The consequences of our footprint on planet Earth are increasingly noticeable: melting ice caps, forest fires, floods and periods of drought. The situation as it is today was predicted 50 years ago by the Club of Rome, an informal group of academics, scientists, politicians, diplomats and industrialists who published The Limits to Growth in 1972. In this report, the club outlined the possible consequences of an exponential increase in population, agricultural production, resource extraction, industrial production, pollution, and the loss of biodiversity. The report caused a commotion worldwide and marked the beginning of environmental awareness.
We’re counting down to the opening: IT’S ABOUT TIME kicks off on Thursday, 22 September with a three-day opening program. Taking place on Thursday evening from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., a public opening ceremony will mark the start of eight weeks of activities and exchange about the future of the city, including workshops, lectures, and city walks. On Friday 23 September and Saturday 24 September we will host an opening symposium, performances, presentations, workshops, tours, and neighborhood tours in which curators as well as exhibitors will participate.
Friday 23 September
On Friday 23 September, participating exhibitors and curators will be available for talks, presentations, and panels all day. The program will focus on three design strategies that are central to the exhibition: Accelerator, Activist and Ancestor. The day will conclude with a reflection and look ahead by Derk Loorbach, professor of socioeconomic transitions, director of DRIFT and cocurator of IT’S ABOUT TIME.
Saturday 24 September
On Saturday 24 September, a continuous public program will include workshops, tours, neighborhood tours, and performances. An opening symposium about the necessary transitions on a social, economic, spatial, and cultural level will take place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
During the exhibition IT'S ABOUT TIME there will be an active program of workshops, lectures and guided tours led by, among others, our curators Véronique Patteeuw, Peter Veenstra, Léa-Catherine Szacka, and Derk Loorbach. The activities are about the ‘architecture of change’, about the future of the city, about energy in the city and about much, much more. In the so-called ‘transition arena’, working sessions will take place on topics including current research into transformations of cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Tilburg. Children are welcome to join our weekly children’s workshops led by sculptor Maria Kley.
Early Bird Tickets and Passe-Partouts
Please purchase your early bird tickets and passe-partouts here.
All current information about the program will soon be available here.
Credits: Hanna Prinssen and Lindsey van de Wetering
During the 10th edition of the architecture biennale the exhibition FUTURE GENERATION will showcase a group of young design practitioners in the Keilezaal – they represent the promise for a hopeful future, both in the short-term and in the long run.
A Future Worth Living For!
At this moment in time, humankind possesses the strongest combination of (scientific) knowledge and (digital) tools the world has ever known. We have everything in place to create an entirely alternative structure for human society – if only we set our heads and hearts to planetary stewardship. Let’s build a future worth living for!
FUTURE GENERATION, THIS IS 2072
The exhibition FUTURE GENERATION showcases the best architectural graduation projects realized from 2018 to 2022 in Belgium and the Netherlands. All of the academies and universities with master’s programs in the Lowlands were invited to contribute, resulting in the submission of 75 projects by 13 institutions. The selected projects address the increasing time pressure on combating climate change in our ever-accelerating society. Together, these designers form the decisionmakers of tomorrow, the FUTURE GENERATION, THIS IS 2072, a moment when all selected projects play their part in the transition, reflecting on a hopeful and promising future.
2072 in Five Chapters
Divided into five chapters, the exhibition contains fragments, projects, topics, and movements that will determine the architectural landscape of 2072: the year the Club of Rome oriented its prophetic publication The Limits to Growth towards. The five chapters are: Local Cosmopolitans, Earthly Promises, Urban Biotopes, Social Ecologies and Flourishing Landscapes.
LOCAL COSMOPOLITANS reconnects with the genius loci, a need to operate within the existing context, a sense of place, of connectivity and belonging. In 2072 we’ve learned from the past, contributed to the locally important briefs, and act as LOCAL COSMOPOLITANS.
EARTHLY PROMISES demonstrates a more-than-human design approach, using natural processes as the base of design: a dive into the earth beneath us, and into the time beyond the human impact. In 2072 we’ve stopped exploiting our planet and are co-existing with its natural processes as EARTHLY PROMISES.
