In 2020, the French city of Marseille is set to host Manifesta 13, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art. In preparation for the event, MVRDV has collaborated with thinktank The Why Factory (directed by MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas) in unveiling “The Grand Puzzle,” a 1200-page interdisciplinary pre-biennial research study of the urban potential for Marseille.
MVRDV produced the study through deep analyses of the city, such as interviews and spatial data, culminating in suggestions for possible urban interventions. As part of this engagement, the firm worked with The Why Factory, founded as “the think tank on the future city” at Technical University Delft, who collaborated with local architecture and design schools on the study. Having received overwhelmingly positive feedback, the work will now be “contextualized, analyzed, and refined as it becomes a tool for Marseillais to imagine possible futures for their city.” In addition, the study will serve as a point of inspiration for artistic and cultural interventions both before and during the Manifesta biennial.