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Het Nieuwe Instituut
architecture, design, digital culture

The contemporary era is characterised by radical technological, economic, cultural and social shifts. Het Nieuwe Instituut aims to illuminate and map a rapidly changing world while at the same time fostering discussion of topics related to the vast field of design. All the institute’s activities are grounded in the principles of design and innovation – two concepts bound up with changing value systems and conflict.

Het Nieuwe Instituut organises exhibitions, lectures and fellowships, carries out research and development projects, and publishes reports on the outcomes of its projects. These are carried out within two multiyear programmes: Landscape and Interior and Things and Materials, and a third whose theme changes annually (2014: World War I; 2015: World’s Fairs; 2016 Olympic Games).

Het Nieuwe Instituut approaches the various design sectors from an integrated perspective. Developments within digital technologies have rapidly resulted in the merging of what were once distinct professions such as architecture, product design, graphic design and interaction design. Their design tools have become increasingly similar, professional practices have begun to fuse and it is precisely within these cross-overs that an interesting new work terrain has emerged for designers.

Het Nieuwe Instituut is itself the result of a similar process. The institutions that formerly represented distinct design sectors have disappeared. Het Nieuwe Instituut represents a more integral approach to design, which can be called the ‘culture of convergence’. Its principle subject of study is the work terrain shared by the various design disciplines and in particular the role that innovation can play here. But the institute simultaneously explores the specific significance of developments and discourses within the individual disciplines. Because, despite the growing interconnectedness of architecture, design and digital culture there remain themes that are specific to each of these fields. There is room for these issues too within the institute’s programmes, in the form of lectures and symposiums, thematic exhibitions and events, and the activities that the institute develops for biennales and other presentations in the Netherlands and abroad.

Het Nieuwe Instituut arose on 1 January 2013 out of a merger of the Netherlands Architecture Institute; Premsela, the Netherlands Institute for Design and Fashion; and Virtueel Platform, the e-culture knowledge institute.