Aqua Vita


Aqua Vita


Aqua Vita builds upon ongoing research at the Netherlands Metabolomics Centre and Sino-Dutch Centre for Preventive and Personalized Medicine in systems biology, developing a more holistic interpretation of the human body and the pathways linked to disease.

Contrary to popular belief, urine is not waste but a biofluid rich in information, providing valuable insights into the metabolic state of an organism. Utilising the archival properties of urine, Aqua Vita maps the body’s ever evolving ecosystem, exploring a shift in our understanding of health as a dynamic, resilient system. Merging knowledge from Traditional Chinese Medicine with metabolic profiling of urine, health and disease are merged into one life process, presented and monitored over time through the design of the Metabolic Painting.

Placing themselves as test cases throughout this process, the designers learned to value and reflect upon the daily process of self monitoring, questioning the value of generating such biometric and experiential data. Based on their personal experiences the duo present a series of objects that engage with the abstract experience of daily collection and analysis of data.

AquaVita_UV Urine Vials
AquaVita_UrineWheel Urine Colour Wheel
AquaVita_FA Fluid Analyser
AquaVita_EC Echo
MetabolicPainting_2 The Metabolic Painting (Zoom-Out)
MetabolicPainting_4 The Metabolic Painting (Zoom-In)
Aqua Vita

Project Team

Aqua Vita is a project developed for the Designers & Artists in collaboration with the Netherlands Metabolomics Centre, with the support of the Sino-Dutch Centre for Preventive and Personalized Medicine.

Programming by Dave Young

Electronics by David Menting

Photography by Lauren Hillebrandt

Winner of The Designers & Artists Genomics Award 2011 (now renamed the BAD Award)