Het Nieuwe Instituut develops the following research projects based on the programme tracks Landscape & Interior, Materials & Things and annual themes.
Breathing, or Architectures of Air
A new research project by Het Nieuwe Instituut asks how we can build architecture that uses air as its primary material.
Financial Architectures is a research project to document and reflect on the intricate financial formulas, incentives, and protagonists behind the designs of present-day buildings, cities, and landscapes.
Collecting Otherwise is one of the research projects currently being developed by Het Nieuwe Instituut as part of the Rethinking the Collection initiative, and under the umbrella of Disclosing Architecture. This background of this initiative is the decision of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) to invest 11 million euros over the next six years in the visibility – and thus the restoration and digitisation – of the National Collection of Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning, which is hosted and cared for by Het Nieuwe Instituut. In this context, Het Nieuwe Instituut considers it imperative to ask fundamental questions about the value and significance of the documents contained in the collection. In turn, these questions could contribute to the reorientation of notions of what could, or should, constitute heritage and archiving in specific moments in time.
Conceived as a spa resort, the exhibition Lithium highlights the beneficial and destructive aspects of the eternal human search for energy. Researchers, designers and artists reflect on the role of the chemical element lithium in powering today’s economy. How many times can we recharge our batteries without addressing the causes of depletion, in both human bodies and the planet?
A series that investigate how monuments have – once again – come to play a pivotal role in mobilising and rearticulating struggles for recognition.
The zoöp project is a practice-based research into the design and application of a new kind of legal format for collaboration between humans and collective bodies of nonhumans, in order to support ecological regeneration.
And Other Spectres
And Other Spectres is a series of essays, exhibitions, public events that investigate agents that, being generally imperceptible or barely visible to the human eye, are able to permeate the sphere of the body (whether it is human, machinic or that of the nation-state) and its prosthesis in the form of computers, domestic and private spaces, triggering a multitude of cultural stories and fears.
Matter is a series that explores the shifting relationship between design practice and matter.
Memory and Oblivion
Memory and Oblivion is a long-term research project on ideology, memory and monuments. The project will look at different case studies around the world that epitomize the fight against the specter of fascism, and the demand of a renewed relation between remembering and forgetting.
Geographies of Freedom
The collaborative research project Geographies of Freedom, initiated and developed by Egbert Alejandro Martina and Miguel Peres dos Santos, investigates the ways in which geography, architecture and the law produce, maintain, and spatialise freedom. It consists of a publication, a film, an exhibition at Het Nieuwe Instituut and a series of public events, centered around the questions “What is freedom and what constitutes a free life?”
In 2018 Het Nieuwe Instituut embarks on a new programme around the theme of burn-out. The initiative addresses the exhaustion of a growing number of human and other bodies, as a symptom of the presence of exploitative structures within society throughout institutional, political and biological ecologies.
For the Record
For the Record investigates how contemporary video culture operates as a public space for consumerism, activism and emancipation, by exposing existing realities and by imagining alternatives. The project seeks to document and reflect upon the technologies, spatial design and forms of representation deployed in video culture and live events, and uses public programs and video production as the main research methodology.
Vertical Atlas is a research project aimed at the creation of a new atlas to help navigate the complex techno-politics of the world today. The first stage of Vertical Atlas was developed through a series of five public talks and research labs that took place over 2018 and 2019. Currently Vertical Atlas is working towards the development and realisation of a combined physical and digital publication.
Terraforming Earth is a series of lectures and design labs about twenty-first-century society.
Based on the premise that automation disrupts not only labour markets but also the configuration and design of entire territories, ‘Automated Landscapes’ seeks to document and reflect upon the emerging—and anonymous—architectures and landscapes of fully-automated, non-human work. The project follows an ongoing commitment of Het Nieuwe Instituut to address the implications of automation and artificial intelligence for architecture, design and digital culture.
Architecture and Representation
In fall 2017, Het Nieuwe Instituut launched a collaboration with e-flux Architecture and The Berlage that investigates the power of representation within and beyond the field of architecture.
Het Nieuwe Instituut is one of the consortium partners in Bridging Art, Design and Technology through Critical Making, a research project that focuses on the application of the concept of Critical Making beyond the realm of 'maker culture'. It investigates the potential of Critical Making as a bridging concept, addressing practices at the intersection of design, technology, activism and artistic research.
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.
Algorithmic Culture is a research programme at Het Nieuwe Instituut that critically investigates the nature and effects of the entanglement of culture with algorithmic processes.
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.
New Archive Interpretations
Five Research Commissions
In 2014 Het Nieuwe Instituut launched New Archive Interpretations, a series of commissions for artists, designers and researchers to examine the influence and impact of the digital archive in relation to its analogue predecessor, the paper archive. Over a two-year period they investigated the challenges and opportunities of digital archives.
The Mansholt Letter
The 34th World Expo opened in Milan on 1 May 2015. Under the title ‘Feeding the Planet. Energy for Life’, a collective of national states, multinationals and relief agencies assembled for the occasion will present the future of global agriculture, food and energy supply to millions of visitors. This occasion has prompted Het Nieuwe Instituut and Slow Food to initiate The Mansholt Letter; a plea to European policy makers for the introduction of a moral food policy and a new élan for the European Union.
Drones and Honeycombs
Drones and Honeycombs is a long-term research project. It investigates the impact of the contemporary war and the global security apparatus on our physical environments and on our cities. In the past decades, and increasingly after 9/11, the frontline of war moved to the city. What does it means for the city, for architecture and for our roles as designers?
Dual Exhibition on Dutch Structuralism
Dutch Structuralism is a movement in architecture in the late '50s and early '60s that renounced the technocratic planning that characterised the post-war reconstruction of the country. Instead, its proponents asked space for the poetic and emotional aspects of architecture, in order to come to a truly dignified living environment.