STUDIO EPFL
Autumn 2023

Resurfacing Water and Its Stories: The Emergence of a Socio-ecological Threshold for an Urban WatershedErze Dinarama and Gautham Ramesh

Lausanne is a territory shaped by water, featuring a complex water system that flows both above and below ground. The project’s objective is to examine the territory through the water’s perspective, encapsulating the notion of bringing attention back to water and its narratives, both in terms of the physical presence and the stories woven around water. It is an effort to revisit, explore, and reevaluate the significance of water in a context where rivers and rainwater are managed through pipes underground.

The Flon watershed is characterized by canalized rivers, with water management predominantly taking place underground. The project focuses on the resurfacing of water in urban watersheds, the reconstruction of the urban watershed, and the challenges associated with bringing to the surface waters that have been canalized.
Remaining critical of the way water has been managed in urban areas, the project explores the potential of leveraging existing and ongoing infrastructure works and technologies in the city, to make way for a new landscape of surface water and the social-ecological threshold that it generates around it. Ultimately, it engages in a discussion on the compromises necessary to give agency to water and ameliorate the natural environment within urban watersheds.

Water, as a vital component of the environment, promotes the well-being of entire ecosystems. It is an effort to reflect on the importance of ecological balance and the need to move beyond anthropocentric views in environmental management.