Using Urine in Smarter Ways

Pis’talk 1: Hugo Cortial, André Marques Arsénio and Janna Coomans

30 Apr 2015

You never really get to talk about piss, do you? Well, at Mediamatic, we do. Kicking off the first Pis’talk, a series of lectures that explore urine in a broad cultural and contextual sense. The speakers of the evening will dive into the history of urban sanitation, as well as explore urine as a resource, and a source of both nutrients and water in modern day societies. Think we’re just taking the piss? Come find out at the Pis'talk!

Join us for food and drinks at 18:30, talks begin at 20:00.
Free entrance for We Are Public-members.


Urine test - Colours of urine, ranging from over-hydrated(left) to dehydrated(right). Juliette

Janna Coomans

Did premodern people really just pee in the streets of Amsterdam? Were there no toilets back then? And what did they do with the waste? Janna Coomans from University of Amsterdam is researching the interplay between socio-political and bodily practices in the urban environment. Her research project explores ideals and practices of cleanliness in pre-modern Dutch cities. Examining both the technological perspective, but also the more cultural and satirical side of it.


Janna Coomans at the first Pis'talk - Janna Coomans talking about ideals and practices of cleanliness in pre-modern Dutch cities Xiang Yu Yeung

Hugo Cortial

Urine can be processed and transformed into biologically sustainable nutrients, which can be used as fertilizer. De Ceuvel is Amsterdam's playground for clean technology and exploring the future of self-sufficient cities. All the clean technology at De Ceuvel is done by Metabolic. Hugo Cortial from Metabolic focuses on decentralizing utilities through waste seperation and transformation, creating valuable by-products such as compost and fertilizer. He will be talking about Metabolic's work with processing urine at De Ceuvel.


Cleantech Playground - A technical and environmental system for the de Ceuvel site called the Cleantech Playground, designed and build by Metabolic. Metabolic Lab

André Marques Arsénio

Maputo in Mozambique and many other cities in developing countries suffer from water scarcity and insufficient sanitation services, due to population growth and sheer lack of technical capacity and knowledge. Postdoctoral researcher at TU Delft, André Marques Arsénio, is working on ways to reduce the water shortage. His project researches the social and technical aspects of water reclamation systems from two angles: the centralized reuse at the wastewater treatment plant of Maputo, and the de-centralized in peri-urban areas. This includes protecting the water supply from being contaminated by inorganic fertilizer, by using diluted urine to irrigate fields.


André Marques Arsénio at the first Pis'talk - Xiang Yu Yeung


Pis’talk 1
Thursday, April 30th
Doors and food open at 18.30
Talks begin at 20.00
Biotoop Mediamatic, Dijksgracht 6, Amsterdam
Tickets: €8,50 (€3,50 for members)

Students pay only €5! Fill in the discount code 'student' at the check-out. NB: we will ask you to show your student id at the ticket service.
We Are Public-member enter for free. NB: Expect to show your membership card.