In the past few decades, design has completely transcended its original role — shaping the aesthetics and ideology of the private home. Instead, it has become a tactical response to societal challenges at many scales. Everything can be designed, from an international movement to a social media profile. As “design thinking” becomes embedded into business and government practices, it acquires economic and political agency — but it also becomes accountable for issues related to ecology, labour, ethics, and access.
A selection of projects and activities
Speculative Design Archive
With a temporary archive installation, Het Nieuwe Instituut speculates on the possible contents of an archive for design and digital culture from the Netherlands. Who will save what – and how, and why – for future generations? Together with its visitors, Speculative Design Archive uncovers the value of both acknowledged masterpieces and forgotten treasures.
The Life of Things
As the curators of the exhibition Finders Keepers, the editors of the design and crafts magazine MacGuffin reveal the universe of the collector, bringing together objects from dozens of collections and exploring the collectors’ strategies, the aesthetic pleasure of collecting and the hidden life of things.
Designing the Surface
Designing the Surface, an exhibition where the final topcoat targets the senses, investigates a compendium of artefacts over five sets: lustre, patina, faux, teflon and agency.
Platform Graphic Design
Het Nieuwe Instituut researches, presents and represents the disciplines architecture, design and digital culture. It aims to involve designers in various ways in its activities and to provide a podium alongside the usual programme of exhibitions and lectures. Graphic design is one of the design disciplines and is employed for Het Nieuwe Instituut’s internal and external communications.
Studio Makkink & Bey, Design Diorama: the Archive as a Utopic Environment
London Design Biennale 2016
Under the auspices of the Agency for Architecture, Design and Digital Culture, Het Nieuwe Instituut is making a contribution to the first edition of the London Design Biennale 2016 at Somerset House. Het Nieuwe Instituut has invited Studio Makkink & Bey to curate and design the entry.
Temporary Fashion Museum
Many Dutch museums include fashion within their collections but there has never been a national fashion museum. Over a period of eight months Het Nieuwe Instituut will explore the possibilities of such an institution by transforming itself into a fashion museum.
The Design of a Democratic Body
The 1972 Olympic Games offered the host country, West Germany, an unrivalled opportunity to portray itself to the world as a modern, democratic and culturally aware nation. This carefully constructed image was marred two weeks into the games when eight members of the Black September Organisation infiltrated the Olympic Village and took the Israeli team hostage. The exhibition Munich 1972. The Design of a Democratic Body tells this controversial story through the lens of design, by contrasting the narratives and aesthetic strategies of the organisers with the tactics deployed for their disruption.
The Russian Art of Movement 1920-1930
The installation Space Embodied. The Russian Art of Movement 1920–1930, is about the new, free human as propagated by the Russian avant-garde. Space Embodied is an installation about the body in movement: life-size projections of dancers, a dance floor, stage sets and mirrors confront visitors in a direct and physical way with the historical material from the 1920s.
Material Dialogue - Designblok 2016
Three Dutch designers will present their work at the Designblok 2016 in Prague from the 27th to 31st of October. They will also participate in the master class Happy Materials, working together with three Czech designers to engage in a dialogue.
Design and Innovation in Times of Scarcity
Scarcity is the mother of invention. The urban planning projects, buildings, interior objects and consumer goods in Designing Scarcity show that shortages don’t have to constrain creativity: quite the contrary. Curated by Jan Boelen of Z33 (Hasselt, Belgium), the exhibition showcases a panoply of strategies used by designers and users to find novel solutions in the face of limitation.
The Life Fair
New Body Products
With universal themes such as Birth, Work, Sex, Security and Health, the exhibition The Life Fair: New Body Products explores how the quest for an optimal body has developed into a highly competitive market. First and foremost in the development of goods and services: commercial parties whose products exploit the fears and desires underlying our physical capacities and vulnerabilities.
New Material Award 2016
Eighteen designers have been selected for the New Material Award 2016 and was presented during Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. This biennial award challenges artists and designers to apply and develop sustainable materials and innovative technologies.
Thursday Night: Irma Boom interviewed by Daniel van der Velden
The setting is a table full of books. At the table, seated next to each other are: left Irma Boom and right Daniel van der Velden (Metahaven). Every now and then, one of them lays one or more books in the centre of the table, above which a camera records the books and projects them onto the wall behind. Report of the Thursday Night: focus, a conversation with Irma Boom.
Engine of Progress
In the context of the 34th World Expo opening in Milan on May 1st, Het Nieuwe Instituut addresses this phenomenon from different perspectives between April 26 and August 23. The exhibition GLASS shows how this age-old, man-made material is still inextricably connected to progress and how it continuously challenges contemporary designers to innovative experiments.
The Cyclical Nature of Materials, Sites and Ideas
Current experiments with wood are leading to surprising applications in and outside the domains of architecture and design. The rich story of WOOD is told through design objects, architectural projects and artifacts from national and international collections, and references diverse geographical, historical and cultural contexts.
Promises of a Home-made Future
PLASTIC: Promises of a Home-made Future is the third in a series of exhibitions about materials and their economic, cultural and social significance. Wood was the subject last time, and an exhibition about glass is currently under preparation. PLASTIC shows how far-reaching innovation in materials has fired the imagination for a century, yet continues to evoke doom scenarios.
Social Design For Wicked Problems
New ways of tackling apparently intractable challenges
Social designers are artists and designers who look at shared human problems from a different point of view. They come up with unexpected angles of approach and new ways of tackling apparently intractable challenges, such as obesity, demographic decline and early school leaving.
Archive Rath & Doodeheefver by Lernert & Sander
Salone del Mobile, Milan 2014
Het Nieuwe Instituut has commissioned the artist duo Lernert & Sander to design a spatial installation and live performance based on the historical collection of wallpaper manufacturer Rath & Doodeheefver at the Salone del Mobile, the international design fair in Milan.
Sonneveld House interventions
Careful restoration work and interior refurbishment has turned Sonneveld House into a magnificent monument. The danger of a museum house, however, is that it is frozen in time. That is why Het Nieuwe Instituut decided to activate the monument by inviting artists, designers or architects to make a 'site specific' installation. Interventions by Richard Hutten, Petra Blaisse, Santiago Borja, Eva Rothschild and Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster.