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Exhibition design Studio LA

The exhibition design by architect Arna Mačkić (Studio LA) reflects the dynamics between the city and the instituut, also in a spatial sense. Playing with familiar notions of interior and exterior, the four concrete passages of Gallery 2 in Het Nieuwe Instituut are transformed into the kinds of streets or alleyways that could be found elsewhere in Rotterdam, divided up by interiors reminiscent of shopfronts, a catwalk or gallery. The idea of bringing in elements that can be found down the street is abstracted through the creation of passages and various types of ‘windows’. Temporary walls made from semi-transparent textile confirm the intended transparency in relation to the outside world. The various storylines along which the exhibition is arranged are at the same time noncommittal and closely intertwined, and the transparency of the walls makes it possible for the visitor to see connections that transcend thematic or chronological divisions. The quantity of possible narratives is not restricted to the broad selection of objects, artworks and archive material: each visitor will add their own personal interpretation, inspired partly by their own thoughts, feelings and experiences.

Het Nieuwe Instituut sees an important task in commissioning both graphic and spatial designers. The identity and communication of the institute and all the individual projects with which it presents itself to the outside world are the result of that mission. Within the context of The Hoodie, Studio LA and Ines Cox have been invited to partner up with the institute to develop the project's spatial and graphic design.

Arna Mačkić and Het Nieuwe Instituut

Het Nieuwe Instituut has previously spoken and collaborated with Arna Mačkić in several different capacities. 

An abundance of talent

What does talent development mean for designers themselves? Architects Afaina de Jong and Arna Mačkić both followed a ‘talent development trajectory’ in their own way, they have their own bureaus, are involved in education, and are or were members of the Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industries’s (Creative Industries Fund NL) committee for talent development.

Letters to the Mayor

An initiative started in 2014 by Storefront for Art and Architecture, Letters to the Mayor – Rotterdam invited a select group of local and international architects to write a letter to Mayor Aboutaleb of Rotterdam, articulating some of the pressing issues that, as architects, they believe play an important role in the political dimensions and decisions that drive the making of cities and territories.

Corresponding with the format of Storefront for Art and Architecture, the Letters to the Mayor – Rotterdam exhibition consisted of two ‘desks’: a mayoral desk and one at which the architects could symbolically take a seat. The exhibition was designed by architectural duo Studio L A (Lorien Beijaert and Arna Mačkić).

Letters to the Mayor
Response by Malique Mohamud

At the opening event of Letters to the Mayor: Rotterdam on 12 January 2018, Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb invited the 46 architects who wrote a letter to condense their ideas into five key questions for local government. As a first step towards reflecting on the body of texts, three critical thinkers, each with a different relation to the city of Rotterdam and the field of architecture, were invited to write a reflection on these 46 letters, including Malique Mohamud.

In his response, he addressed the contribution by Arna Mačkić, who now develops the spatial design for The Hoodie. As a representative of Concrete Blossom, Mohamud is closely involved in The Hoodie's on-site and off-site programmes.

Engaging with Inclusive Architecture
Thursday Night Workshop

Architect Arna Mačkić deals with issues of collective identity in countries and cities and how architecture can play a mediating role. In this workshop, Mačkić further explores her ideas together with participants, arriving at a more inclusive approach to the design of space.

Architecture CAMP: The Future of Gender in Spatial Design
Thursday Night Live!

Architecture CAMP brings together educators, practitioners, and thought leaders to consider the future of gender in the built environment. The evening will consist of a panel discussion with leading gender theorists and architects followed by group discussions where to further examine questions raised in the panel, and flag issues for further research, and action.

Arna Mačkić was one of the event's panellists.

Graphic design by Ines Cox

The graphics layer of the exhibition and the visual identity of the project turn the item of clothing (the hoodie) inside out, creating a graphical interpretation of the labels sewn into clothes. But instead of the washing instructions, size, materials and brand label, these labels by designer Ines Cox describe various aspects of ‘brand’ The Hoodie. Referring to the mirror-image backs of woven labels, Cox plays with positive and negative versions. Putting some of the text between brackets also creates a typographical interaction between inside and outside, corresponding to the spatial design and physical characteristics of the hoodie.