The Water Challenge Project

The WATER CHALLENGE PROJECT is an open-ended set of artefacts flagging the urban marketing campaign “Are you a water saver?” developed in Kolding’s open and closed public spaces. The campaign aims to produce a cultural change by increasing individual and social awareness about water consumption in Denmark. The WATER CHALLENGE WALL, the REFLECTION BENCH, and the seesaw SHARE YOUR WATER are the primary artefacts of the campaign.

Why the Water Challenge Project?

Water consumption in the sports facilities of Kolding, Denmark, has increased in the last two years. Besides the technical solutions adopted to reduce water consumption, Kolding Kommune is open to proposals for campaigns that help remind the users how their actions and choices can help reduce water consumption in the city.

The Water Challenge Wall

The WATER CHALLENGE WALL has two sides. One shows the Danish reality of water consumption; the other shows the waterless world reality. Only by playing with the wall do both realities start blending and denounce the contrast about a fundamental human right: to have drinking water. The idea is to provoke in the users a constructive feeling of self-criticism (or even of naïf embarrassment) capable of promoting a responsible cultural change about water consumption. Instead of an expensive fleeting TV advertisement campaign or a passive mailing campaign, the WATER CHALLENGE WALL meets users of all ages in the public space, inviting them to engage in playful and meaningful social, emotional and physical experiences about water consumption.

The water challenge wall transforms the embarrassment into a social tool for action.

Furthermore, the WATER CHALLENGE WALL is a perfect alibi for adult play. On the one hand, its social function helps to minimize the users’ feeling of public embarrassment during the playful interaction with the wall. On the other hand, it promotes a constructive notion of embarrassment: “Am I already a water saver?”, “Should I become a water saver?”, “Do I have the right to waste the planet’s water while it’s using up? “Do I have the right to waste water while people in the world die dehydrated or by drinking contaminated water?”

The Reflection Bench

The REFLECTION BENCH isn’t a game but a poetic way to immerse in a playful experience. Take your time, and sit on it. Play with the drops of water; feel how fragile and precious they are. Reflect on your daily water consumption and use the stickers to leave a message for the next visitors.

The Seesaw Share your Water

The seesaw SHARE YOUR WATER is a playful metaphor about the unequal water distribution on the planet. Open the seesaw. Start balancing and share your water with the world. The excitement and expectation about the unpredictable end of the game help the users consider water as a valuable resource that is not always available and not always available without effort.