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Kunstinstituut Melly and Het Nieuwe Instituut are proud to co-present an evening programme of talks and parkour based on the legacy and 101-year anniversary of Constant Nieuwenhuys. The programme centres around Nieuwenhuys’ visionary Utopian architectural project New Babylon, as well as the landmark exhibition held in 1998/9 and curated by architecture historian Mark Wigley.

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Created in 1956, New Babylon offered a vision of a future built environment spanning the entire surface of the planet, held aloft on pillars: a society that would be organised around leisure and play, work being performed by machines. How does this vision look today? And how has the proposition of New Babylon changed between 1997 (the year of the exhibition) and 2021? What, too, was the impact of the exhibition on those who saw it?

The evening will start off with a gathering at Kunstinstituut Melly – based on a presentation of materials from the exhibition archive, and in collaboration with the Master Interior Architecture: Research + Design, MIARD, together with special guest Mark Wigley. An energetic walk (or parkour) to Het Nieuwe Instituut will follow, for a lecture by Wigley reflecting on the exhibition, together with responses by professionals, attendees and students.  


  • 5pm – 6pm 

    At the bookshop and cantina of MELLY, experience a vitrine display of materials of the exhibition drawn from Kunstinstituut Melly’s exhibition archives, over refreshments and casual conversations with special guests Mark Wigely and Bartomeu Mari; after which we will walk together to Het Nieuwe Instituut.
  • 6.30pm – 8pm 

    Keynote by Mark Wigley in the auditorium of Het Nieuwe Instituut, followed by an open mic to hear impressions about the exhibition by those who experienced it in 1998 or who in general ways have been influenced by its legacy. 
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.