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Out of Water

Installations and Exhibtions

While water scarcity is a problem of global proportions, it is particularly significant and potentially irreversible in arid zones. Today, 14% of the world’s biomes are Arid, another 14% are Semi-Arid, and 2% are Mediterranean. Due to global warming, today’s arid zones are bound to change and expand. According to UNEP, one quarter of the earth’s land is already threatened by desertification, while the United Nations projects that, in the next 10 years, 50 million people will be living in desert contexts, potentially causing major migration fluxes, political tensions, and instabilities. Climactic pressure is exacerbated by a series of other factors such as population growth and increases in industrial and agricultural consumption.

The Out of Water exhibition is a response to these looming challenges. Its goal is to constructively re-imagine urban futures through the use of water technologies. First, it unpacks the different environmental, geographic, and political forces linked to potential shifts of deserts across the globe, hence generating a new world map of “hot zones”—a convergence of expanding arid climate and water stressors, which form the most arduous urban milieus. Second, it documents projects that demonstrate innovative technologies, methodologies, and tools that extract, store, and manage water in arid climates. Third, it showcases selected young architects, landscape architects, material technologists, and urban planners and their speculative scenarios for a new water culture in arid climates.

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