Monday 9 October 18:00 - 20:00

Lecture Theatre A
London College of Communication
Elephant and Castle

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Drinkable Rivers: A compass for designing futures

Family & Education

A film showing and conversation with Li An Phoa and Maarten van der Schaaf on the future of healthy rivers and the role of design.

Open to invited guests, UAL staff and students .

The Design School at London College of Communication is proud to host a lively conversation with Li An Phoa on drinkable rivers as indicators for healthy living and the role of design. Li An Phoa is founder of Drinkable Rivers, a collective that initiates walks, citizen science and citizen action to promote the health of rivers around the world. In September and October she will be walking with her partner Maarten van der Schaaf the 220 miles length of the river Thames, from source to sea. Along the way, they will meet school children, farmers, fishermen, teachers, rowers, journalists, politicians and environmentalists. A future with drinkable rivers in the UK may seem improbable, however this walk can be considered as the start of a conversation about what it would take to make our rivers drinkable again.

In this conversation we explore what a world with drinkable rivers would look like and how designers can contribute to this possible future. We hear from the experiences of those living, working and nurturing our rivers alongside designers, activists, policy makers and economists aiming to contribute to the future of river health.


6:00 - 6:20 pm: Drinks and refreshments

6:20 – 6:50 pm: Welcome and film showing: Drinkable Rivers

6:50 – 7:30 pm: Conversation with Li An and guests

7:30 – 8:00 pm: Drinks and refreshments

The event will be hosted by our undergraduate course teams BA (Hons) Design Management part of the launch of our new BA (Hons) Design for Climate Justice.

If you are not an invited guest or UAL staff or student and would like to join this event, please contact [email protected] to enquire about places.

About the speakers

Li An Phoa (1980) is the founder of Drinkable Rivers and Spring College. She studied business administration, philosophy, and systems ecology. Li An’s 1,000-kilometre walk along the river Meuse was the subject of the documentary Long Walk for Drinkable Rivers.

Maarten van der Schaaf (1980) is a writer and journalist. Phoa and Van der Schaaf wrote the book Drinkable rivers: how the river became my teacher. They live together on a stone’s throw from the North Sea, the destination of many rivers.

Find out more about Drinkable Rivers.

Read Li An and Maarten's latest book Drinkable Rivers: How the river became my teacher

Join the Drinkable Thames walk

Anyone can join the Drinkable Thames Walk before or after the event at LCC. Li An and Maarten will leave from Chelsea Bridge on Sunday 8th October 9 AM and Greenwich on Wednesday 11th October 9 AM.

Explore the full schedule and registrations.

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