Public Intimacy: the Masterclass

Pissing in the Park, 2nd Edition with Agi Haines and Bettina Möllring

1 jul 2016

The body has an amazingly intricate system for eliminating waste. In the animal kingdom some creatures use urination as a powerful form of communication, but we humans have become increasingly ashamed of this natural and inevitable bodily function. This workshop aims to speculate about the role of the toilet as a prosthetic, by connecting our bodily material with the external environment. How can we gain inspiration from the existing biological world to re-design the act of urination? And how can we transform the public space of Dijkspark into a pee-friendly zone that works for all genders?

Full day program incl. lunch and materials.


Sitting and squatting positions. - Bettina Möllring (D)

About the Masterclass

This is an invitation to anyone who would like to take part in sociological research on public sanitation and urban identity. With the help of two designers we are going to discuss, imagine and prototype ways to upgrade and update the female peeing experience both inside and outside of our bodies.

Participants will reimagine the connection between our bodies and the elimination of waste in devices such as the toilet and beyond. How can our bodies better connect with waste disposal systems? Do problems associated with urination suggest design issues within the human body? And how can we connect these waste-sytems to the public space of the Dijkspark?

Read more about the previous Pissing in the Park masterclass here.


Listening to Agi - Agi Haines provoking the participants of the workshop with interesting questions. Margherita Soldati


12:00 - 13:00 – Welcome and lunch at Mediamatic ETEN

13:00 - 13:30 – Walking Tour
We will look at some of the potential places to urinate around Mediamatic and relate these to issues highlighted by Bettina Moellring in her talk the day before.

13:30 - 14:00 – Anatomy and Alteration
Agi Haines will present some inspirational images regarding the anatomy of urination and modification and go through the program of the workshop, questions we intend to highlight and what we intend to achieve.

14:00 - 14:30 – Ideas generation
All participants will be given a form through which they can generate their own brief in groups. All groups will also be given a camera to log their ideas processing.

14:30 - 15:30 – Developing ideas
Participants will then be given time to develop their ideas into prototype drawings, paper engineering or clay sculpts. Workshop leaders will stimulate the activities by discussing ideas, modification scenarios and production techniques.

15:30 – 16:00 – Photographic evidence
Participants will document their prototypes against their chosen backdrop for archival evidence.

16:00 - 17:00 - Discussion
Participants will then present their ideas to the group and there will be a discussion of the prototypes and their affect.

17:00 - End drinks
Enjoy a drink at the Mediamatic ETEN bar.


Viewing the area of Dijkspark - During the 1st Masterclass: Pissing in the park, participants we invited to envision the erae surrounding Mediamatic Biotoop as a pee-friendly zone. Xiang Yu Yeung


Circumventive Organs - With the introduction of bioprinting the possibility of new organs is becoming a reality. The ability to replicate and print cells in complex structures could mean different cells with various functions could be put together in new ways to create new organs we would take millions of years to evolve naturally Agi Haines (UK)

Bettina Möllring

Bettina is one of the few European toilet experts. The Mediamatic Pis' Project has already established that the toilet is one of the most intimate places for humans in both our private and public lives. We all use those limited few square metres in a never-ending variety of ways. With this in mind, it is not difficult to see that simplistic design solutions widely contradict and ignore the ergonomics of our bodies and gendered priorities. Consider Potty Parity, for instance. At this masterclass, Bettina will introduce us to some design principles resulting from her research and open up a discussion on both human factors and cultural differences with regards to bathroom etiquette.

Agi Haines

The main focus of Agi's work is design of the post-human body, imagining how our bodies might adapt artificially or by evolution with regards to the environment and our built surroundings. At this masterclass, Agi will prompt a rethink about the objects that we associate most with the naked body: underwear, clothing and the use of toilets. Going even further than this, Agi will also guide the re-imagination of our internal organs: how are our organs linked to the metabolism of the city? Together we will prototype our future bodies in order to generate a positive pee experience for ladies in the park.


Agi Haines at Mediamatic - Image captured to accompany this interview by Gijs de Boer on Gijs de Boer


Masterclass with Bettina Möllring and Agi Haines
Friday, June 1st, 12:00 - 19:00
Mediamatic Biotoop, Dijksgracht 6, 1019BS Amsterdam
Tickets: €126* / €180

*Artists, Freelancers, students and employees of cultural organizations qualify for a 30% discount.

Participants are advised to attend our Pis'talk event the evening before to understand the foundation of this Pissing in the Park Masterclass. Attending the Pis'talk is free for participants of the Masterclass.