The Waterpod was a floating platform that showcased the potential of nomadic, mobile shelters and water-based communities, both docked and roaming. It was designed to embody self-sufficiency and resourcefulness, encourage learning and curiosity, foster human expression, and facilitate creative exploration. 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 their 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.
The Waterpod was more than just a shelter; it was a flexible extension of the body, a home, and a community. Its only constant was change and flow, connecting rivers to visitors and historic to futuristic ecologies.
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
Months of conceptual work went into the Waterpod project, including the creation of designs, theoretical treatises, business plans, budgets, maps, itineraries, descriptive documents, architectural layouts, and programming timelines. In addition to these, pages and pages of grant applications were prepared to secure support from various government, legal, private, and public entities.
A cohesive support network was crucial to gain the necessary backing for this ambitious undertaking in New York City. The project represented a feat of barter, in-kind, and pro bono endeavor 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. Richard Singleton and Glen Oxton from 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 success of the Waterpod project.
Visit the Waterpod website: thewaterpod.org