World Café - Water

Transforming wishes into actionable ideas – session 1

On June 22nd, Design 21C, with the generous help of Mary Jennings as facilitator and concept lead, hosted our first of three World Café sessions. The first topic for ideation was Water.

The intention of the World Café sessions was to:

1. Share and show how the Word Café methodology can generate quick ideas that can then be expanded into actionable projects.
2. Invite everyone to contribute their thoughts and expertise on the challenges that Dublin faces.
3. Help Design 21C define the project that the Designing Dublin team will develop in the autumn as part of the Designing Dublin: Learning to Learn pilot.

A diverse group engaged in the café session. First by understanding the value of water through dialogue and secondly by generating ideas and proposals that invite individuals to reconsider the relationship that they have with water in their homes, communities and cities.

1. Understanding the value of water.

Many thoughts emerged from the initial group dialogue.
These are some of the key thoughts…

• The value of water is not understood because water is free.
• We need to change our perception of water. We need to consider water a precious resource.
• There is an illusion in our country that because there is rain, there is an abundance of water.
• We need to make communities aware and responsible for water collection and distribution.
• We need full-system planning – government incentives, guidelines, policies, a coherent and inclusive
design system.

2. Generating ideas that invite individuals to reconsider the value of water.

These are some of the starter ideas that emerged from the team during the café session…

Idea 1
Understanding water

Visualize the distribution and consumption of water throughout the city.

For example:
• Create a water distribution/consumption map of Dublin
• Have public water meters
• Make Dubliners aware of where their water comes from and how it is consumed

Idea 2
Water and play

Create a spatial plan for the Liffey that reconsiders how we interact with and enjoy water in the city/community.

For example:
• Have a barrage at Butt Bridge
• Use electrical boats that act as taxis
• Have barges on the river/canal
• Have sports events
• Have a floating maritime museum
• Have a floating, open swimming pool on the Liffey
• Create a water park

Idea 3
Communities and water

Set-up the Water Agency group to work with a community group and build a new understanding of water consumption.

For example:
• Target local primary schools and hold a competition in primary schools
• Link schools with community
• Measure the level of water lost through water consumption
• Form a youth water council, independent to existing councils
• Use technology to map water. Be transparent with councils and accountability
• Show/educate on global water supplies

Idea 4
Raintown celebration

Hold a rain festival that promotes fun and awareness of water.

For example:
• Bring awareness to the collection of water and preservation
• Have gadgets for roofs and gardens
• Hold restrictions on loos
• Develop transparent systems
• Have rain collection and storage
• The highlight of this event would be the unveiling of the water sculpture

First sculpture idea:
The Dublin Swans, as symbol of accountability and visibility.

Second sculpture idea:
Hand Back, a buoyancy display device.