Changes in society call for new understandings of architecture and its practice. Het Nieuwe Instituut explores and showcases emerging forms of practice for architects, and by doing so aims to open up the discipline to new challenges and intervention strategies. Its national archive for architecture and urban planning provides an insight into 150 years of Dutch architecture and urbanism, serving as a speculative source of progressive thinking and offering examples of how architecture has broadened its remit in response to societal questions and technological change.

Architecture’s capacity to combine technical and cultural knowledge, and adopt multiple media and representation techniques, has proven relevant to other terrains, from urban health and sustainable energy, to legal and human rights processes. These contexts demand responses that transcend the boundaries between different fields of knowledge.

At a time in which the architectural practice is drastically expanding, Het Nieuwe Instituut is particularly interested in multidisciplinary conversations in which architects play a uniquely contemporary role. They participate as part of a collective endeavour, exerting agency, and dare to think beyond architecture’s traditional outputs. And they are open to the possibility that a building or urban scheme may not answer the issue at stake. Finally, they approach questions from a post-national perspective, since the implications of such pressing issues as climate change and migration transcend national borders and demand alternative approaches to national and cultural identity.

Partnerships include: Atelier Rijksbouwmeester, Columbia University GSAPP, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands Ministry of Defence, Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, Studio-X Rio, TU Delft, TU Eindhoven, Storefront for Art and Architecture, The Berlage, e-flux Architecture and Volume magazine.

Architecture, design and digital culture are three embedded traditions of design practice and cultural discourse. In the Netherlands, each discipline emerged from a well-defined heritage including a specific territory of intervention and a set of practical and conceptual tools. Yet as living practices, the three disciplines have interwoven and produced new hybrids in response to technological change, economic forces and societal questions. Het Nieuwe Instituut is dedicated to exploring architecture as both a discipline in its own right and as part of a post-disciplinary cultural context.