During the first public gathering of Collecting Otherwise, the audience is invited to join the conversation. Which alternative methodologies can enrich the archives of the National Collection for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning? And how do we collect otherwise, including other points of view? The research team, whom are a part of Disclosing Architecture, will be introduced, followed by discussions on case studies presented during the event.
In Seen/Unseen, the first manifestation of Collecting Otherwise, both theoretical and practice-oriented research are aimed at developing intersectional awareness within the National Collection and a conscious policy for future acquisitions. By viewing the existing archives from a decidedly feminist, queer and decolonial perspective, Collecting Otherwise sheds light on those viewpoints that generally remain hidden in current architecture and archival practice. When selecting case studies, the team behind Collecting Otherwise prefers to choose archive material from initiatives that represent such "minority perspectives". They focus on objects, mechanisms and processes that are inseparable from intersectional, international and intergenerational conceptions of a feminist and queer built environment. This approach - which is often still absent or underexposed in the National Collection and has not been given a place in the historiography of architecture and urban design - is thus written into the history and national archive of the discipline.
Collecting Otherwise is a research project that helps to ask fundamental questions about the value and meaning of the documents contained in the National Collection of Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning managed by Het Nieuwe Instituut. This research project proposes reading the collection and the practice of collecting and archiving from a perspective in line with current social changes. It focuses on developing alternative methodologies for the acquisition, classification and distribution of heritage.
Collecting Otherwise is part of the Rethinking the Collection initiative, initiated after the decision by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) to invest in the visibility, restoration and digitisation of the National Collection and falls under the umbrella of Disclosing Architecture. This project contributes to the ambition of Het Nieuwe Instituut to strengthen its position as a heritage institution, and to the larger goal of taking a critical look at the methods, tools, research themes, languages and alliances that the institute has previously developed.
Members of the research project
Clara Balaguer, Alfred Marasigan, Czar Kristoff, Isola Tong, Michael Karabinos, Hannah Dawn Henderson, Harriet Rose Morley, Hetty Berens, Carolina Pinto Valente, Delany Boutkan, Julius Thissen and Setareh Noorani.
* Image from the Stichting Goed Wonen Archive, an organisation which promoted the Modern interior through model houses, lectures, and their publication ‘Goed Wonen’ (1948-70). They were one of the main channels of the modernist Nieuwe Bouwen movement, that focused their ideology of hygiene, functionality, and innovation - against the ‘cramped’ interiors of the previous decades. At the same time Stichting Goed Wonen was a platform through which female designers could develop their network and practice (interior) architecture on more equal foot to their male counterparts.
Gathering #1: Seen/Unseen — The intimate archive
The Lysergic Secretary reports enthusiastically on the first public meeting of Collecting Otherwise on Zoom: “Building together along different disciplines, timelines and environments resulted in such rich conversations.”