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AQUATOPIA – the children’s research submarine


Graz, Vienna, Austria, 2013

a project by the Institute for Contemporary Art/ TU Graz and the Kinderbüro
in cooperation with Zoom Children’s Museum, Vienna
concept and artistic coordination Daniela Brasil

short video documentary  (in German)
documentation booklet  (in English)




In the summer of 2013, a submarine docked at the Karmeliterplatz, Graz and the Museumsquartier, Vienna, bringing an atmosphere of experimental research and playfulness to the public spaces it occupied. Its extra-disciplinary crew merged artistic and scientific processes in order to observe, record and discuss our daily relation to water and the related plastic waste production. Aquatopia was developed as a cooperative research project with teaching activities taking place throughout the academic year at the TU Graz and in local public schools, to develop ecological literacy and place-based learning.
Excursions traced the paths of the fresh water supply and the sewage systems of the cities of Graz and Vienna. From the resulting field notes, artistic installations were developed and an illustrated logbook displaying the Grazer and Viennese water cycles was produced. In the meantime, the university became a dockyard: within a participatory and collaborative design process, architecture students built the submarine (11x5x4m) from materials sourced in junkyards. Its outer skin was made from 2000 disposable plastic bottles, collected and prepared in cooperation with local schools and the TU Graz cleaning staff. The interior was furbished with works from 12 international artists. For instance the bridge was designed and activated by New York based artist Catherine Grau, as a space where various diving equipment could be built from recycled materials and used for urban-aquatic explorations.


Participating artists:

Andrea Acosta •  Barbara Raić •  Boos & Moos • Catherine Grau • Christian Meixner •  Claudia del Cid •  Elke Preisitz- Mathoi • Eva Ursprung • GDS  & Roter Keil •  Günther Pedrotti • Helene Thümmel • Luka Lipšinič •  Luka Murovec • Nayari Castillo • Richard Frankenberger • Tuuli Sunden-Uusimäki • Ursula Achternkamp


Crew: Edith Risse, Lola Seibt, Patricia Wess, Thomas Kalcher and many many others.

Kinderbüro Team: Yasemin Ceylam, Bernhard Seidler, Katja Hausleitner


tagged under: 2013 architecture art critical pegagogies Daniela Brasil event kids public space publication research work

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