Enquiry Week: Water as Ritual
with ANCB Research Partner Axor / Hansgrohe SE

22 - 28 August 2014

This enquiry week focused on the relevance and value of water in connection with cultural, social, health and wellness-related and everyday rituals. Based on the function of water, the element’s role for structuring everyday life, planning and awareness at the interface of water, man and nature were analysed.

The perception of water influenced by cultural backgrounds and disciplines is reflected in various formats of rituals. The power over and the use of water includes economic and cultural aspects on a global level, raising the questions: What are today's rituals for water in everyday life? What is the relationship between space - ritual - water? Are new typologies needed, such as new bath houses or shared bathrooms? Does water in rituals change our perception of space on all scales, from the private to the public? And can water act through rituals as a socio-cultural platform and innovation for urban lifestyles?

The symposium presented an interdisciplinary dialogue on the significance of water as an element in everyday rituals in different cultures and their spatial contexts. Presentations by a range of speakers from varying disciplinary backgrounds introduced and explored the concept of water as ritual.
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WORKSHOP, 22 - 28 AUGUST 2014
The symposium kicked off and informed a week-long design workshop with international participants focusing on water as ritual. The participants explored two distinct yet overlapping aspects of the subject: wellness/spa/bathing in private and public spaces; and water as a design element. The social, environmental, cultural and economic contexts of different rituals were questioned, as well as our physical, human relationship to water and ultimately what spatial implications such rituals have.
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