Open Call

Open: Post Box for the Open Society
The Post Box for the Open Society is part of the Dutch entry to the Biennale di Architettura in Venice, entitled Open: A Bakema Celebration, which presents a critical reflection on the work of Jaap Bakema (1914-1981), in particular his ideas for the open society.

Inspired by Bakema’s own initiative for the Post Box for the Development of the Habitat, which existed between 1959 and 1971, Het Nieuwe Instituut has launched a contemporary version: the online and interactive Post Box for the Open Society. The Post Box aims to set up a dialogue between architects, planners, designers, thinkers and historians, but also universities, academies and students. We welcome contributions from all around the world, not only from Europe and North America, but especially from Asia, Africa and South America. Everybody who is interested in the creation of open, inclusive societies is invited to become a participant: to upload proposals, to discuss the various submissions, or simply to browse the live archive of the Post Box.

Open: Newsletter
From the submissions a monthly newsletter will be compiled by Het Nieuwe Instituut. The newsletter will include the latest submissions, featured projects, historical material from Bakema’s archive among others. The newsletter will also be on display at the Dutch pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

Parallel to the Post Box, the Dutch website for architecture ArchiNed will moderate an online debate on the subject of the open society by inviting a number of international scholars and experts to reflect on the issue. Essays will be included in the monthly newsletter as well.

Open: Call
Bakema's ambition was to build toward a democratic, egalitarian and inclusive society. He believed that architecture should accommodate the emancipation of the masses while allowing for the self-realisation of the individual citizen.

Bakema and his office Van den Broek en Bakema built under the conditions of the post-war welfare state. Today, the economic and political situation is very different. All sorts of new concepts are emerging, from 'bottom-up' ideologies to the 'creative commons' and the 'participation society'. At the same time, behind these new concepts we see similar questions in relation to the ideal of an open society, ranging from new digital systems and surveillance techniques controlling the spaces we live in to fast-expanding megacities outside Europe.

Therefore, Het Nieuwe Instituut wants to address the question of the open society anew:
What could be the relevance of Jaap Bakema’s lofty idealism for contemporary practice?
And how do we envisage and imagine the open society today?

Submit a proposal to the Post Box for the Open Society.

Colophon of the Post Box for the Open Society

The Post Box for the Open Society and Open: A Bakema Celebration both originated as a collaboration between Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, TU Delft and their shared research initiative the Jaap Bakema Study Centre. Dutch website ArchiNed is project partner for the Post Box.

Editors: Dirk van den Heuvel and Katía Truijen
Design by Experimental Jetset
Webdevelopment by Hoppinger
Het Nieuwe Instituut pop-up label by Maureen Mooren

Het Nieuwe Instituut wishes to thank:
NWO and Mecanoo Architecten for their generous support

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