Aquatopia - the children’s research submarine

a project by the Institute for Contemporary Art of the TU Graz & Kinderbüro
in cooperation with Zoom Children's Museum, Vienna.

artistic concept and coordination: Daniela Brasil
architecture assistant: Thomas Kalcher and Patricia Wess
art assistant: Lola Seibt
graphic design: Dietmar Reinbacher


In the summer of 2013, a submarine docked at the Karmeliterplatz, Graz and the Museumsquartier, Vienna; bringing an atmosphere of experimental research and playfulness to the public space. Its extradisciplinary crew merged artistic and scientific processes to observe, record and discuss our daily relation to water and the related plastic waste production.

Preparations were made in a research project and in teaching activities throughout the academic year. Excursions followed the paths of fresh water supplies and sewage systems of the cities of Graz and Vienna, and out of field notes, artistic installations were developed and an illustrated logbook displaying the Grazer and Viennese water cycles in a comprehensive way for children was produced. In parallel, the IZK Halle became a dockyard where architecture students built the actual submarine (11x5x4m) from materials sourced in junkyards. The submarine's outer skin was made out of 2000 disposable plastic bottles, collected and worked in cooperation with local schools and the TU Graz cleaning staff. The interior was furbished with works from 12 international artists, as for example the Bridge, which was designed and activated by New York based artist Catherine Grau. There various diving equipments could be borrowed and used for urban-aquatic explorations.


participanting artists:
Ursula Achternkamp, Eva Ursprung, GDS & Roter Keil, Christian Meixner, Nayari Castillo, Tuuli Sundén-Uusimäki, Barbara Raic, Catherine Grau, Günther Pedrotti, Richard Frankenberger, Andrea Acosta, Claudia del Cid, Elke Preisitz-Mathoi, Helene Thümmel, Luka Lipsinic, Luka Murovec, Boos & Moos