Symposium Theme


We currently find ourselves making some far-reaching decisions about water. Questions have been raised as to whether our conventional assessment and design tools are adequate to make those decisions. Would shifting our perception of water assist us in more effectively addressing today's challenges with water and the environment? If so, what might facilitate a perceptual shift or offer an opportunity to expand the lenses through which we perceive water?

The arts represent an important lens for recognizing water's patterns, rhythms, and textures, which have served to inspire the design of both products and systems. How could the role of artists and musicians be expanded to include water planning or management? Ancient and indigenous practices represent a lens that combines proven sustainability with a spiritual reverence for water. How might we combine a reverence for water with our more utilitarian appreciation?

The lenses of science, engineering, and design have traditionally produced the means for physically and chemically managing water.  If our perception of water expands, what new technologies, theories, or systems might emerge?  And how might our personal experiences with water be integrated with our professional skills, whether they be scientific or artistic, to address today's challenges?


The symposium set a stage for thinking and communicating about water across disciplines. The format included speakers and performers who addressed a range of perceptions, experiences, and solutions regarding water and water-related issues. Each presentation was followed by a Q&A session, and each block of themed presentations concluded with a brief Breakout session that was open to all symposium participants.




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