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

Since The Flood, the “water biennale” of 2005, the overall theme of the IABR has been the future of the city, and more and more how to make the city resilient. No wonder that George Brugmans, IABR’s president, decided to make the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and The Paris Climate Agreement starting point and touchstone of the program of the two upcoming editions.

In order for us to achieve the climate goals we will have to truly change our behavior, knowing that our destructive lifestyle is coming at the expense of what is, in fact, our home: the planet. We need to create space for and on the planet, and we need to find new ways of sharing it. But why, if we know that we have to, are we progressing so slowly? How to go about it? What is the missing link and how can we break the deadlock we now find ourselves in? These are questions that concern every single one of us. They are also questions that should be addressed by designers.

Three curators, two biennales, one program
The IABR has appointed three curators, the Dutch Chief Government Architect Floris Alkemade, the Flemish Government Architect Leo Van Broeck and the Belgian architect Joachim Declerck, and asked them to address the missing link in one ongoing research by design process, setting off with first a work biennale in 2018 and resulting in a show and tell biennale in 2020.

For the Curator Statement and Research Agenda click here

Delta of the Low Lands
IABR–2018+2020–THE MISSING LINK is a two-part biennial in two countries, Netherlands and Belgium, the low lands situated in the Rhine-Meuse-Schelde delta.
Together with its curators and with its partner Architecture Workroom Brussels the IABR will expand its work field to the Delta of the Low Lands.
In 2018, the IABR will set off with a work process, in which a selected group of forty practices from the Netherlands and Belgium, including the IABR–Ateliers, will explore and initiate steps we feel that are needed for a more innovative design practice. A practice that can bridge the gap between research by design and implementation, between agenda-setting and providing the burden of proof, between research and actual testing, between planning and realization. To this effect we have initiated the Delta Atelier. Its results –strategies, plans and pilot projects which we hope will help us to break the current deadlock– will be presented in 2020.