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Ardeth (Architectural Design Theory) is a magazine dedicated to the power of project in architecture. The eight issue, titled BURN-OUT, was co-edited by Het Nieuwe Instituut’s Research Department, Marina Otero Verzier and Katía Truijen, and features contributions by former Research Fellows and RESOLVE Collective. Join us for a celebratory launch event with talks and discussions on burn-out.

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Excerpt from the introduction to Ardeth issue 8 written by Marina Otero Verzier and Katía Truijen:

“Exhausted. Bodies feel exhausted, from the scales of the individual and social body, to that of the planet. Even in the midst of one of the most severe crises experienced globally in recent history, the demands for productivity, relentlessness and attentiveness are not diminishing. Instead, those pressures intensify, while forms of extraction are pervasive. The contemporary moment should not be taken as an exception. Instead it should be understood as part of a structural condition and a symptom of the ongoing exploitative structures that are exhausting bodies, bringing them to a systemic burn-out. If burn-out is a state in which bodies, procedures, processes stop working, it could perhaps be considered as a generative point of departure to rethink the role of institutions and infrastructures towards non-exploitative structures and relations.”

Ardeth (Architectural Design Theory)

Unlike the many magazines that revolve around the architectural world, Ardeth concerns neither with outcomes (architecture) nor with the authors (architects). Ardeth concerns instead with their operational work, i.e. projects. The shift from subjects (their good intentions, as taught in universities and reclaimed in the profession) to objects (the products of design, at work within the social system that contains them) engenders an analytical and falsifiable elaboration of the complex mechanisms that an open practice such as design involves. Through a process of disciplinary redefinition, Ardeth explores the falsifiability of design hypotheses as the object that allows the project to scientifically confront errors and approximations.

Ardeth came into being in Italy: the place where in the second half of the 20th century the currently dominant interpretive paradigm of the designer’s role originated, as well as the place where such a paradigm encounters the most trouble in renewing its own social function. Ardeth opens to the world, aware that the problems of architectural practice concern global urban challenges, and that the scale of the effects engendered by the project changed radically with the turn of the millennium.

Marina Otero Verzier

Marina Otero Verzier is Head of the Social Design Masters at Design Academy Eindhoven. The programme focuses on new roles for designers attuned to contemporary ecological and social challenges. From 2015 to 2022, she was the Director of Research at Het Nieuwe Instituut, the Dutch Institute for Architecture, Design and Digital Culture. At Het Nieuwe Instituut, she led initiatives focused on labor, extraction, and mental health from an architectural and post-anthropocentric perspective, including Automated Landscapes, BURN-OUT: Exhaustion On a Planetary Scale, and Lithium. Previously, she was Director of Global Network Programming at Studio-X, Columbia University GSAPP, in New York. Otero has been a co-curator at the Shanghai Art Biennial 2021, curator of the Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2018, and chief curator of the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale. She has co-edited Lithium: States of Exhaustion (2021) More-than-Human (2020), Unmanned: Architecture and Security Series (2016-20), Architecture of Appropriation (2019), Work, Body, Leisure (2018), and After Belonging (2016), among others. Otero studied at TU Delft and ETSA Madrid and Columbia University GSAPP. In 2016, she received her PhD at ETSA Madrid.

Katía Truijen

Katía Truijen is a media researcher, writer, curator and musician based in Rotterdam. Her current research focuses on alternative network infrastructures, and ecologies of sound (Tuning In). Between 2014 and 2021 Katía developed research projects and public programmes within Het Nieuwe Instituut’s Research department. She recently co-curated Rewire’s discourse programme RITUAL (The Hague, 2022), FIBER’s Natural Intelligence Lab (Amsterdam, 2022), the Urban Summer Festival Fundamental Acts (Brussels, 2021), Set Stage Screen: Realities of Post Production (Rotterdam, 2020) and was assistant curator for Work, Body, Leisure, the Dutch Pavilion at the 16th Venice International Architecture Biennale (Venice, 2018). She is co-editor of Architecture of Appropriation: On Squatting as Spatial Practice (2019) and For the Record: On the Politics of Music Video Culture (2021). Previously, she taught at the University of Amsterdam, department of Media Studies (2013-2014), and was a guest lecturer at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Design Academy Eindhoven, ArtEZ University of the Arts, and the Nederlandse Filmacademie. Katía co-founded the online magazine and music label //\ hoekhuis.

RESOLVE Collective

RESOLVE is an interdisciplinary design collective that combines architecture, engineering, technology and art to address social challenges. They have delivered numerous projects, workshops, publications, and talks in the United Kingdom and across Europe, all of which look toward realising just and equitable visions of change in our built environment. Much of RESOLVE's work aims to provide platforms for the production of new knowledge and ideas, whilst collaborating and organising to help build resilience in our communities.

An integral part of this way of working means designing with and for young people and under-represented groups in society. Here, ‘design’ encompasses both physical and systemic intervention, exploring ways of using a project’s site as a resource and working with different communities as stakeholders in the short and long-term management of projects. For RESOLVE, design carries more than aesthetic value; it is also a mechanism for political and socio-economic change.

Femke Snelting

Femke Snelting develops projects at the intersection of design, feminism, and free software in various constellations. With Seda Guerses, Miriyam Aouragh, and Helen Pritchard, she runs the Institute for Technology in the Public Interest. Together they create spaces for articulating what computational technologies in the “public interest” might be when “public interest” is always in-the-making.

Snelting co-initiated collective research projects, digital tools, methods and publications with Constant, association for art and media in Brussels until 2021. With Jara Rocha she edited Volumetric Regimes: Material Cultures of Quantified Presence (OHP Data Browser series, 2022). Femke supports artistic research at a.pass (Brussels), PhdArts (Leiden) and MERIAN (Maastricht). She regularly teaches at XPUB (Rotterdam). 

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.