by 
Albina Aleksiunaite
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"Casas del Aguas" Houses of water

Today, in a 21st century's neoliberal world, the mode of environmental calamities has altered. If we would look closer, they are not anymore a result of an accidental natural disaster but they turned to be a result of a conscious man-made environmental crimes committed by capitalism-driven transnational corporations.

Most of the time such wrongdoings of these corporations are slow and invisible. Performing illegal activities they do not only destroy nature but also a human life - typically a life of the ones who are poor and disempowered.

Such environmental and social phenomena Rob Nixon (a professor in the humanities and the environment) (2011) calls "slow violence" - "a violence that occurs gradually and out-of-sight, a violence of delayed destruction that is dispersed across time and space, an attritional violence that is typically not viewed as violence at all."

Therefore with my design "challenge" I aim to raise the awareness of such invisible environmental crimes and pay the attention to the urban poor that silently suffer an environmental noxiousness.

As such case my project titled "Casas del Aguas" investigates water crisis in Iztapalapa district which is one of the poorest sections of Mexico City. Here local people are suffering from pure domestic water deprivation. Due to illegal activities of many local and international corporations that abundantly pollute natural water resources, domestic water in the neighborhood is always uncertain: sometimes it is unavailable and sometimes it is highly polluted with unknown substances. Due to that, neglected human beings are forced to search for fresh water outside the city or to buy bottled water. From such situations again aims profit other capitalism-driven corporations such as "Coca-cola" or "Nestle". However, many poor families in the area cannot afford such expenses and are condemned to suffer.

As a response to this "slow violence", my design "challenge" suggests a number, together with community developed, domestic interventions that help local people to obtain clean domestic water. A combination of such immediate constructions create inexpensive pure water generation system that obtains water from the sky. Here rain water is harvested, purified and stored. Further this water is smartly used by saving it and recycling.

As a result, these proposed interventions that are built by locals create a new domestic water realm. The realm that deliberately alters human relationship with this precious natural resource and suggests a new domestic interior model of the future for the ones that suffer a natural disaster.

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"Casas del Aguas" Houses of water

Mexico

Associated fields:

Architecture & urban planning

Design

Environment & resources management

Involved experts:

Architects & urban planners

Environment experts

Citizen & self organised communities

Required experts:

Community engagement & collaboration

Technical advice

Manual labour

Current phase:

Launch

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