As for the most people the holidays have started, a lot of people are travelling around. If you happen to stumble across Rotterdam, then there is of course the IABR (International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam) exhibition at the Kunsthal.
TOPOS visited the exhibition and inspected what all the fuzz is about. The theme of the IABR is Urban by Nature. The exhibition is curated by the landscape architect Dirk Sijmons, who is also professor at Delft University of Technology, founder of H+N+S Landscape Architects and former adviser for the Dutch government. In the following movie he explains the theme of the exhibition.
When entering the Kunsthal the IABR is divided in five exhibitions: A planet cultivated, The urban metabolism, Exploring the underground, Urban landscape and climate change and Strategies for the urban landscape. Another part of the IABR can be found in the Natural History Museum Rotterdam which can be found across the Kunsthal. In the museum there is the exhibition Pure resilience. Together there is a lot to see and it can easily take a day to see everything. The exhibitions in the Kunsthal are mainly presented by posters. Movies, models, movies projected on models and other installations enhance the information given by the posters. There are quite some interesting techniques used for the presentation of the projects. Yet it are the endless meters of posters which present the state of the art in urban landscape architecture. The problem with these posters are that there are so much of them, with a lot of text, in small font and bilingual. Text is spread between maps, pictures and drawings. And as such it is not as easy to decipher where a new project starts, especially after multiple hours the posters lead to an information overload. In a way it is like the final presentations of a design studio.
If all the posters become one large blur in front of your eyes there is solution. With the ticket of the Kunsthal you get to enter the Natural History Museum Rotterdam. You are allowed to enter the whole museum for free, not only the exhibition connected to the IABR. The small exhibition shows how animals and plants have found there place in an urban environment. Some of the stories could even lead to a giggle as animals take their place in the city on their own way. This should be a nice break between the poster of the Kunsthal.
All together the IABR is an exhibition rich of information with a lot of interesting work. Some famous projects might be familiar yet there remains a lot of other projects to be seen. It really shows the diversity in scope when dealing with an urban situation and it works inspiring to see all these projects which are made for a better future. When visiting Rotterdam, the IABR should be a part of that visit this summer. Just be prepared for a lot of information.
IABR 2014, Urban by Nature can be visited till the 24th of August 2014 in the Kunsthal (and the Natural History Museum Rotterdam). Students till the age of 26 get to visit the IABR for €8,- and for others the admission is €11,-.