MediaLAB Amsterdam is now the Digital Society School! You are viewing an archive of MediaLAB projects. Content on this website may be outdated, and is without guarantee.



Almar Mulder
Jeffrey Gyamfi
Dymphie Burger

Commissioner: Amsterdam Rainproof


The risk of local floodings due to heavy rains is increasing in the Netherlands. How can we encourage and engage citizens to take action? Together with Amsterdam Rainproof, an Amsterdam based collective for sustainable water management, we will design solutions and gain awareness for this issue.

Another beer update!

So, as you might already know, we are brewing beer. What you might not know is that we are brewing a beer with De Prael, a brewery in Amsterdam. Last Friday, we dragged 1000 liters of rainwater from the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences to the brewery in the red light district. Luckily we had some help from our fellow medialab interns Freddy and Vibhor from the KLM team.

Trying to cross the wibautstraat in time.

Trying to cross the wibautstraat in time.

Read more

Beer update!


So, three more weeks have passed, but what is up with the rainproof beer? We have done quite a lot for the beer.

In the first week, we started brewing a new beer, a weizenbier, we were brewing it in the HvA studio, so we got some attention. The minor entrepeneurship noticed us and wrote an article in their startup magazine about us. 

The second batch was yeasting in our locker for two weeks, and is now ready to be bottled!

Team Rainproof brewing in the MediaLAB kitchen

Team Rainproof brewing in the MediaLAB kitchen

Letting the yeast do its job!

Letting the yeast do its job!


The day after the brewing, we were invited to join the knowledge mile dinner at The Pool, where we were invited to speak on the stage about our project and the beer. The Knowledge mile is an initiative of several public and private parties to make the wibautstraat and weesperstraat the most innovative and smartest street in Amsterdam. The knowledge mile also wants to be green, therefore they invited us to tell something.


In the same week, we also got in contact with a local brewery, who were interested in testing brewing with larger quantities of rainwater. We only need a place to catch the rainwater. This place will be the volkshotel, where we will install a simple installation that catches the rainwater that falls on the flat roof.

Alright, so the only thing is, is rainwater safe for consumption? We tested the pH in HvA’s chemistry lab, which was 7, that means that it is ok. Another thing is organic contamination, we got advice from the biology lab, who said that boiling the water for at least 10 minutes will remove all organic contamination. Besides that, we got information from hemel(s)water, who did research on chemical contamination of rainwater, this report stated that it was safe for consumption. However, if we want to commercially sell the beer, there will be more research needed.


DIY: rain beer!

Who does not like beer, please raise your hand!

Nobody, right, everybody likes beer. In the first sprint, our coach Joris, was brewing his own beer with his Hema brewing kit and had an idea. He had to use a lot of water, and thought that you could also use rainwater in the beer brewing process. This is a way to save drinking water, but also to use rainwater and make your house more rainproof.

There are many people who drink rainwater, whether it is safe to drink will depend on the environment and whether you cleaned it. If you for example have a lot of particulate matter or other types of air pollution in your environment, you will need a more serious approach for cleaning the water. Besides that, rain water does not contains salt and will have similar effects on your health as demineralised water. It is drinkable, but not if it is the only source of water for you, so “geniet, maar drink met mate”  (enjoy, but do not drink too much).

In order to make our beer safe for consumption, we boiled the water, which removed all the organic pollutants. To make it safer, destillation or filtering would be a better idea, because there might still be heavy metals, anorganic pollutants and acids in there. Not so healthy. We will analyse the beer in the lab at the Amsterdam University of Applied science whether the beer is totally safe for consumption.

For those who are interested, Joris uses a Hema beer brewing kit, you can find instructions on brewing beer here.

bier Read more

Team Rainproof is rainproofing

Big changes start with small steps, right? So a more rainproof Amsterdam also starts with small changes. The team members and coach of the rainproof team realised that they had never taken measures to rainproof their houses. During the brainstorm session, we discovered that we could also test some of the ideas we came up with. Joris, our coach, likes brewing his own beer, so he started brewing his beer with rainwater.

Hemelswater means heavenly water in Dutch.

Hemelswater means heavenly water (or rain) in Dutch. Logo has been made by Jeffrey.

Read more

Laser cutting a prototype

Every wednesday, all the MediaLAB interns have workshops, and today we had a laser cutting and adobe illustrator workshop. Every team should make a file in adobe illustrator that could be used by the laser cutter. We decided to make a prototype for our board game and to draw the board. Combined with information from waternet, we gave a ranking to each borough how rainproof it was on average.  The more “rainproof” the borough was, the higher it would be on the board.

The illustration

The illustration

Then we went to the makers lab and got an explanation how the laser cutter worked and decided to cut the boroughs out of cardboard multiple times. After that, we paste them back on each other again, the more “rainproof” boroughs were cut out more than the less “rainproof” boroughs.

Read more

The first results…

Long time no see! Time to update you on our progress. The past three weeks we have been working on our first goal, getting to know the subject and defining the aim of our project. We divided this according to the scrum method, into many sub goals and tasks. This would make us able to work without sub deadlines in our first sprint. We worked at both te studio at the HvA and at Pakhuis de Zwijger, where Amsterdam Rainproof has an office.

During this sprint we met some of our possible partners, we went to Amsterdam Rainproof and we talked with researchers from HvA, from the citizen data lab. There is another group from the HvA that is doing a project to create a green roof on one of the buildings on the campus, that also engages the students.

During our translate session, it became clear that we wanted to make an infographic, that showed the seriousness of the topic and combined climate change trends and water management problems all in one. We visualised all the data we found and created the following infographic. Read more

User scene assignment

In the first week of our project we got to know each other’s abilities by doing a user scene assignment. Within three days, we defined a target group after doing some research and we made a small video, that we presented on Tuesday. The video can also be found on the MediaLAB youtube channel.

Read more