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Digital media structures the ways in which we relate – to others, as well as to ourselves. The platforms, websites, games and countless other virtual environments that frame these interactions are constantly changing. In the process, domain-specific technical developments and design choices bubble over into wider social implications: old formats are deprecated, once unthinkable connections established, or new metaphors introduced.

These ongoing shifts and transformations leave few traces, unless active efforts are made to preserve them. What does the preservation of digital culture mean for future generations? What might we learn from records on communities once active in now obsolete virtual spaces like Amsterdam’s early Digitale Stad? What is the value in maintaining access to (documentation of) past network protocols or data-sharing infrastructures? And, perhaps just as importantly, what memories might be missing from what is kept?

19:00 – 21:00

Het Nieuwe Instituut
Museumpark 25
3015 CB Rotterdam




Marleen Stikker is founder of Waag and De Digitale Stad (The Digital City), the first virtual community introducing free public access to the Internet in Amsterdam. She leads Waag, a social enterprise that consists of a research institute for creative technologies and social innovation and Waag Products, that launched companies like Fairphone, the first fair smartphone in the world. She is also member of the European H2020 Commission High-level Expert Group for SRIA on innovating Cities/DGResearch and the Dutch AcTI academy for technology & innovation.

Tjarda de Haan currently works as a senior project manager at the Dutch Digital Heritage Network in the domain of sustainability, and as Collection Advisor at Tresoar for the Collection Fryslân. She has worked for various (cultural) institutions at the intersection of art, culture, technology and science. Tjarda was editor-in-chief and co-author of the Do It Yourself Handbook Web Archaeology. The handbook aims to answer the questions of how to excavate, reconstruct, (sustainable) preserve the born-digital De Digitale Stad, the first virtual city in the world, and how to make and keep it accessible for future generations.

Dr. Kees Teszelszky is a historian and curator of the (born) digital collections at the National Library of The Netherlands (Koninklijke Bibliotheek). He has been involved in research on web archiving and born digital sources since 2012. His present research field covers the selection, harvest and presentation of born digital sources and digital humanities. He is currently involved in project on internet archaeology in The Netherlands, mapping the Frisian and Dutch national web domain, online news, special web collections and historic sources of our Post-truth era. 

Florian van Zandwijk works in various media and roles within the field of digital culture. He is currently one of the designers and the project manager for Enter, an experimental video conferencing platform initiated and developed for Het Nieuwe Instituut.

Designing the Social

Design and digital culture inform the ways in which ever-changing ideas about Dutch society are expressed. The exhibition Designing the Social charts the multifaceted and often radical interaction between design and society over the past century in the Netherlands. 

Network Archives Design and Digital Culture (NADD)

Design and digital culture contribute significantly to the way in which Dutch society defines, manifests and advances itself. In order to fulfil the social role assigned to them, the design disciplines must have access to a kind of ‘collective memory’ that is properly preserved, managed and accessible. For this purpose, the Network Archives Design and Digital Culture (NADD) was established in 2020: a partnership of more than 40 Dutch institutions focused on Dutch design heritage.

NADD is working on this much-needed consultable memory for the design and digital culture sector. It combines the knowledge and strength of heritage institutions, museums, educational and cultural institutions, knowledge institutes, designers, governments and other partners. The network also lays a solid foundation for sharing insights and experiences and for jointly developing new knowledge. The network is based on the connecting capacity of the individual partners and the specialist knowledge of the various actors. Network members pull together when necessary and respect and utilise the strengths of independent members when possible. In addition, NADD is committed to making visible and strengthening the existing programming and public activities of all network partners; where necessary, the network contributes by developing new or additional programmes.

Thursday Night at Het Nieuwe Instituut
Luca Napoli

Thursday Night Live! is a weekly programme of lectures, screenings and discussions on architecture, design and digital culture. Developments and critical insights are discussed by thinkers, designers and makers from the Netherlands and abroad.