The Waterpod was a floating platform and a proposal for nomadic, mobile shelters on the water that remained dependent on the city. It was built with materials from NYC's waste stream and designed to embody resourcefulness. Its ultimate goal was to provide alternatives to current and future urban living spaces in anticipation of a greater flux in environmental conditions.
To achieve this, the Waterpod emphasized cooperation, collaboration, and metamorphosis, reflecting the need for people to rely on more immediate communities and seek out alternative living models. The project was envisioned as a singular unit that could expand into water communities: archipelagos that could mutate with the tides.
Mayra climbing the dome in the Waterpod, 2009
Waterpod Visitor at Worlds Fair Marina in Queens, 2009
Workshop with Bob Hyland on the Waterpod, 2009
Waterpod at Concrete Plant Park, 2009. Photo. Ian Daniel
Years of conceptual work went into the Waterpod project, including the creation of designs, theoretical treatises, project plans, maps, itineraries, descriptive documents, architectural layouts, and programming timelines.
A cohesive support network was crucial to gain the necessary backing for this undertaking in New York City. The project represented barter and in-kind support led by many talented people, including Mira and Derek Hunter, Eve K. Tremblay, Leslie Bocskor, and Cory Mervis, who stood by the project throughout the entire journey.
Several key individuals reached out at critical points to move the project forward, such as Allison Jaffin at NYC Deputy Mayor Patti Harris’s office, Jamie Bennett at the Department of Cultural Affairs, and Maxeme Tuchman from the Mayor’s Office of Special Projects. Blank Rome, LLC also provided invaluable support by taking on the project as a pro bono assignment.
As the project gained momentum and a solid base of support, other talented individuals joined the team, including John McGarvey, Alison Ward, Carissa Carman, Lonny Grafman, Dockmaster Frank J. Carnesi, Rik van Hemmen at Martin Ottaway, Evan Korn, Jessica Rosenfield, U.S. Coast Guard Commander Brian S. Gilda, Sara Reisman at Percent for Art, Ken Hollenbeck, Richard Massey, and many others. In the final stages of planning, co-curator Ian Daniel, Mayra Ciment, Nicole Pilar, Kristen Parker, Janet Persia, and numerous volunteers joined the effort, contributing to the Waterpod project.
When the project began, the systems demanded constant care. After the first couple of months, and input from visitors from all over the city, the systems grew in stability and residents could take their attention away from maintenance efforts. At that point we began planning more public events and workshops. Over the course of the project, around 200,000 visitors had contributed to the Waterpod.
Visit the Waterpod website: thewaterpod.org