The shape of water

Most of the earth’s surface (about 70 -75 %) is covered with water. We as bodies in the world, also are mostly made up of water, as about 80% of our bodies are actually made up of water, which means how much our existence relies on it. Perhaps that is why water is an element which has been mostly shaping our environment and our human cultures and histories. The existence or disappearance of our cities, agriculture and industries rely on it.

Hence, the story of Hidden water is that of health, wealth and beauty. It is the story of often common knowledge with wondrous infrastructures and architectural objects which are not only functional, but also beautiful to behold. They are cultural objects, which can inform us about our relationship to ‘nature’.  Water is a system which changes through the time. However, it is necessary to learn from the past long-standing experiences of design and management which rely on the cultural, social, and economic backgrounds next to the technological possibilities.

More than before, what is at stake in the research is the awareness that it creates for designers in understanding a multiplicity of territorial regimes and forces influencing the formation of architecture. Hidden Waters  addresses the intertwinements between infrastructure, environment, logistics, technology, architecture, and society. While being interested in historical and theoretical investigations, we also employ various techniques of mapping, drawing and representation to explore the aesthetic of infrastructural objects and the system as a whole. The main aim of this research is thus, to collect, draw and categorize a sets of idiosyncratic water infrastructures.



Iran / The Netherlands


Negar Sanaan Bensi

With support from 
Stimuleringsfonds voor creatieve industrie