hexagon shape call-to-action triangle button small triangle smalll vertical triangle
Branding > 10.6 Integrated Identity Applications

IABR–2018+2020–The Missing Link

by studio de Ronners
ico-D Excellence


The city will be the centre of change in the coming years. This is where 80% of the world’s population will live and 90% of its prosperity will be realised. Therefore, the future of the city forms the main subject of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR).
The eighth edition of the IABR, THE MISSING LINK ‘Our Future in the Delta, the Delta of the Future’, was launched on 1 June 2018. This topic raises challenging questions about the interaction between climate change and design. How can designers respond effectively to the effects of man-made climate change? And what stops us from doing so?
We are exhausting the earth. Time is running out! We are confronted with doom scenarios, especially in the urban (Delta) areas. We all know we will have to change radically. How can we shape the future in an attractive way without negative social side-effects, without using negative and threatening language? 


We were asked to translate the IABR’s main goal into a broadly applicable campaign, suitable for a diverse audience; the campaign should not only focus on designers, urban planners and politicians, but also appeal to a wider audience. 


Inspired by the smiling sun icon of the anti-nuclear movement from the 80s, we wanted to give the heavy subject a positive spin. We called this positivity ‘Radical Optimism’ and used this as a starting point for the campaign. Nowadays, quality of life, housing, mobility, the industry, energy, water and nature are at odds with each other. This was translated into delta shapes and typography that are in conflict with each other. The radical imagery, and our optimistic choice of colour, incited the audience to accept and embrace the Biennale’s message and respond to this Call for Change.

This concept was implemented consistently: from the public campaign and the signposting in the Biennale area to merchandise, a catalogue and the exhibition. .Interaction was an important element in the various means of communication, this gave us the opportunity to visualize the dynamics, conflict and challenges in the Delta: from motion design on social media to animated digital screens in the city. For the website we designed a ‘splash-webpage’, replacing the current website of the IABR. On this webpage the Delta-form responded to the cursor movements of the visitor, the underlying website became visible when this page was closed. Furthermore, we developed an interactive installation at Rotterdam Central Station in cooperation with Martijn van Bachum. The installation challenged the traveler to interact with the Delta forms. Each movement changed the installation’s forms and colours, and various quotes -such as ‘There is no planet B’- concerning the climate appeared. Working from a clear and basic concept, the diversity of expressions contributed to a better visibility of the IABR in the city of Rotterdam and to climate awareness of a broad audience.

  • Creative Directors
  • Art Directors Arwen Ronner, Matthijs Ronner
  • Designers Arwen Ronner, Matthijs Ronner, Lieselot Coenen, Wilfred van der Weide
  • Illustrators
  • Photographers Aad Hoogendoorn
  • Editors George Brugmans
  • Copywriters
  • Production Manager Lisette Schmetz
  • Production and planning Lisanne Bervoets, Jolanda van Dinteren, Anne van Summeren, Cato Joris, Myrte Langevoord, David Snels, Dagmar Veenstra, Sanne de Vos
  • Project development Manon van den Bliek, Marieke Francke
  • Marketing and communucation Bonnie Kirkels, Nadine Hofman
  • Motion Design Quinten Swagerman
  • Web development Martijn van Bachum
share this