FORMAT 2023: Water Expeditions

Every day we use and consume water without a second thought. We do not appreciate sufficiently the valuable commodity flowing from our taps. In FORMAT 2023, a new wave of designers and architects present refreshing insights into our interactions with water. Join them as they discover new water worlds that explore and redesign our relationships with water.

Niveau Zéro Atelier – Mathias Vincent-Palazzi & Thomas Viers

Project title: Limpida, Marvelous

By diverting the rainwater that sleeps in the reservoir of Z33’s basement, Niveau Zéro Atelier engages in a multifaceted discussion, at the border of legal, social, technical and spiritual topics. In urban areas, water is a largely untapped resource. Yet, whether it’s a matter of urban ecology, commoning, or saving water, this resource is likely to play an important role in the coming changes designed to maintain the liveability of our cities. Water runs on a roof, on a body, and out again, thus showing a path for the matter to domesticate us.

The Ironing Board – Marta Ríos & Miguel Parrrra

Project title: Not every spring springs in spring

Elaborating on the idea of untangling what is concealed beneath the privatisation of a natural resource such as water, this research project channels its findings into a guided tour that focuses on exposing the loopholes that are used to privatise the use and management of water. By using Z33 as a case study to speak of the different mechanisms that are exercised to claim, perpetuate and reclaim water ownership, the tour itinerary will visit spaces both front of house and back of house, inviting a live audience into creating their own perspective on the research.

Maud Gerard

Project title: Welcoming wandering water

Amazed by the tension between the grandeur of water in all its forms and the human dominant attitude towards water, Maud investigates how we can welcome water with more hospitality. In line with Derrida’s philosophical thinking, our need for recognition in the other we wish to be hospitable to, she searches forms of embodiment of water. In the imagination of water as an endless traveller, she finds starting points to pursue her research with Brussels as her field of study.

Juul Prinsen

Project title: Trage Waterwegen

What if we combine slow roads with waterways to create the idea of slow waterways? By collecting, making and exploring, Juul Prinsen researches the possibilities for creeks and rivers to be the paths to our adventures. Trage Waterwegen is a pledge for backyard adventuring.

Kurina Sohn

Project title: Deepest Unknown

Deepest Unknown expands our understanding of nature through the use of deep machine learning as a tool for speculating a hyper-dimensional view of our oceans. Kurina Sohn collaborates with artificial intelligence (AI) to generate speculative stories and images to show what can be lost in this remote underwater environment and encourage audiences to imagine life beyond our current biological limitations. This project aims to analyse individual sea creatures to rethink our relationship to water as humanity’s imprints leave their ecological mark.

Sofie Deckers

Project title: Gent Bad

After having enjoyed a strong bathing culture while living in Switzerland, the summer staycation during the corona crisis triggered Sofie Deckers to imagine bathing places as meeting spots in her everyday public environment in the city of Ghent.

While looking back to a more local bathing oriented past, she aims to create possible perspectives for the future. By combining photographs of past and present in a spatial composition, she creates different time layers that can come together in the imagination of the spectator.

Forever Orbit – Lore Janssens & Joram De Cocker

Lore Janssens and Joram De Cocker provide the graphic design and scenography for this edition of FORMAT. They approach space as a sea of obstacles that they try to map in different ways.

What is FORMAT?

FORMAT is Z33’s mentoring program for the new generation in design and architecture. A selection of recently graduated designers and architects get the chance to deepen their artistic practice, realize a new creation and share their knowledge and networks. After a year of intensive mentoring, there is a group exhibition where all the designs come together. In this learning process, time and space are essential to explore boundaries and unconventional directions. Z33 is that safe haven where experimentation, learning and failure come together. With 23 editions underway, more than 200 designers or architects have taken their first professional steps in Z33 as FORMAT/Toegepast laureates. For FORMAT 2023, Z33 worked for the first time with a thematic open call for new project proposals on the theme ‘living with water’.

02.04 to 20.08.23