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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

Call for Fellows 2019
BURN OUT. Exhaustion on a Planetary Scale

On March 18, Het Nieuwe Instituut launches its yearly Open Call for three research fellows to work in residence from September 2019 to February 2020. With the title: BURN-OUT. Exhaustion on a planetary scale, this year’s theme addresses exploitative, multi scalar structures, and aims to instigate other forms of coexistence, sensibility and care for larger, multispecies, collective bodies. Through its annual Call for Fellows, Het Nieuwe Instituut’s Research Department acknowledges and gives visibility to research projects offering departures from established modes of thinking and practice. Applications are open from March 18 to April 22, 2019.

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.

Architecture of Appropriation
February 2017

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
September 2016

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'.

Fellows Update
September 2016

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.

ARTs Retreat

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!

Domestic Institutions


Marina Otero Verzier, head of Het Nieuwe Instituut’s Research department, is teaching an architectural design studio (ADS8) as part of a collaboration with Manifesta, in conjunction with Ippolito Pestellini (OMA), who is also creative mediator of Manifesta, and Anna Puigjaner of the Royal College of Art, London.

Collaboration with e-flux Architecture and The Berlage


In fall 2017, Het Nieuwe Instituut launches a collaboration with e-flux Architecture and The Berlage that investigates the power of representation within and beyond the field of architecture. In this series, ten acclaimed architects and researchers are invited to examine a specific medium of representation used in the design, technology, or legal framing of buildings, landscapes, and urban territories. 

Seminar: Architecture Exhibitions and the Politics of the Temporal

19 JULY 2017

From 19 to 24 July 2017 Marina Otero Verzier (Het Nieuwe Instituut) will teach a summer school course at Stacion, Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina in Kosovo. The course focuses on the temporal architecture of cultural institutions, their exhibition models, curatorial practices, social experiments, and their impact and political implications. The recent expansion of the architectural exhibition apparatus, and how institutional borders circulate from the gallery space to permeate the city will be examined. The resulting reconfigurations of the relations between space, power and politics in the urban space including new forms of control and consumption will be analyzed. In context of changing conditions for inclusion and exclusion as well as the emerging modes of engagement and political agency that are rendered possible by these transformations.

Lecture: Constructing Institutional Memory

18 JULY 2017

Lecture by Marina Otero Verzier (Het Nieuwe Instituut) on the inclusion of non-author-based, precarious, and criminalized spatial practices in the museum. In this lecture, given at Stacion Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina, Kosovo, new approaches will be discussed to the representation of precarious, and often criminalized spatial practices within the institutional framework of a museum and its operating platforms, while acknowledging the fragility of these communities and the need to carefully limit the processes of institutional appropriation. Taking as a departure point the case of Architecture of Appropriation, we will examine the role that museums could have in the construction of the history of the city and its inhabitants.

Automated Landscapes at the Vienna Biennale 2017

21 JUNE 2017

Het Nieuwe Instituut's R&D department presents an installation of its long-term project Automated Landscapes at How Will We Work?, an exhibition by the University of Applied Arts Vienna in cooperation with the Vienna Biennale 2017

NWO Grant for embedded researcher in Critical Making

4 APRIL 2017

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'.


Marina Otero Verzier
Klaas Kuitenbrouwer, Katia Truijen, Marten Kuijpers, Anastasia Kubrak
Alex Walker