URBAN BIOTOPES focuses on the densification and decentralization of our inner cities – and by doing so creates a maximally diverse biotope that benefits us all. In 2072 we’ve created cities where everything is connected; from vast built super-surfaces to small mobility connections and automated living pods, and from civic gardens to a caring metropolis of health networks. Diverse organisms live together in URBAN BIOTOPES.
SOCIAL ECOLOGIES engages with social and societal issues – sometimes provocatively – by initiating dialogue about the politics of our designed environment. In 2072 architects actively anticipate and co-create with communities, they initiate debates leading to innovative projects and collective knowledge networks, and shape new SOCIAL ECOLOGIES.
FLOURISHING LANDSCAPES tries not only to use the available, renewable resources, but most of all to generate productive landscapes that add resources and purpose. In 2072 our supply chains are sustainable (food)production systems that have a low impact on our spatial environment and create hybrid, stacked, and connected FLOURISHING LANDSCAPES.
The Ministerie van Maak received over 130 entries in response to its open call to architects, engineers, and designers willing to use their knowledge and imagination to come up with new designs for the Netherlands. The entries represented a nice mix of recent graduates, start-ups and renowned firms. The entirety of the spatial solutions will eventually form the largest model of the Netherlands ever and will be on display from 14 October during the 10th edition of the Architecture Biennale Rotterdam.
One hundred designers have been selected from the 130 entries. In the beginning of September they will receive a so-called Test Kit: a blank model measuring 1 m2 with separate building blocks representing 10,000 houses to scale, 5,000 trees, water, and other elements required to create an integrated design solution and to build the corresponding model.
About the Ministerie van Maak
The Ministerie van Maak wants to contribute to the radical transformation of the Netherlands and offer concrete solutions for the housing shortage, the energy transition, and the effects of climate change. ZUS, MANN, and the Architecture Biennale Rotterdam founded the Ministerie van Maak on 16 June 2022. It is a single ministry that thinks ahead, plans, builds, and thus will realize the 1 million additional homes we need in a sustainable and responsible way and with respect for future generations.
© Dana Romina
From 22 September to 13 November 2022, the 10th Architecture Biennale – international event, platform for discourse and dialogue, and agenda-setting forum for (inter)national design practices – will open its doors in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
The appointment of Saskia van Stein as president signals that the IABR will be striking out in a new direction. Decentralized collaboration models will be deployed to stimulate the integrated, intergenerational, and sustainable renewal of the profession at all levels. After all, participating in and thinking about new ways to organize our living environment is a precondition for an equitable future. The curatorial team of the 2022 edition, which will give shape and content to these new ambitions, includes the following people:
Peter Veenstra, co-founder of LOLA Landscape Architects (with Cees van der Veeken and Eric-Jan Pleijster)
PASZA Platform for Architectural Research, co-founded by Dr. Léa-Catherine Szacka senior lecturer in Architectural Studies at the University of Manchester and visiting lecturer at The Berlage, Delft University of Technology, and ETH Zurich and Dr. Ir. Véronique Patteeuw, lecturer at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture et du Paysage Lille, visiting lecturer at the KU Leuven and EPFL Lausanne and academic editor of OASE.
Prof. Dr. Derk Loorbach professor of Socioeconomic Transitions, director of DRIFT, and principal investigator of the Design, Impact, Transition (DIT) platform of the Erasmus University Rotterdam
In the coming period, the curator team will set out the lines for the event and start up several transition-oriented projects; design and development trajectories that help to shape, accelerate, upscale and disseminate social change. The IABR will launch an (international) Open Call for designers to collect leading work for the upcoming exhibition. To close the gap between (social) spatial questions and developing parties, another Open Call will be issued for clients. The IABR will establish collaborations with various knowledge and educational institutes and other cultural partners.
On 15 December, Medy van der Laan will start as the new chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR). She succeeds Ed Nijpels and takes office at a time when the Architecture Biennale is developing a new vision on its role in times of major transitions around water and energy, which we as a society are facing and which also have spatial consequences.
