The Next Economy— Belgium at The International Architecture Biennale 2016
Belgium, Flanders and Brussels and its designers are well represented at this year’s edition of the IABR. This years edition the curatorial team consisting among others of Joachim Declerck (Architecture Workroom Brussels) and Freek Persyn (51N4E) is headed by Maarten Hajer. The 2016 edition of this bi-annual event presents itself as a laboratory for the next economy.
The IABR is a platform for creative coalitions of designers and other stakeholders with fresh ideas on the possible future of the twenty-first-century city. Since 2010 Architecture Workroom Brussels works in partnership with the IABR. The overall exhibition was designed by the Brussels research and design office 51N4E. As part of this exhibition, research by design from Flanders will be on show namely Trackdesign that was performed by Plusoffice in Genk as well as the Labo XX design research program that the city of Antwerp has commissioned with contributions by Maat, Buur, 51N4E and Plusoffice. Also the Parckfarm design will be presented which was conceived by Alive, Taktyk and 1010.
The IABR is an active exhibition that researches real issues and is looking to achieve true impact. Besides the main exhibition and the public program also Project Ateliers are set-up on different locations with intensive programs on urgent issues with local stakeholders and (international) designers. Collaboration with Architecture Workroom Brussels resulted in the Atelier BXL Productive Metropolis, a Project Atelier active in the metropolitan region of Flanders-Brussels. Partners from the Flemish and Brussels side of the regional border namely the Brussels-Capital region, OVAM, Ruimte Vlaanderen and the Province of Flemish Brabant are brought together in a trajectory of research by design and stakeholder participation, this engagement leads to a first exhibition of a cross-regional project from Belgium at this international platform. The Atelier BXL researches the typological conditions that could serve the reintroduction of manufacturing industry in the city and thus jobs for its low-skilled inhabitants. The cultural platform is deployed to innovate and renew. Pictures of the existing economic fabric in Brussels by Bas Bogaerts will be part of this presentation. Design offices URA and Spacelab will also present their research on the cases on the Flanders side of the border at the IABR, including Vilvoorde and Zaventem. In parallel, design research is performed on 4 sites in Brussels for which Plusoffice architects and Central/Maxime Delvaux/Eva Le Roi are selected following an op call in collaboration with the Brussels Master Architect. These processes of knowledge development and exchange between all the stakeholders will be part of the presentation at Rotterdam. On different public moments, named Urban Meetings, the intermediary results will be shared with the public and leading experts are invited to reflect on these issues. The Atelier BXL Productive Metropolis will also host an Urban Meeting in Rotterdam on the 2nd of June to present results of the design research. Later this year in autumn this exhibition on the Brussels metropolitan region will also travel back to its original context and be on show at Bozar. In the other Project Atelier of Groningen MAAT designers from Ghent together with other teams researched the possibilities in the region for an economy based on sustainable energy production and low CO2 emissions. Another team from Ghent, De Smet Vermeulen worked in the Project Atelier Utrecht on innovative spatial strategies that contribute to the development towards an inclusive, healthy city. This Atelier was under the guidance of Joachim Declerck as the Atelier Master.
The IABR exhibition opens in the weekend of 22-24th of April.