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Miscellaneous > 17.3 Signs & Displays

IABR–2018+2020–The Missing Link Signs and displays

by studio de Ronners

The International Architecture Biennial Rotterdam (IABR) was founded in 2001, based on the idea that architecture – particularly urban development – is of great social importance. Since 2004, the IABR mainly focuses on the future of the city, where in a few decades almost 80% of the world’s population will produce over 90% of our welfare. This should be done sustainably and therefor the urban deltas are an important subject to focus on.

The IABR 2018-2020 The Missing Link presents itself in two stages. Part 1 (2018) is a work biennial in the light of research and knowledge exchange. The ‘work exhibition’ searches for the essential missing link in our transition to a sustainable society. Finding this link would speed up the urgent transition and is needed to design the future in a persuasive and fitting way. This first part of IABR 2018-2020 shows a ‘work in progress’. It maps the questions and tasks, gives direction and challenges. The end results of this ongoing research will be shown in the second part of the biennale in 2020.

We were asked to develop and realize the exhibition concept together with architectural firm B-ILD from Brussels. B-ILD took care of the concept and construction of the exhibition. We were responsible for the graphic part of the entire exhibition. The Biennial consists of two parts. ‘Work in progress’ – the theme of the first part of the biennale – was the starting point within the design concept. The exhibition needed to have a ‘temporary and unfinished’ feel, recycling and consciousness were central issues.

The exhibition took place at the HAKA building, a national monument in the trendy and raw M4H area of Rotterdam. Because of its status as a monument, possibilities were somewhat limited. It wasn’t allowed to drill holes outside and in most spots inside. All signing needed to be flexible and temporary and cause no damage to the building. This flexibility is illustrated in all signing and displays: from the big outside banner to the flags indicating the route to the building. The huge sticker at the entrance welcoming the visitors was a characteristic feature. Inside we chose to stick letters on the walls, in addition to this we chose to produce big and colourful route signs in the characteristic delta shapes. The signs only indicated the location with an arrow and stood against the walls on which there was more information about the exhibition. 

  • Creative Directors
  • Art Directors Arwen Ronner, Matthijs Ronner
  • Designers Arwen Ronner, Matthijs Ronner, Lieselot Coenen, Wilfred van der Weide,
  • Illustrators Lieselot Coenen
  • Photographers Aad Hoogendoorn
  • Editors
  • Copywriters George Brugmans
  • Curators Floris Alkemade, Leo Van Broeck, Joachim Declerck
  • Assistant curators Simone Huijbregts, Julie Mabilde, Hanne Mangelschots, Merel Eijken, Gijs Frieling, Tania Hertveld, Cateau Robberechts, Nicole Smeets-Meelker, Bas Vereecken
  • Production manager Lisette Schmetz
  • Production Lisanne Bervoets, Jolanda van Dinteren Cato Joris, Myrte Langevoord, David Snels, Dagmar Veenstra, Sanne de Vos
  • Text editing and translation In Other Words, D’Laine Camp, Gerda ten Cate, Maria van Tol
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