IABR 2014 Urban by Nature

by Dirk Sijmons

The sixth edition of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam opens in May 2014 in the Kunsthal in Rotterdam. The Dutch landscape architect Dirk Sijmons is the curator and the theme is Urban by Nature.

IABR-2014-Urban by Nature claims that we can only resolve the environmental problems of the world if we resolve the urban problems. Looking through the lens of landscape architecture, IABR-2014 aims to redefine the city and urbanity, to analyze the relationship between city and nature, and from this to present concrete design proposals that allow for a better planning and governing of our complex urban landscape. If we see the city as our natural ecology, analyze its structure and metabolism, and understand and use the process of its material flows, we can make the city more resilient and thus act to contribute to a more sustainable future world.

The main exhibition, Urban by Nature, will be staged at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam starting 24 May 2014. The adjacent Rotterdam Natural History Museum will present a related exhibition on urban ecology and the natural wealth and biodiversity in the urban landscape of Rotterdam. 

Three angles are used in the exhibition: first the mediated relations between city and nature in the form of plans and best practices for gardens, parks, urban arcadia and nature conservation are being shown. Second, the urban metabolism and it’s infrastructures are being tested as design theme, as ways to improve the environmental performance of our cities and finally as an instrument for spatial planning. The third storyline is the reading and steering strategies for our vast urban landscapes with a special accent on coastal and delta situations.

The IABR calls for best practices from all over the world to support and substantiate the Biennale’s main exhibition’s narrative. Prospective participants who have designed or are designing concrete projects that deal with the relationship between man, nature and city, are invited to respond to the IABR–2014– Call for Projects-, and submit their applications by June 9, 2013.

The Call for Projects – the Application Form – and the Introduction to IABR–2014–Urban by Nature- can be downloaded from our website: www.iabr.nl