. As such, the Camargue Delta is a fragile and important case for water management issues related to the built environment.
Within this context and on-site investigation, several initiatives and interventions have been conducted.
International Masterclass (March 2018) As Artistic Director of Atelier Luma Henriette Waal in collaboration with Elisabeth Guyon initiated and developed a 6-days masterclass on flood proof and demountable architecture and self-construction. Under the supervision of Nigerian architect, Kunlé Adeyemi with Italian designer Paolo Cascone, 40 architecture and art students from various countries worked at Parc des Ateliers and on-site in the region on design solutions to inhabit flood-prone areas and adaptability to flood risks.
Exhibition (May 2018) The Masterclass outcomes were presented in an installation as part of Luma days 2# at Parc des Ateliers in Arles.
Film (May 2018) Waal & Guyon made a short film in collaboration with Alexandre Humbert. The film investigates various forms of water knowledge, from ecological and environmental narratives to cultural ones, uncovering the deep threats, the emotions, the fiction, the beauty, and the lifestyle it can generate.
Public conference (May 2018) Following the masterclass exploration, Atelier Luma brought international water specialists and architects of innovative constructions together with local experts in a public conference during Luma days 2#. Together they explored how to anticipate a future in which we deal with water management in a different way and the potential of design solutions to address the habitability of flood-prone areas.