Common Waters: An Overview

What is Common Waters? You may have been following the social media updates and reading the posters, but some of you might be wondering how Common Waters has evolved, and continues to grow.

In Fall 2018, the current co-coordinators of BRIDGE,  (Omar Ferwati, Nicholas Frayne, Tony Kogan and Julia Nakanishi) were approached by Cambridge Art Galleries with a proposal to collaborate on a community project that would follow BRIDGE's motives to connect the school with Cambridge beyond.

Both groups decided collectively that the project had potential for significant outreach, and was also an opportunity to discuss a number of pressing issues of our time through multiple perspectives. Common Waters will be featuring the contributions architects, knowledge keepers, artists, biologists, engineers, writers, activists and many more. Along with a number of dedicated students from the School of Architecture, the curation team has collaborated to create a series of art, workshops, discussions, gatherings, and excursions that explore our relationship with water and provides a discussion platform. 

The BRIDGE team and Cambridge Art Galleries spent the Winter 2019 term workshopping the "series", which involved brainstorming potential groupings for the very diverse set of submissions we received. Our final program allows for the different voices of Common Waters to come together in four broad clusters that range in their scale and focus. These groups are personal experiences, communal stories, unstable environments and collective actions.

Workshop with Cambridge Art Galleries, Winter 2019

Workshop with Cambridge Art Galleries, Winter 2019

Common Waters exists between two distinct spaces, Design at Riverside Gallery (located within the School of Architecture) and the BRIDGE Storefront on Main Street, each with its own focus.

Design at Riverside Gallery holds artwork of diverse mediums and themes as well as an open research desk for visitors to ask questions that come up during their experience. Design at Riverside will host talks by exhibited artists and community leaders.

The BRIDGE Storefront supports an exhibit-in-progress where Common Waters can continue to evolve. This includes artifacts, an artist-in-residence, evolving academic work by students at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture, and an expanding physical record of the summer’s initiatives and events. The BRIDGE Storefront will host workshops, performances, and talks throughout the summer. The events, along with their detailed descriptions can be found on the Common Waters Calendar. Stay tuned for updates and impressions of the summer's activities through this journal.

Our Opening Reception will be taking place this Friday, June 14th, and will consist of two consecutive events. The first event will begin at Idea Exchange Design at Riverside Gallery at 7:00PM with Christine Lefebvre - Karonhya Katste, leading an opening ceremony which will include a smudge, land acknowledgement with a circle to follow. At 8:00 PM, the event will continue at BRIDGE Centre for Architecture + Design (37 Main Street, Cambridge) until 10:00PM.

We hope that Common Waters can begin a discussion on the future we want and connect us to each other in the process, as well as continue to inform architecture students on how we can use our design background to facilitate community initiatives and exhibitions.

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