On 1 June 2018, the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam launched its eighth edition, part one of IABR–2018+2020–THE MISSING LINK, in one go in two cities: Rotterdam and Brussels.

picture: Aad Hoogendoorn

In Rotterdam, the main exhibition was on show in the HAKA Building, a national industrial monument in the Merwe-Vierhavens area (M4H), until 8 July 2018, with an extensive program of activities.
During that same period as well as in the fall, the World Trade Center in the Noordwijk area in Brussels, Belgium, is the location for the second exhibition and another extensive program: You Are Here.

Sustainable Development Goals
With its two editions of 2018 and 2020, the IABR wants to contribute to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and the Paris Climate Agreement. In the spring of 2017, and with this in mind, the president of the IABR, George Brugmans, appointed three curators, Dutch Chief Government Architect Floris Alkemade, Flemish Government Architect Leo Van Broeck and the Belgian architect Joachim Declerck, for two biennales. Together with the curators and their teams the IABR once again focused on the sustainable future of the city, and this time in one continuous process of research by design and activities from 2017 to 2020, expressly marked by a work biennale in 2018 and a result-oriented biennale in 2020.

Our future in the delta, the delta of the future
Arguing that spatial design is crucial leverage, the IABR–2018+2020–THE MISSING LINK focuses on the question of how we can effectively realize the urgent acceleration and scaling of the transition to a resilient future.
The Missing Link

picture: George Brugmans

In the build-up to its active engagement with this major challenge, the IABR first focuses on the Delta of the Low Lands, in which research by design takes place and IABR–Ateliers, collaborations between the IABR and various provinces and municipalities in the Netherlands and in Belgium, have been established. What and how can design contribute to our future in the delta and to the delta of the future?

What’s stopping us?
From 1 June 2018, the IABR presented a five-week exhibition in the HAKA Building that introduced the work agenda across five consecutive spaces, taking visitors on a search for how to address the missing link: we know what we have to do, so what is keeping us from making a successful transition to a resilient future? How to connect the plans to the projects, and the projects to the plans? What's stopping us?

We won’t we stopped
The Missing Link - the exhibition

picture: Ivo Haarman

The IABR won’t be stopped though. In the IABR–Atelier Rotterdam, for example, the City of Rotterdam and the IABR together with the Delfshaven Coöperatie and housing corporation Havensteder are working in Bospolder-Tussendijken to create one of the first energy neighborhoods in the Netherlands. Also, the IABR together with the City and Port Authority are exploring ways to turn former city harbor M4H and the surrounding neighborhoods into a testing ground and showcase for a technologically and socially successful energy transition in Rotterdam. The IABR and the Province of East Flanders explore in the IABR–Atelier East Flanders Core Region how rapid demographic growth can be turned into an opportunity for resilient city making. And then there's Water as Leverage for Resilient Cities: Asia, initiated by the Dutch Water Envoy, IABR, AWB and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

We can't predict the future, but invent it together we can.

Want to read more?
For the Curator Statement and Research Agenda: click here
For the IABR–Ateliers: click here
For the complete event agenda, past and future: click here