Water Matters 2020

Design & Build

Water Matters - Exhibition advocating the importance of water and water conservation. "Be like a river. Be open. Flow". - Julie Connor

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Design Concept

Water Matters is a collaborative project of the U.S. Consulate General Chennai, Care Earth Trust and the Smithsonian Institute which aims to sensitize the public on the pressing issues around water. This exhibition is a travelling exhibition initiated by the Smithsonian Institute under the name of H2O. The exhibition is designed to utilize different mediums to educate, advocate, and support South India in addressing water challenges. 

The design and curation of the exhibition was done by Urban Gray Matter and WeBe Design Lab. The concept of the exhibition and the experience of it was modelled around the organic flow of water. The highlights of the exhibition were the wide range of information and challenges exhibited in a tactile format experientially.

Water Matters Exhibition is a tactile exhibition to educate, advocate and support the importance of water conservation addressing the water challenges faced in South India. The highlights of the exhibition were the wide range of information and challenges exhibited in a tactile format experientially.

The Site

The Water Matters Exhibition was conceived in the Periyar Science and Technology Centre in Kotturpuram which has a large open colonnaded platform. The design was conceptualised from the quote of Julie Connor “Be like a River. Be open. Flow.”. The nature of water is to organically flow and this was achieved in the site by creating semi circular barriers that defined the movement of flow and articulated the space for different sections to be exhibited. The roof structure was created wherever required. 

Concept and Articulation of Space

Space and Enclosure

The semi circular walls were constructed out of scaffolding frames and painted plywood boards. The exhibition display panels, illustrations, installations and digital media exhibits popped out with this minimalist background. The display panels and illustrations were designed to accommodate illustrations, signages, quotes and facts. The installations consisted of physical models, interactive installations, diorama models and informative experiments. An amphitheatre was also envisaged for digital and audio visual exhibits. The design concept spurred an experience of water through the unique sections throughout the space. 

scaffolding as structural framework

Design Curation:



Site area
Gross built area
Carpet Area
Project Cost

Team and Collaborators



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