The 10th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR 2022) asks how architecture can respond to socioecological urgencies by considering time as a crucial factor in the design process. Time is an essential yet neglected parameter in designing sustainable futures.
In 1972, the seminal book The Limits to Growth warned that exponential economic growth would lead to sudden and uncontrollable ecological disasters and the collapse of human societies within a century, unless society made fundamental changes. While the Club of Rome’s advice was to limit growth, the IABR 2022 explores alternative ways of growing. Historically, mainstream architecture has facilitated and stimulated economic growth while contributing to an ever-escalating human footprint, exponential carbon emissions, resource extraction, and loss of biodiversity. However, architectural design is needed to materialize the alternative visions for a sustainable, durable and desirable future that are being developed.
Our current economic system has fulfilled the almost-worst-case projections that were made 50 years ago. But, as Bruno Latour states in Where to Land after the Pandemic?,the pandemic has proven that "it is possible, in a few weeks, to put an economic system on hold everywhere in the world and at the same time, a system that we were told it was impossible to slow down or redirect." To break through the path dependencies in our current political and economic system, it is important to understand the timeline from past to present to future.
As such, the 2022 edition of the IABR: IT'S ABOUT TIME, will reflect on the notion of time and design: How can time be used as a method, tool, or framework in the broader processes of social change in which architects, landscape architects, designers, urban thinkers, as well as public authorities, private stakeholders, community lead-projects, and initiatives coming from civil society at large are engaged?
Velocities of Change
Designing for change requires working on different time scales and exploring different velocities of change. The IABR 2022 has identified three complementary yet often interwoven attitudes to engage in processes of social and ecological transformation.
The ACTIVIST takes immediate action, is rooted in the here-and-now, and uses intuition and collaboration to enhance dialogue with local communities while stimulating empowerment strategies in spatial proposals. In reaction to the current climate crisis, a growing number of voices urge us to act now, to shift from the pressures and melancholies concerning our untenable regime toward immediate action for more hopeful futures.
The ACCELERATOR welcomes time pressure as a productive condition and explores the possibilities within our technology-driven society to reach desirable futures. Perhaps growth, speed and ultra-modernity are the answers to the predicament of mankind. Innovative technologies, smart systems, scalable solutions, and digital tools are used to enable fundamental changes toward sustainable futures.
The ANCESTOR reveals big ideas and long-term thinking that inspire change, taking into account historically developed injustices and the wellbeing of future generations. In order to develop alternatives for our way of life, it’s important to escape the ever-accelerating pace of everyday reality and think in the long-term, acting as responsible ancestors for the many generations to come.
Although one can – or even should – adopt more than one of the design attitudes at the same time, and there might be more relevant attitudes thinkable, they serve as the start of an investigation into the near future.
Exemplary projects; design by Stahl R
IT'S ABOUT TIME: OPEN CALL (IABR 2022)
The IABR 2022 will present an array of inspirational approaches to contribute to the socio-ecological transition, dealing with the time pressure that is on us all. For this reason, the IABR has issued an Open Call for realized projects, research projects, or conceptual propositions that can lead to new visions of development in architectural design.
International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam
The International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) is a think and do tank and a biennial platform for architecture, urban design, spatial planning and landscape architecture. The IABR enables design research as well as concrete (cultural) contributions to the changes needed for a sustainable and equitable future for mankind and the planet.
TitleInternational Architecture Biennale Rotterdam Releases Open Call: IT’S ABOUT TIME
TypeCall for Submissions
Submission DeadlineMay 15, 2022 12:00 PM
The 10th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam will be held from 22 September to 27 November 2022.