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Green Root Lab: DIY Water Filter Experiment

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ROOT A TREE PROJECT is a duo artist project between artists Lilli Tölp (EST) and Eva Bubla (HUN), founders of Green Root Lab.

The project investigated sustainability issues in Tembi village, Yogyakarta, during the residency project of Transformaking Festival (

Due to agricultural and domestic activities, there is a tendency of the degradation of groundwater resources and decreasing water quality worldwide, while in some areas the majority of the population has no access to piped water. Groundwater is used for cooking, washing, or drinking after boiling.

Green Root Lab wanted to address this issue and raise awareness on the environmental and health risks it brings about. A DIY workshop was conducted where children could monitor the local water sources in Tembi village, and build water filters from natural materials: rock, sand and coal. The project was organically built into the local setting, as it used materials and methodologies that are native there, being low-cost, and available for everyone.

At the time of the workshop, a reforestation movement was also launched by planting numerous fruit trees in the village that provide the locals with food and material for tea production.

The prototype of the water filter and a video documentation of the research and activities were exhibited during Transformaking Festival and Symposium.

The workshop was done in collaboration with Tembi RT 07, the Mexican Consulate, as part of their Green Tembi Initiative.

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