AMSTERDAM – Berlin-based designers Stefanie Rittler and Sascha Henken knew each other from school but had never collaborated on a project before. That changed with the third edition of Amsterdam’s UrbanCampsite – an exhibition of miscellaneous objects that offer overnight accommodation.
Waiting for Water is one of 13 installations that have been designed and constructed on the urban plot. Each cabin includes (at least) a double bed and the site itself has all of the necessary amenities for a comfortable night’s rest. This year’s exhibition theme is ‘The Art of Tech-Living’; aimed at investigating the relationship between science, technology and art. Rittler and Henken took an obscure approach to the brief, asking the question, ‘Are we prepared for climate change?’ The realised object is constructed from timber, Oriented Strand Board (OSB) and a lot of water containers – and coloured pink.
What inspired you to submit a project?
STEFANIE RITTLER: We have followed UrbanCampsite since the first edition and always thought about participating. This year, we finally took the plunge!
How did you approach this year's theme?
SR: We weren’t really into the idea of building a construction that actually used all these technological things because we aren’t that into tech. Instead, we wanted to tell a story. After all, we considered the brief to be about science and we thought that climate change is also a scientific subject, so why not approach that in an illustrative and humoristic way?
Where did the design come from?
SR: We wanted the design to speak for itself – it had to be a little bit funny and a little bit awkward. We tried to illustrate the notion of a ‘prepared’ society that’s maybe not so prepared after all.
And the decision behind the pink?
SR: It just adds to the fun! We decided that the installation should feel like we were taking the subject lightly. We were also inspired by Muralla Roja by Ricardo Bofill and by the work of Luis Barragán.
How did the collaboration with Sascha Henken come about?
SR: We always wanted to work together but in design school there was never the opportunity. We sort of collaborated, in a way, by helping each other out with projects but this is the first time we’ve specifically worked joined forces. Simply, it was the first opportunity for us to do so and, as we have both been fans of UrbanCampsite for so long, we embraced the chance to make it happen.
You can book a night's stay for two people in Waiting for Water through Airbnb here.