In recent years, the concept and practice of research has attracted renewed attention within the cultural sector. Research plays a critical role in elucidating the relevance of both existing and new ideas, and the responsibility of institutions in their construction and promotion. Het Nieuwe Instituut wants to acknowledge and give visibility to research projects offering departures from established modes of thinking and to become the motor for sharing collective forms of knowledge. The Research and Development department at Het Nieuwe Instituut is headed by Marina Otero Verzier.
Updates on current projects, up-coming events and other activities of the Research & Development team.
NWO Grant for embedded researcher in Critical Making
The Critical Making NL consortium, consisting of Leiden University (Academy of Creative and Performing Arts), Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (Willem de Kooning Academy, Creating 010), Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, Waag Society in Amsterdam and West Den Haag, has been awarded a NWO grant for the project ‘Bridging Art, Design and Technology Through Critical Making'.
Design Trust grant for 'Automated Landscapes' research
Design Trust (Hong Kong) has awarded Het Nieuwe Instituut a Feature Grant for its research project ‘Automated Landscapes: Architectures of Work without Workers’.
Based on the premise that automation disrupts not only labour markets but also the configuration and design of entire territories, the project seeks to document and reflect upon the emerging—and anonymous—architectures and landscapes of fully-automated, non-human work. ‘Automated Landscapes’ will result in an exhibition and publication.
International Call for Fellows 2017
Het Nieuwe Instituut announces an open call for three research fellows to work in residence from September 2017 to February 2018.
Architectures of Security
Het Nieuwe Instituut participated in the Future Force Conference, organised by the Netherlands Ministry of Defence, which took place in the Hague on 9 February 2017. The Future Force Conference is a highly innovative international networking conference addressing the theme: From partnerships to ecosystems: combining our efforts for a more secure world. Het Nieuwe Instituut contributed to the conference with two breakout sessions under the title Base of the Future and with speakers such as Malkit Shoshan, Jan Willem Petersen, Ekim Tan and Marina Otero Verzier.
Architecture of Appropriation
The squatting movement has played a major role in the design of the urban fabric and the domestic interior. Using spatial improvisation and radical, subversive tactics, rather than master plans or conventional design strategies, squatters have proposed alternatives to the dominant, market oriented housing policies, arguing that the people’s right to a house supersedes the right of property ownership.
In order to acknowledge the legacy of the squatting movement, Het Nieuwe Instituut is conducting research into squatting as an architectural practice. The research has so far manifested in an installation Architecture of Appropriation by design studio ZUS [Zones Urbaines Sensibles], in combination with a display of historical material from, among others, the International Institute for Social History, several city archives, personal archives of former squatters and Het Nieuwe Instituut’s own collection. The project uses the exhibition as a site for research, and collects materials for the publication around questions of vacancy, property, and proposes alternative urban and domestic arrangements and housing policies.
Loving Support Volume insert
10 September 2016 saw the publication of 'Loving Support', as insert in the magazine Volume #49, Hello World!. This publication was one of the outcomes of the four day retreat organised by Het Nieuwe Instituut in June 2016.
Marina Otero Verzier, head of Research & Development at Het Nieuwe Instituut, wrote the introduction to the publication 'Loving Support'.
On June 16th the official start of the Fellowship Programme 2016 was celebrated with a kick-off ceremony in Het Nieuwe Instituut. At the end of September, halfway through their Fellowship, the four fellows Andrea Bagnato, Simone Niquille, Noam Toran and Füsun Türetken were invited to give a brief update on their research-in-progress.
Application Report Fellowship Programme
On 15 February 2016, Het Nieuwe Instituut launched an International Call for Fellows, in search of candidates for a research residency between June and December 2016. By the deadline of 28 March 2016, 243 applications had been submitted.
The jury observed that the application set displayed a very high standard of originality, rigour, and urgency in terms of subjects and methodologies. The number and diversity of applications invited further reflection on the state of contemporary research practices in the fields of design, architecture and digital culture. Het Nieuwe Instituut saw this application set as a valuable resource for understanding current research topics, references, languages, geographies and methodologies, as well as the potential for research in its network, which also offers insight as to how it can best foster and amplify the efforts of the prospective fellows.
This report examines the total application set in order to formulate observations on the characteristics of research and researchers, in both the Dutch and international institutional landscapes. These observations deal with the demographics of researchers and the subjects and methodologies of research, as well as the application format itself. The report therefore attempts to establish patterns about who has responded to the call, how they have responded, and what issues they find most relevant for investigation.
From 01 – 04 July 2016 Het Nieuwe Instituut together with Volume, organised a retreat to reflect on the relations between cultural research and machine learning. This research time was part of Het Nieuwe Instituut's Fellowship Programme. Participants were hosted by ruangrupa, curators of SONSBEEK ’16.
A public event: A Conversation on the Role of Artificial Intelligence in Research Practices, was held on 2 July. Philosopher Merel Noorman from the University of Maastricht engaged in a conversation on the social and ethical dimension of the relations between humans and artificial intelligence, together with the retreat participants.
As an action-based approach to the the question what is or could be contemporary research?, Het Nieuwe Instituut’s Research & Development team (R&D) is exploring the possibilities and consequences of employing what they have called ‘Algorithmic Research Trainees’: ARTs - a troupe of bots that can respond, to a certain extent, in meaningful ways to qualitative research questions. The project’s aim is that this retreat will lead to a design brief for the ARTs and to the development of ARTs prototypes later in the year.
Volume/Archis expertise manifested in the co-organisation of the retreat, and the moderation of the conversation, which will unfolded into a 32-page publication for the Fall issue of Volume magazine, #49: Hello World!