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Its mission to consider all the design disciplines from a single, integrated perspective, and to spark debate about the power of architecture, design and e-culture in the process, has led to the creation of a unique place. Drawing on its unparalleled architectural collection, Het Nieuwe Instituut takes up the challenge of interpreting the promise of the future – always the mainspring of innovation – in a historical and a contemporary context. Through exhibitions, symposiums, workshops, competitions, lectures and commissions Het Nieuwe Instituut tracks a rapidly changing world, brings it into focus, and initiates discussion with and by a growing audience of professionals and aficionados.

A look back at 2015 confirms a sharp rise in visitor numbers from the Netherlands and abroad. Not only did the audience for exhibitions and events grow, Het Nieuwe Instituut also welcomed large numbers of visitors from the professional sphere interested in the innovative model being developed here: museum and archive but also as knowledge institute and laboratory.

Overview 2015

Fourteen exhibitions and eight presentations

Het Nieuwe Instituut staged two overarching programmes in 2015. Before launching the Temporary Fashion Museum, made up of nine exhibitions and eight presentations, Het Nieuwe Instituut organised a trio of exhibitions inspired by the Milan World’s Fair, that focused on answering two questions: what are the conditions under which innovation comes about, and what role do designers play in the process? The exhibitions were What Is the Netherlands? 14 Entries to the World Expo; GLASS: Engine of Progress; and Garden of Machines.

2015 began with two shows: 1:1 Period Rooms by Andreas Angelidakis, in which the period room was used as a point of departure for reflecting on exhibition models, and PLASTIC: Promises of a Home-made Future, the third in a series on materials and their economic, cultural and social significance.

Three archive presentations

We also presented the three-exhibition series Surprising Finds from the Collection. Noteworthy drawings, photographs, objects and architectural models from Het Nieuwe Instituut’s rich archive were selected for respective inclusion in The Netherlands Builds in Brick, Monuments to Peace, and Dressed by Architects.

Two design interventions

Designer Petra Blaisse of Inside Outside installed a mirrored floor in the Sonneveld Museum House, providing visitors with an experience of the house that was as spectacular as it was disorienting.

Frank Bruggeman and Hans Engelbrecht built The New Garden on the institute’s grounds. A plea for an alternative approach to urban public space, it brought an ecologically valuable green space and a rich variety of species to this urban location.

44 lecture nights

Approximately 150 designers, thinkers and makers from the Netherlands and abroad shared their knowledge and experiences with the public in the Thursday Night lecture and discussion series.

Nine fellowships

Annet Dekker, Sascha Pohflepp, Ruben Jacobs, Sophie Berrebi, Malkit Shoshan, Tal Erez, Roos Meerman, Christien Meindertsma and Chris Kabel were affiliated with Het Nieuwe Instituut as fellows in 2015.

Two conferences

At the Jaap Bakema Study Centre’s Research On Display conference, curators, researchers and designers from institutions including the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Yale University, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and the Deutsches Architekturmuseum examined the ways in which knowledge production and innovation are bound up with exhibition design.

The 1:1 Symposium that concluded the exhibition 1:1 Period Rooms by Andreas Angelidakis focused on the significance and narrative capacities of the 1:1 model.

Two national research projects

Het Nieuwe Instituut carried out two research projects for the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, one on nature and spatial design and the other on water and urban development. They comprised part of the government’s Action Agenda for Architecture and Spatial Design plan.

National archive for architecture and urban planning

The archive of the architectural firm MVRDV became part of Het Nieuwe Instituut's  collection in 2015. This development was noteworthy because MVRDV’s archive is largely digital, and its inclusion reinforces our interest in archiving born-digital materials.

Search portal

At the end of 2015, Het Nieuwe Instituut launched a new search portal, zoeken.hetnieuweinstituut.nl/en, widening access to one of the world's largest architectural collections.

Publication Studio Rotterdam

This year saw the launch of the Publication Studio Rotterdam in Het Nieuwe Instituut, the newest studio in an international network that works with artists and writers to design, produce and distribute special publications.

A new regional partnership

The inaugural meeting of The State of Eindhoven, a joint project of the municipality of Eindhoven and Het Nieuwe Instituut, took place during Dutch Design Week. The project’s purpose is to determine why, how and with whom the citizens of Eindhoven will contribute to the ‘smart city’.

Projects abroad

Het Nieuwe Instituut organised an exhibition and symposium at the Shenzhen architecture biennial, commissioning Bureau Europa and the Design Displacement Group as curators. Het Nieuwe Instituut also initiated a successful contribution to the IMM interiors fair in Cologne and a European action programme entitled The Mansholt Letter.

In its International Visitors’ Programme Het Nieuwe Instituut welcomed 161 guests from abroad, including curators, department heads, lecturers and researchers as well as fashion industry professionals, artists and journalists.

Het Nieuwe Instituut thanks all the designers, makers, thinkers, partners, employees, friends and others who provided a substantive, organizational or financial contribution to our 2015 programme.