FINAL TWO WEEKS of expo ‘Fluid Matter- Designing with Water In Amsterdam’

16.11.22 Eeke Brussee en Anastasia Campbell

There are only two more weeks left to visit the exhibition ‘Fluid Matter- Designing with Water In Amsterdam’ (9 July – 27 November 2022) in Arcam.

Your final chance to experience how water can be used to design a climate resilient Amsterdam!

We highlighted a few works of the exhibition that are definitely worth checking out.


Clams - Marco Barotti

In the exhibition there are exciting artworks on display. One example is this multi-media installation, in which clams are the protagonists. Clams serve as tiny filtration systems as they spot pollutants.

Each clam in this installation is made from recycled plastic waste. A microtonal soundscape creates a life-like opening and closing action of the shell, in other words the vibrations of the clams. Next to the vibrations, you hear sounds that take you to a different world. These sounds are based on readings from a water purity sensor that is placed next to Arcam, in the Oosterdok.

The installation translates data from the Oosterdok through different media, which is interesting because it engages with the local environment of Arcam. This way, ‘Clams’ draw on the intersection between media art, data sonification and environmental sustainability.

Het Dakplan - Jolein Melis

Another interesting design is ‘Het Dakplan’ made by former Avans art-student Jolein Melis. A substantial amount of houses in the Netherlands are located below N.A.P., which means there is a flood risk if the water level rises and breaks through the existing dykes.

Jolein explains that many households are not prepared for this disaster, while many people would be affected by the flooding (50% of the Dutch population!). Therefore, Jolein created an emergency kit  for households that helps rescue them. She explains “the Dakplan consists of a modular set of roof tiles, hollow and plastic, that can interlock to form a raft. Each roof tile has a buoyancy of 5 kilograms so you can manage the weight yourself.”

Due to the rising sea levels and ongoing need to protect our houses against future flooding, it is important to carry on thinking about ways to stay safe. Jolein not only provides a lifesaving solution with this rescue set, it is also a means of reassuring people. Knowing you have this emergency kit in your house will make you stay more calm hopefully.

Amsterdams Time Machine

This part of the exhibition is assured to grasp your attention: the Amsterdam Time Machine. The title sounds surreal, but at Arcam even this is now possible. On the lower floor of the exhibition, our visitors will notice a large interactive screen. On the screen you will see the “Living with water” project. The project was brought to life by a collaboration between Water net, Arcam, the Municipality of Amsterdam, AdamNet, UvA and the Amsterdam Time Machine Team.

This is a joint project that – for this specific exhibition – aims to immerse visitors into the history of Amsterdam’s complex relationship to water. Using the screen you can manually adjust specific variables within a detailed 3D model of Amsterdam – adjust the year you are in, the level of water and the rental prices throughout the centuries… And see what happens.


Apart from larger exhibits, if you spend some time at the “Fluid Matter- Designing with water in Amsterdam” you may come across some hidden details that also ignite curiosity. For instance, do you know what the NAP level is of the Amsterdam Nieuw West region, or what this level actually entails?

The NAP is the ‘Normaal Amsterdam Peil’ which is a 0 point that is approximately equivalent to the average level of the North Sea. This level is regulated through polders and dykes. Experts can rely on this indicator to make sure that all the variables keeping Amsterdam from flooding are under control. Scattered around the exhibition you can pick up a lot of details like this, that will make you more aware of the art of upkeeping a city built on water.


Plan your visit now and view our opening hours and ticket rates.

With financial support by Waterschap Amstel Gooi en Vecht, The European Media Art Platform (EMAP) co-funded by the European Union, Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, City of Amsterdam, and all 5D ExpoLab sponsors

Website by HOAX Amsterdam