Oliver Herwig | Axel Thallemer


The Unity of Art and Science

296 pages
22 x 25.5 cm, approx. 700 colour illustrations. A book object.
English / German

The title is out of print.

ISBN 978-3-89790-266-4 Category:


What is water? Our perceptions of this “stuff” that is so existential for us vary widely. Water is scarcely perceived, if at all, in our cultural landscape unless it has changed from its usual state. Humanity has always been fully aware that water is ‘pivotal’ to its existence on this planet. The ancient Egyptians had always known that the Nile was the great giver of life that made the crucial difference between curse and blessing; it was venerated as divine. Very few people today are aware that of the vast volume of water we have on this planet, only about 2% is freshwater and, therefore, fit to be drunk by man and animal.

The book addresses the question of what water is, approaching an answer from two sides: first, through science and clarification of its chemical and physical properties and the effect they have on our living space. Second, it pursues in parallel the traces left by water in art, architecture and design, in which it is perceived as a phenomenon that is represented or used creatively in diverse ways. The focus is on the 20th century to the present.

An exhilarating dialogue emerges from the juxtaposition of art, architecture, design and science. This is a creative experiment that should stimulate all those who think responsibly to have some serious thoughts about this element so vital to our existence. Water will play a crucial role in determining our future; the question is how we are to deal with this precious substance.

has already been published in the “Four Elements” series. The two companion volumes on FIRE and EARTH will appear in casual sequence.


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