Entangled with Water

Seeking to explore the socio-technical view on infrastructure, we look at the design process of water sensitive cities infrastructure in six informal settlements in Makassar, Indonesia.

Part 1
A photo-diary of Makassar is a glimpse into a formal and informal city that lies on a swampy estuary. From here, step into kampungs, places rich with life that rapidly change. Then, it is time to hear a story of 7 toilets, as an introduction of a design problem: water entanglements

Part 2
The design process that is focused on complex things and relations is not only about the tools for designing. Designers, panritas, are getting lost and found inside the maze of perspectives. We should explore things that are not usually told: the making and humming.

Part 3
If the water sensitive infrastructure is to be integrated in many futures, it needs to start communicating. Here is a wetland that tells about her journey. 

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This website is one of the outcomes of the doctoral research “Entangled with Water: Participation and design of water and sanitation infrastructure in Indonesia”. 

This research operates at the intersection of three domains: informal settlements, water infrastructure, and participatory design. These domains are connected by the wicked problem of how to design and deliver health and environmental improvements for the one billion people living in informal settlements. How can participatory methods meaningfully engage people and things to facilitate systemic change? Embedded within the Revitalising Informal Settlements and their Environments (RISE) program, this research explores the tensions and contradictions of how water sensitive cities design and technologies, widely implemented in the Global North, can be designed for informal settlement environments of the Global South. The case study research uses ethnographic and design research methods to empirically document and analyse how a decentralised, water and sanitation infrastructure has been designed in six informal settlements in Makassar, Indonesia. The research findings: (i) reveal a set of practical opportunities and barriers for integrating water sensitive urban design in Indonesian informal settlements; (ii) highlight the potential of architects and designers in addressing systemic sustainability challenges, and (iii) illustrate the benefit of design epistemology that integrates the socio-technical, human and non-human worlds. The study contributes to the emerging body of research on the value of a phenomenological view of participatory design practice.

You can download the whole thesis here.