WaterWays Visualization Computational Reflexivity for Sustainability Action


Session Title:

  • The Planetary: Water Ways

Presentation Title:

  • WaterWays Visualization Computational Reflexivity for Sustainability Action



  • We discuss Water Ways project that uses a research creation approach to bridge scientific, Indigenous, artistic, and humanistic perspectives within media rich datadriven visualizations.
    The Water Ways demonstrates how the research-creation method enables articulation and exploration of the nature of humanwater relationships in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia. The resulting visualizations employ use of interactive media technologies and software design to form a platform for dialogue across communitybased, poetic and scientific water knowledges. The project synthesizes important water knowledge and research in order to catalyze greater ecological awareness and promote more sustainable water use practices among Okanagan residents.

    The work explores the multiple meanings that water holds for the many communities, and interest groups in the valley, including Indigenous Okanagan (Syilx) communities, environmentalists, artists, agriculturalists, foresters and tourists. By weaving together multiple community stories, diverse water knowledge, and artistic expressions, the visualizations provide a setting for our complex local understanding of water. Acknowledging the sustainable practices of the Okanagan people on this land, we engage in a design methodology for creating an experiential learning environment that aligns with the holistic approach evident in Indigenous ways of regenerating and developing important communal practices. This methodology tightly integrates many ways of knowing through story, song and creative expression.