The 2003 Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) focused on the theme of Mobility. The curator of this first edition was Francine Houben (Mecanoo architects and professor at Delft University of Technology). She drew attention to the fact that mobility is not only about traffic jams, asphalt, and delays, but that a road or a railway is also a ‘room with a view’: a space that is open to design.
The central question of the 1st IABR was to what extent the ‘mobility landscape’ that has developed in the Netherlands and elsewhere in the world has been controlled and designed. Mobility has a great influence on people’s daily lives, but this largest public space seems to have been brought about quite nonchalantly. The network of roads and railways is a mostly anonymous space, the domain of traffic engineers and politicians, with hardly any designers involved. The Biennale drew attention to this design challenge through exhibitions, lectures, symposia, excursions, Het Groot Biënnale Debat (The Great Biennale Debate), educational activities and a so-called City Program.
Opening: on 7 May 2003 by Queen Beatrix