"We are delighted with the arrival of Medy van der Laan. With her diverse career and as a supervisor at various organisations, she brings with her an important network, in addition to a great deal of political-administrative experience. With her connecting, positive personality and quick thinking, she also brings an effective combination of content and process to the IABR.
It is with great pleasure that I look back on the past years as chairman of the IABR. For years, I have realised that the added value of design research, spatial design and architecture is indispensable in order to embed and address the climate challenge we are facing. The IABR has proven to be a powerful instrument in this."
Medy van der Laan:
"My passion for architecture is both managerial and personal. How we organise our country is of great importance to prosperity and well-being. The task of building hundreds of thousands of dwellings in the coming years offers an enormous opportunity to integrate the various social and spatial transformations. This can be done by stimulating smart design solutions in spatial planning and thus making us ready and resilient for the future. Personally, I like to be inspired by good design examples at home and abroad, especially contemporary architecture and urban planning."
About Medy van der Laan
Medy van der Laan is currently chairperson of the Dutch Banking Association (NVB). Previously, she was chairperson of Energie-Nederland, the sector organisation of energy companies. After having worked as a civil servant for twelve years, she became State Secretary for Culture and Media in 2003.
The International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, IABR, is a think and do tank and biennial platform for architecture, urban design and landscape architecture. IABR makes an active and concrete contribution to the changes needed for a sustainable and fair future for mankind and the planet. By connecting designers and social partners on an interdisciplinary and (inter)national level around urgent spatial issues, and by convincingly presenting promising approaches and concrete solutions, IABR actively contributes to the changes needed for a sustainable and fair future for mankind and the planet. The visionary and communicative power, the investigative and experimental approach and the knowledge and experience of the design disciplines play a central role in this.
© Adrian Kuipers
Chair of the Supervisory Board Ed Nijpels: “The Supervisory Board of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) is delighted with the accession of Yvette Govaart. As a passionate real estate professional and entrepreneur, she knows the spatial and social challenges like no other. Themes such as design, feasibility, organisation, circularity and sustainability are at the heart of her practice.”
Yvette Govaart: “My conviction is that we will only find the solutions to the major social challenges if we work together, from different disciplines. This turns out to be very complicated in practice. Not only is old thinking a major obstacle, the economic system must also change. Steering paradigms must shift. Transitional thinking and acting is a precondition for this. The design discipline plays a crucial role in this; not only with regard to the architectural and urban planning craft, but also in terms of organisation and philosophy of cooperation. Government and the private sector are searching for the right role in a changing context. Citizens are increasingly uniting and taking on social tasks. As a cultural and knowledge institute, the IABR has an important task in this arena and I look forward to contributing to it from my role as a member of the Supervisory Board.”
Yvette Govaart replaces departed board member Adri Duivesteijn, to whom the team of the International Architecture Biennale shows gratitude for his many years of commitment and dedication to the IABR.
© Moniek Wegdam
Saskia van Stein, currently head of the Critical Inquiry Lab at the Design Academy in Eindhoven, has been appointed director by the supervisory board of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) as of 1 October 2021.
In this position she succeeds George Brugmans, who has led the IABR since 2004. The supervisory board is extremely grateful to Brugmans for the way in which he has shaped and expanded the IABR over the years.
The supervisory board is delighted with the arrival of Saskia van Stein. Ed Nijpels, chairman of the board: "We are delighted with the arrival of Saskia van Stein. With her national and international experience, she is well equipped to lead the IABR to a new future.
Saskia van Stein: "I am delighted with the opportunity to use my expertise and enthusiasm to develop the IABR into the next phase. Imagination and connection will be important elements in my vision of content.
Besides growing socio-economic inequality, the climate and energy transition is the central challenge of our time; a design challenge of enormous complexity and scale. The question of a liveable future and society concerns us all. Stimulating public interest in the wealth of ideas of culture of the designing disciplines and actively involving an audience are important ingredients for the interpretation I hope to give to the policy of the IABR.