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The Echoing River

"The Echoing River" was a DRS2022 Lab that expressed the relationship between Zorrotzaurre and the river surrounding it.

Project Management

UX Research

Client   / 

Design Research Society

Working at Espacio Open, 14 students from London and Bilbao collaborated to materialise this relationship. Post industrial urban environments offer irresistible opportunities for gentrification. Our aim was to build a shared culture of radical openness in an area of the the city currently threatened by property speculation.

The group I was part of managed to generate two separate projects that I briefly present below.

In detail

Lab Lead
Dr John Fass, London College of Communication

Lab Facilitators
Alaistair Steele, London College of Communication
Dr Tyler Fox, University of Washington
Ronnie Deelen, Royal College of Art, London College of Communication

Postgraduate students from:
London College of Communication, UAL
Basque Biodesign Center
Mondragon University

In June six MA UX students were selected from our cohort to take part in a DRS Lab called "The Echoing River", in the context of the Design Research Society Conference in Bilbao, Spain. From the 20th of June until the 28th -when we had our open evening- we worked in groups, exploring the importance that the Bilbao river (Ria) holds for the community, the economy and the space.

My group consisted of Dany Garcia Solano (LCC), Maialen Borrero Ahedo (Mondragon Univerity) and Elsa Gil (Basque Biodesign Center) and we were lucky enough to be hosted by Espacio Open, a creative poly-space housed in the abandoned Artiarch factory.

Our group managed to generate two separate projects and I will briefly present them below.

28 de Junio (28th of June)
A project representing the tide levels of the Ria, for that specific day, in an analogue data field. At the same time the installation acts as an interactive music instrument, the steel bottles contain different quantities of water and the audience could bounce them to hit the floor or to hit each other and play different sounds.

There Are People There
This project was a live performance exploring the relationship of the two opposing sides of the river. Mainland Bilbao, gentrified with new buildings and a beautiful riverside pedestrian walk and the island side, which looks abandoned and is highly industrial without any recreational capabilities for its residents. The mainland and the island are connected by only one bridge while one more is under construction, creating a very clear separation between the two. The act of waving to each other creates an abstract, imaginary bridge between the two, reminding pedestrians that there is still life on the other side. The two performers are waving at each other,calling out phrases in the Basque language, like "Hello", "How are you", "I am Sofia" etc.

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