UFO (Unidentified Floating Objects)

Geneva, September 2023

HEAD – Genève & École Camondo

The Unidentified Floating Objects (UFOs) project unfolded as a captivating exploration into the intricacies of Lake Léman’s inhabited waters and the dynamic interplay between humans and the mid-water ecosystem. Over the course of a five-day workshop, groups of students embarked on a creative journey, conceptualizing and fabricating floating devices designed to serve diverse programmatic purposes. The culmination of their efforts materialized on the final day, as participants collectively ventured onto the serene expanse of Lake Léman, navigating the waters within the confines of their ingeniously crafted architectures.

Lake Léman and the adjacent Rhône River served as the canvas for a plethora of floating structures, each uniquely engineered to fulfill distinct functions. Among these innovative constructs were devices dedicated to filtering and purifying the water, delving beneath its surface to meticulously measure its properties, inhabiting the water’s upper layers, effortlessly traversing through its depths, and seamlessly transitioning between different bodies of water and organisms for interactive engagement. The exploration of these activities provided valuable insights into the contemporary relationship shared between water resources and the daily life of the Geneva populace.

A noteworthy aspect of the project lay in its commitment to sustainability, as all architectural devices were constructed using solely reused materials. This eco-conscious approach not only underscored the students’ creativity and resourcefulness but also reflected a conscientious effort to minimize environmental impact. As a manifesto of the ethos of the workshop, once the exploration phase concluded, all structures were meticulously dismantled and carefully stored for future reuse, embodying a commitment to responsible and mindful design practices.

The Unidentified Floating Objects initiative succeeded not only in fostering a deeper understanding of the delicate balance within Lake Léman’s ecosystem but also in showcasing the potential for innovative, sustainable solutions in the realm of aquatic architecture. The collaborative efforts of the students, coupled with their commitment to ecological responsibility, left an intangible mark on the shores of Lake Léman, serving as an inspiring example for future endeavors at the intersection of human activity and environmental stewardship.


Workshop tutors:
HEAD – Genève: Leonid Slonimskiy, Paule Perron
École Camondo: Valentin Dubois, Artus Monat


HEAD – Genève: Balakrishnan Navya, Bolch Sawako, Canton Emma, Coman Larisa, Eischen Cloé, Fomina Mariia, Jalalzadeh Darya, Kasmein Leila, Law Frida, Lee Jaemo, Pettenati Giada, Tapia Buchelli Sofia, Tourette Célia, Zepeda Aranda Ana Karina, Miskufova Alexandra, Schild Marie Lesley, Torrione Marie, Pitetti Sandy

École Camondo: Léa Berio, Marie Calleja, Enora Chancel, Emilie Chemin, Justin Chesse, Jade Corre, Lyam Cottet, Oscar Courjaud, Ambre Driouche, Juliette Francisco, Anca Gavrila, Anne-sophie Grifo, Nessrine Jeridi, Laura Lacommare, Fanny Leclerc, Clara Leynaert, Elisa Lorgues, Lilou Loubeyre, Clélia Manuguerra, Jean-charles Miquel, Carla Molinari, Margot Morteau, Yannis Negrel, Eva Nicolaï, Lily Noir, Kynsie Ondo, Carla Puccinelli, Ann-liz Radegonde, Zélia Sacchi, Alixe Siffert, Anissa Tekin, Maxime Vallat, Lolie Vasselin Girard, Berenice Vidal-sanz, Côme Vulin

© HEAD – Genève, Raphaëlle Mueller