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CH2O
CH20


The recent climate change media event organized by the government of the Maldives reminded us of an exhibition mounted by a group of architects, designers and artists for EXPO.02 in Switzerland. Working under the collective name Waterproof, they imagined a(n) (im)possible scenario in which the water level in Switzerland has risen to 1400 meters (4600 feet), turning the landlocked, Alpine country into an island nation, its rocky peaks rising above a vast ocean.

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Waterproof's imaginative, sometimes hilarious, but always thought provoking images reflect something we've always been interested in: how countries might adapt to a climate changed world.

If in the unlikely event that everyone becomes carbon negative, not just carbon neutral, tomorrow, climate change isn't likely to be reversed anytime soon. Before whatever historical climatic condition that was codified as the international goal is reached, countries will experience water and food shortages, hotter and wetter weather, habitat loss, perhaps even extinction. During this interim, how will countries cope logistically? They will be geographically transformed, but will they also (intentionally) mutate culturally, even biologically?

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Waterproof were Alexandre Bettler, Sara Bochicchio, Manuel Borruat, Cédric Decroux, Eric Emery, Yves Fidalgo, Axel Jaccard, Sébastien Rappaz and Frédéric Seydoux.
8 COMMENTS —
  • Geoff Manaugh
  • October 19, 2009 at 7:25:00 PM CDT
  • Alex, you should check out Stephen Baxter's novel Flood someday; it's not actually a bad book, in many ways... As Wikipedia phrases it, Flood "describes a near future world where deep submarine seismic activity leads to seabed fragmentation, and the opening of deep subterranean reservoirs of water, estimated to equal the current mass of the Arctic Ocean in bulk. Human civilisation is destroyed by the rising inundation, which even covers Mount Everest in 2052, submerging all landmasses on Earth, although the human species has survived." It's a pretty memorable book, to be honest. I should be posting about it on BLDGBLOG soon.


  • Anonymous
  • October 20, 2009 at 8:14:00 PM CDT
  • I could be missing something here but what's formaldehyde (CH2O) got to do with Switzerland?


  • Alexander Trevi
  • October 20, 2009 at 11:26:00 PM CDT
  • The CH in CH2O stands for Confoederatio Helvetica, which is the official name of Switzerland in Latin. Of course, H2O is for water.


  • Anonymous
  • November 15, 2009 at 1:10:00 AM CST
  • beautiful!


  • Anonymous
  • January 31, 2010 at 1:49:00 PM CST
  • woah il y a enfin notre projet ca fait plaisir
    sara bochicchio seydoux


  • fan
  • June 23, 2010 at 3:24:00 PM CDT
  • Where did you dig this out? I very well remember the exhibition at the expo 02. There was also a booklet to go with it, think it was exhibitedas part of the pavillion put together by the Hochparter one of the Swiss Architecture and Design magazines.


  • Alexander Trevi
  • June 24, 2010 at 7:30:00 PM CDT
  • I discovered it via Fulguro, the atelier started by 3 members of Waterproof: Cédric Decroux, Yves Fidalgo and Axel Jaccard. At their website, it's listed under SCENOGRAPHY.

    I stumbled upon Fulguro itself when one of their products, reLeaf, was splashed about in several high-trafficked design blogs a few years ago.


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