IABR-2020-

Sarah Ichioka has been appointed curator for Water as Leverage, and Thijs van Spaandonk curator for Energy Transition as Leverage of IABR–2020.

The Curator team will be chaired by George Brugmans and the curators will work closely together with a small group of co-curators. One of them is Robbert de Vrieze, co-curator in and on behalf of the Bospolder-Tussendijken, the city district in Rotterdam where the IABR–Atelier Rotterdam explores the concept of the “energy district” and that will be one of two locations where IABR will manifest itself in 2020.
Other co-curators will be appointed after the Summer.


Sarah Ichioka (Oakland, 1979) leads Desire Lines, a strategic consultancy for environmental, cultural and social-impact organizations and initiatives based in Singapore.

Sarah Ichioka, Curator Water as Leverage
Sarah has held leadership, planning, editorial and curatorial roles for multiple reputable institutions of culture, urban policy and research, including the LSE Cities Program, La Biennale di Venezia, Tate Modern, the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, and Singapore’s National Parks Board. Before relocating to Asia in 2014, Sarah was Director of The Architecture Foundation (UK), and a Co-Director of the London Festival of Architecture.
Sarah has served as advisor or judge for a wide range of cultural and spatial initiatives, including the European Prize for Urban Public Space, Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge, and Water as Leverage for Resilient Cities Asia. She chaired the international jury of the XXII Triennale di Milano (2019) and the Curatorial Board of the British Pavilion at Venice (2010) and is currently a member of Design Singapore Council’s Innovation by Design panel.

Educated at Yale and the London School of Economics, Sarah has been honored as a World Cities Summit Young Leader, one of the Global Public Interest Design 100, by Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Institute of British Architects, and the British Council / Clore Foundation's Cultural Leadership International Fellowship.

Thijs van Spaandonk (Tilburg, 1981) studied Architecture at Eindhoven University of Technology. In different roles and responsibilities, Thijs explores and addresses the cultural aspects of the major challenges our environment is facing.

Thijs van Spaandonk, Curator Energy Transition as Leverage
Thijs is partner at BRIGHT, an R&D cooperative for urban development, he co-founded with Gerjan Streng in 2017. Bright produces observations and prototypes to investigate and intervene in the impact the systems of energy, food, mobility and economy have on our surroundings. Recently Bright was intensively involved in the exhibition Places of Hope in Leeuwarden; the Dutch Climate Agreement and the Regional Energy Strategy for the Province of North-Holland; a serious game to support neighborhood Climate Agreements in Amsterdam with Play the City and Space & Matter; the educational game Ministry of Food in collaboration with Lava and the national broadcaster KRO-NCRV, and a series of bat houses. Bright is member of international design collaboration The Cloud Collective, a cooperative that wants to address the social impact of architecture and design.

Education plays an important role in exploring the profession. After teaching at various Academies of Architecture, Thijs is currently head of the Urbanism Master’s Program at the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture. The focus is to explore how climate mitigation and climate adaptation can and will impact the city of Rotterdam and more specifically, what competences architects and urbanists need to develop to be involved in this process.
Thijs van Spaandonk is part of the Future Urban Regions research group. His research-by-design focuses on the delta region of Zeeland, where he was raised. He is co-author of the book Urban Challenges, Resilient Solutions: Design Thinking for the Future of Urban Regions.

Thijs was involved in international collaborations in Delhi and Beijing and has acted as visiting critic at Columbia University (New York) and Hong Kong University (Hong Kong).