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YEAR: 2012
EXHIBITION VIEW:12. ELIA Biennal Conference Vienna, MQ
DATE: 10.11.2012, Group Exhibition

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Clean water, free of bacteria, is implicitness in Austria today. Water is an important resource for the development of a peaceful society. Globally, clean water, free of bacteria, is a scarce resource. With improvements in methods, through careful production, storage, use, and disposing of this valuable element, one will succeed in making clean hygienic water available to all human beings. Until now, cholera is a life-threatening epidemic infection in developing countries.
Cholera provokes massive, life-threatening diarrhea attacks, intestinal cramps, and vomiting. Especially the youngest children are particularly vulnerable of dehydration due to high loss of fluids. Untreated, up to two-thirds of children infected with cholera die, within a few days (Huq et al. 1996).
In 1973, Rita R. Colwell et al. described the symbiotic life of Vibrio cholerae with zoo-plankton and copepods.
Huq et al. (1996) invented a simple method of filtration: four layers of sari filter out 99% of Vibrio cholerae.
In May 2011, the World Health Assembly recognized the reemergence of cholera as a significant global public health problem and adopted resolution WHA 64.15, calling for implementation of an integrated and comprehensive global approach to cholera control (World Health Organization 2011). In 2007, the author won a prize for her artwork on four layers of sari (Neptun Wasserpreis 2007 – Verbund) (see Fig. 25), and since 2011, she participates at the Earth Water Catalogue of Uwe Laysiepen (Mateus-Berr 2007; Laysiepen (Ulay) 2011).

Since receiving the contemporary art award for her project 4 layers of sari in 2007 the project was developed further. Her students asked her to co-laborate.
Since 2012 they started to work on the topic: “4 layers of sari”, which is a scientific result of the microbiologist Rita Colwell and her team (Colwell 2003) to reduce 99% of the pathogens of cholera, the Vibrio Cholerae. The Lab covers a broad range of problem domains from pattern making to fashion for buildings with inflatable membranes.
Recent experiments reveal new perspectives for fashion and, additionally, bring up educationally fruitful methods for working with mathematical topics using a creative base. Interim results are presented through performative lectures at international conferences. Art and design based research is biased scientifically and applied practically at once.

Ruth Mateus-Berr aimed to develop beyond the work of photography, a fashion brand, co-developed with fashion design students from Austria and abroad, dedicated to women from Bangladesh and sold by them via web. The project did not mean to advertise “4 Layers of Sari” in Bangladesh but to make a simple but great scientific finding known all over the world.
The artist is member of the water initiative of Uwe Laysiepen.

More information

As seen in
Mateus-Berr, Ruth (2020) Applied Design Thinking LAB and Creative Empowering of Interdisciplinary Teams. 2020 In: Springer Encyclopedia on Creativity, Invention, Innovation and En-trepreneurship (CI2E). Eds: Elias G. Carayannis, Igor N. Dubina, Norbert Seel, David F. J. Campbell, Dimitri Udiszuni. New York: Springer


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