Subcurator Rotterdamse Architectuur Biennale 2009

3 October 2008

Crimson is door de curator van de Rotterdamse Architectuur Biennale 2009 gevraagd als subcurator voor een onderdeel van de tentoonstelling, die in het NAi zal worden gehouden van september 2009-januari 2010. Onder het motto 'Maakbare Stad' maakt Crimson zowel een beschouwende tentoonstelling als een presentatie van een vijftal realistische en vernieuwende architectonische en stedenbouwkundige ontwerpen die het thema 'Open City. Designing Coexistence' onderzoeken.

Press Release, September 2008

Open City: theme of the 4th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam

The International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) engages the fields of architecture, urban design and landscape architecture in research, public dialogue, and multi-media presentation. Conceived as a research biennale, each manifestation of the IABR is based on an urgent social agenda, and is generated with the conviction that architecture can and must contribute to solving some of our society’s most complex problems. The fourth edition of the IABR, ‘Open City,’ will be held from 24 September 2009 through 10 January 2010 in Rotterdam. The theme will be elaborated under the direction of curator Kees Christiaanse and his team from the ETH Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich.

Open City: Designing Coexistence
Which urban structures stimulate diversity and interaction? ‘Open City,’ the 4th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, is exploring, documenting, and designing strategies for coexistence in today’s cities.
The Open City is not a literal city, but a condition — a balance between integrating and segregating forces that enables people of diverse cultures and lifestyles to coexist and interact. Today, the ability of the city to integrate and connect its inhabitants is impeded by social segregation, functional differentiation and spatial fragmentation. The very diversity that once inspired the city now threatens to dissolve it.
In order to be sustained, the Open City must be readdressed and translated into concrete intervention strategies. This is the task of the 4th IABR. The curators have selected six international teams of experts to work on six situations in which geographical, spatial, typological and socio-cultural conditions reveal the most pertinent qualities and potentials of Open City:

1. Community (USA): Interboro, New York.
2. Collective (Russia: Moscow, Perm): Bart Goldhoorn/Project Russia.
3. Refuge (Istanbul, Beirut, Amman, Cairo, Dubai): Philipp Misselwitz, Can Altay, Istanbul.
4. Squat (Addis Ababa, Sao Paolo): Jörg Stollmann, visiting Professor of urban design, TU Berlin.
5. Diaspora: to be announced.
6.The Maakbare Samenleving (The Make-able Society): Crimson Architectural Historians, Rotterdam.

Using Rotterdam as a stage and a testing ground, Crimson will work with the the curators of ‘Open City’ and the IABR to reinterpret the other five themes and to generate concrete projects and interventions with a direct impact on the city.

Kees Christiaanse, curator
Kees Christiaanse (1953) is known as one of today’s most significant practicing architects and urban designers.
He was a partner at OMA Rotterdam and founded KCAP Architects & Planners in 1989, with offices in Rotterdam and Zurich. Since 2003 he has been head of the Institute for Urban Design at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and a visiting professor at the London School of Economics. He is actively involved in concrete urban projects, such as the development of docklands in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Hamburg, and is designing an ‘urban breeding ground’ in London for the Olympic Legacy Masterplan. He is conceiving the program of this biennale with his team in Zurich, the sub-curators mentioned above, and the IABR staff in Rotterdam.

The IABR will occupy multiple sites in the city of Rotterdam; its main venue, the NAI (Netherlands Architecture Institute), will be entirely transformed, as it were, into an Open City. The main exhibition will focus on the six international situations listed above. Architects from the Netherlands and abroad will develop research and project proposals, supplemented by documentary and critical work by artists, journalists, and researchers. In smaller complementary exhibitions, the theme will be addressed from a general and theoretical perspective, made accessible and linked to the practice of national and international urban development. In addition to hosting an international master class and a series of lectures and debates, the IABR will produce a series of publications and documentaries related to the theme of Open City.

Previous editions
2003 Mobility: Room with a View – Francine Houben, Mecanoo Architecten
2005 The Flood – Adriaan Geuze, West 8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture
2007 Power: Producing the Contemporary City – Berlage Institute, Vedran Mimica
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