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In this lecture and exhibition preview, architecture theorist Mark Wigley unearths the far-reaching fusion of technology and the human being in the context of the exhibition ‘The Human Insect: Antenna Architectures 1887-2017’, which he curated. The exhibition, which will open on the 3rd of March 2018 in Het Nieuwe Instituut, is the result of the 10th Premsela lecture on ‘The Architecture of Radio’, which Wigley gave in November 2014.

19:30 – 21:00
also this evening

18:00 - 19:30 Thursday Bite

21:00 - 22:30 Exhibition Preview


Het Nieuwe Instituut
Museumpark 25
3015 CB Rotterdam


Standard€ 7,50
Students and Friends of Het Nieuwe Instituut€ 3,75
Thursday Bite€ 7,50

Antennas are everywhere: in smartphones, rooms, buildings, streets, vehicles, fish, birds, drones, pills and products in the supermarket. We are now permanently swimming in a completely interconnected ecology of antennas. Mark Wigley approaches humans as insects. Both have antennae to negotiate the world and each other. What does this mean for architecture? An antenna can dwarf any building to which it is attached or supercharge it. In other words: antennas destabilize architecture. This lecture explores the past 130 years of antenna architecture, in which architects have engaged with this thinnest, least visible, yet most transformative part of a building.

The Human Insect, exhibition designed by Andrés Jaque, founder of the Office for Political Innovation, is part of the programme Dissident Gardens which will open to the public on Saturday 3rd of March 2018.

Mark Wigley

Mark Wigley is a professor of architecture and dean emeritus of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. As a historian and theorist he explores the intersection of architecture, art, philosophy, culture and technology. In 2016 he co-curated the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial with Beatriz Colomina who is also the co-author of his most recent book Are We Human? – Notes on an Archaeology of Design (Zurich: Lars Müller, 2016). His previous publications include Derrida’s Haunt: The Architecture of Deconstruction; Constant's New Babylon: The Hyper-Architecture of Desire and Buckminster Fuller Inc. – Architecture in the Age of Radio. His forthcoming book, Cutting Matta-Clark: The Anarchitecture Investigation (Zurich: Lars Müller, 2018) will be out in March 2018.

Thursday Bite

Before the Thursday Night you can grab a bite to eat with the speakers and staff of Het Nieuwe Instituut. At 18:30 Het Nieuwe Café will serve soup with bread or a quiche with salad. Dinner vouchers are available for € 7.50 up to a day before the particular Thursday Night event via the Tickets link or at the bar this evening.

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.