Looking for Interns / Graduation Projects for Medialab Project on Rainproofing Amsterdam

From February to June 2016 The Mobile City, in close cooperation with One Architecture and Rainproof will run a project in the Medialab of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. There are still a few opportunties open to participate in this, if you are looking for an internship or Graduation project.

You can apply here.  

More about the Medialab can be found here

And here’s more about the project we will be doing:

Over the last decade, many cities around the world have seen an increase in high-intensity rain showers, leading to sudden floodings in places as Kopenhagen and Amsterdam. How can we make use of new media technologies such as sensor networks and datavis to raise awareness for this problem and enable citizens to take action collectively?


Over the last decade, many European cities (as many other cities in the world) have seen an increase in high-intensity rain showers, leading to floodings in cities such as Kopenhagen and Amsterdam. One of the underlying problems is that cities are build-up to such an extent that natural rainwater collection systems have given way to non-porous asphalt and bricks.

Individual citizens could contribute to a solution for this problem by making their houses and neighbourhoods more ‘rainproof’. That is they could invest in rain water collection systems or build green roofs or small street gardens that can retain rain water. Collaboration on a neighbourhood level could lead to even better results, when citizens coordinate their efforts and start collaborating with local governments on building interventions for rainwater collection in public space.

Two aspects currently hinder citizen engagement with this issue. The first is a lack of awareness about the activities people could undertake to contribute to the solution of this problem. The second is that water is understood as a typical ‘commons’ problem: the investment in water retaining initiatives is individual, but the profit (no more flooding) is non-exclusive. In other words, water management is understood as a public good, with few incentives for citizens to take ownership in it.

Design challenge

A hypothesis is that datafication could contribute to finding a solution for these problems and incentivize citizens to take ownership in it. With sensors and other measures, it would be possible to map both individual contributions to the solution, as well as the communal gains. These data could for instance be visualized as part of awareness campaigns, in the visualization of various scenarios, or they could be employed in accounting schemes connecting individual investments to communal

Can we design a media application that raises awareness of the issue of ‘rainproof’, shows citizens what they can contribute, and offer them tools to collectively take action?

Directions for the solution could be: datavisualizations that show flood levels based on recent downpours, scenario’s in which citizens can calculate how much they can contribute, a knowledgebase that follows a clear customer journey, a platform for collective action, etc.

What we are looking for

We are currently forming a media lab team to tackle this design challenge. To be successful, we need students with a variety of backgrounds, amongst others:
• students with experience in setting up and programming for sensor networks / IoT
• students with experience in datavis
• students with experience in UX-design / interface design
• students with experience with gamification
• students with experience in service design
• students with knowledge / experience in water management relevant to the theme
• students with a theoretical and practical understanding of commons management, civic economy, or business models in relation to the theme


Time frame
The medialab project in Amsterdam starts in February. After an iterative process in which prototypes are designed in various steps, the final results will be presented in June 2016.

The Mobile City website is maintained by Martijn de Waal and Michiel de Lange.