March 2019

How to Catch a River: a Practice-as-Research Project on Flooding

Working with the Ensemble team as a writer-in-residence, Claire Dean has explored different ways of making flood stories and working with technologies to share them.  This also formed part of her PhD in Design and Computing at Lancaster University.

During the research, Claire developed three very different kinds of stories:


The River Library, a participatory storymaking installation.  People were invited to throw story dice into books containing rivers and to use these as prompts to make up their own stories of rivers and flooding.





The Tide Jar, a prototype for a story lantern that is illuminated only at spring tides.  This is intended to be a reminder about variations in water levels, when daily life can disrupt our awareness of tide times and the lunar cycle.





We Are Riverish, a story about urban flooding, printed on water-soluble paper so that it dissolves in the rain.






Claire has also written a response in prose and images about the process of writing about flooding, published in Lune 02: Dislocation.