In collaboration with
Henriette Waal
artist, NL
Clemens Driessen
cultural-geographer, NL
Marten Minkema
radiomaker, NL
Christian Ernsten & Dirk-Jan Visser
initiotors, NL
commisioner, NL

Walking Seminar – Water in the city

The Hague district: Centrum-Segbroek
Length: 7 km

Water in the city is one of the 4 audio tours of the Walking Seminars project (2021, Christian Ernsten and Dirk-Jan Visser for arts foundation Stroom). In each walk, an artist and a scientist examine together, how life in the city is increasingly like living on the border of our biosphere. Henriette Waal and Clemens Driessen (cultural-geographer, Rotterdam) took the project Making the source of the Haagse Beek visible (1992) by artist Krijn Giezen as the starting point of a walk-driven research project that looks into the future of water in the city. Following Giezen’s footsteps, they took a walk along the Haagse Beek, an artificial brook that was originally dug to supply the Hofvijver (court’s pond) with fresh water from the source in the dunes at Kijkduin, but has since been heavily modified and polluted. While water boards warn of desiccation and salinization of the landscape, drinking water companies point to the increase in microplastics and are rushing to create drought scenarios. The walk aims to encourage listeners to widen the boundaries of understanding their dynamic relationships with other life forms and the struggles that define the current state of the environment. 

In addition to the podcast walk, Waal & Driessen published the essay Walk like a designer which argues how designing + walking can be a way to respond to places and to what happens behind the scenes in landscapes.

In parallel Waal also developed a program for the Social Design master at DAE (icw Jon Stam and Jesse Howard) which was called Landscape literacy & design, with the Haagse Beek and the walking seminar as territorial anchoring. Involving an international group of students in this pioneering phase in the design process, to have them walk along, access streams of data, and develop their own interests and interventions, led to intuitive flows of ideas in myriad directions and mediums of work, offering unexpected angles that radiate out of the Walking Seminar.