Milan Dinevski/MAO


Conference Living with Water


Living with water is a daily fact of life in Slovenia, more than it might seem at first glance. Water—from rivers to glacial lakes, waterfalls, torrential streams, gullies, bogs, intermittent lakes, bays, and karst and thermal springs—is one of the most powerful and decisive factors determining both Slovenia’s landscapes and its supply of drinking water. Water is part of myriad myths and the subconscious, part of thought and creativity, and part of politics and protest. At the same time, water is full of oppositions.

Because of water, life in Slovenia is enjoyable and satisfying, but at the same time water represents a particular danger. Nearly 160,000 Slovenians live in flood-prone areas, and some fifty to seventy floods, both major and minor, affect Slovenia every year. Forecasts show that, with more frequent and more intense extreme weather events, these numbers will continue to grow. At the same time, the right to drinking water has been enshrined in the constitution since 2016, and almost one-fifth of Slovenia’s territory is protected in order to safeguard drinking water resources. On the other hand, concessions for managing important water resources have recently been granted to corporations.

A multidisciplinary conference at the Museum of Architecture and Design will explore and discuss the relationship between architecture, spatial planning, and water both past and present, and what this relationship should look like in the future. How should one rethink water management and the protection of water resources in a country where water seems to be abundant? By understanding all the complexity and interconnectedness of natural and anthropogenic water systems, and by developing alternative models, is it possible to create a new, fairer, safer, and less invasive living environment? Water management requires the input of informed people and important political decisions. How should a broad discussion be opened about these pressing issues to create change?


9-00–10.00 Conference Registration

10.00–10.15 Brief Introductions and Opening/Welcome
Matevž Čelik, MAO Director, Commissioner of the Slovenian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Lučka Kajfež Bogataj, Head of the Center for Agrometeorology at the Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana
Janez Koželj, City of Ljubljana, Deputy Mayor

10.15–10.25 Presentation of the Slovenian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale; Bika Rebek, Some Place, Vienna, New York

10.25–10.35 Presentation of Living with Water - The Southern Fringe of Ljubljana exhibition; Špela Šubic and Milan Dinevski, MAO

10.35–11.55 Living with water in The Netherlands; past, present and future; Hans Brouwer, Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management, Netherlands

10.55–11.15 Regional aspects of water and development; Mitja Bricelj, Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning

11.15–11.30 Coffee break hosted by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands

11.30–12.15 Discussion panel: Common Water Issues of Our Time, moderator: Bika Rebek
Maite Borjabad, Art Institute of Chicago, Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design
Lidija Globevnik, Association of Water Engineers of Slovenia, President
Srečko Šestan, Civil Protection Commander
Hans Brouwer, Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management, Netherlands

12.15–13.00 Discussion panel: Being Waterwise in Everyday Life, moderator: Marta Vahtar
SET architects, Rome
SKREI, Porto
Janez Kastelic, Ljubljana Marsh Nature Park, Director
Mitja Bricelj, Slovenian Environment Agency
Matjaž Mikoš, Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering, Dean

13.00–13.45 Discussion panel: Challenges and the Future, moderator: Matevž Granda
Aliaksandra Smirnova, PHI, Moscow
Blanka Bartol, Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, Directorate of Spatial Planning, Construction, and Housing, Director
Igor Ritonja, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Food
Leon Kobetič, Locus d.o.o., Director

14.00–15.00 Closing and Lunch



Pot na Fužine 2

Entry fee

free admission

Entry anytime of the conference.