The International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam will launch its eighth and ninth edition, IABR–2018+2020–THE MISSING LINK, in one go in two cities, on 31 May 2018 in Rotterdam and on 1 June 2018 in Brussels.

Since The Flood, the “water biennale” of 2005, the overall theme of the IABR has been the future of the city, and more and more how to make the city resilient. No wonder that George Brugmans, IABR’s president, decided to make the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and The Paris Climate Agreement starting point and touchstone of the program of the two upcoming editions.

In order for us to achieve the climate goals we will have to truly change our behavior, knowing that our destructive lifestyle is coming at the expense of what is, in fact, our home: the planet. We need to create space for and on the planet, and we need to find new ways of sharing it. But why, if we know that we have to, are we progressing so slowly? How to go about it? What is the missing link and how can we break the deadlock we now find ourselves in? These are questions that concern every single one of us. They are also questions that should be addressed by designers.

Three curators, two biennales, one program
The IABR has appointed three curators, the Dutch Chief Government Architect Floris Alkemade, the Flemish Government Architect Leo Van Broeck and the Belgian architect Joachim Declerck, and asked them to address the missing link in one ongoing research by design process, setting off with first a work biennale in 2018 and resulting in a show and tell biennale in 2020.
Therefore, in 2018, the IABR will set off with a work process, in which we, together with a selected group of other practices, will explore and initiate steps we feel that are needed for an innovative design practice. A practice that can bridge the gap between research by design and implementation, between agenda-setting and providing the burden of proof, between research and actual testing, between planning and realization. The results –strategies, plans and pilot projects with which to break the current deadlock– will we presented in 2020.

For the Curator Statement and Research Agenda click here

In two countries
IABR–2018+2020–THE MISSING LINK is a two-part biennial in two countries. Together with its curators and with its partner Architecture Workroom Brussels the IABR will expand its work field to not only the Netherlands but also Belgium.