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A transformative relationship

Studio Ossidiana is fascinated by the development of human-animal relationships over time: on the one hand, how humans have adapted themselves; and on the other, how animals have been domesticated. For Studio Ossidiana, the meaning of this relationship goes beyond the design of animal shelters. The human-animal relationship is seen from a relational and ecological perspective. Animals are not just meat and leather but exist as cultural and religious symbols and sources of knowledge. The appearance of a beast can symbolize a prosperous future, or act as a harbinger of danger. Nowadays humankind attempts to control the animal environment as far as possible, framing and designing its boundaries by using spatial, legal and political instruments, concretized in regulations and fences.

The Studio Ossidiana lecture presents three scales at which animals have been institutionalized and abstracted: the domesticating cage, the urban zoo, and the territorial national park. They will expand on the transformative power of these archetypes by presenting research from MIT and the Jan Van Eyck Academie.

Animal Encounters

Through a spatial installation of models, drawings and cabinets, Studio Ossidiana explores how architecture mediates between all sorts of creatures, making room for a variety of encounters, setting the stage for interactions between humans and animals, and addressing issues of proximity, scale and cross-species politics. In addition to Studio Ossidiana’s research, a selection of projects from the National Collection for Dutch Architecture and Planning is showcased. These propose a relational understanding of the animal-human encounter and expand the ecological to notions of systems theory.

Studio Ossidiana is led by Giovanni Bellotti and Alessandra Covini.

Animal Encounters is the successor to Habitat: Expanding Architecture, and part of the Total Space project by the Jaap Bakema Study Centre, on the cross-pollination between architecture, planning, anthropology and systems theory.


19:00 – 21:00
also this evening

18:00-19:30 Thursday Bite 

19:30-21:30 Reading Room: Screen and Screenscapes, met Francesco Casetti

20:00-22:00 BNO IMG LAB: Cross Comix Festival

Het museum is vrij toegankelijk van 17:00-21:00 


Het Nieuwe Instituut
Museumpark 25
3015 CB Rotterdam


Standard€ 7,50
Students, CJP, Friends and Members of Het Nieuwe Instituut€ 3,75

Thursday Bite

Before the Thursday Night you can grab a bite to eat with the speakers and staff of Het Nieuwe Instituut. At 18:00 Het Nieuwe Café will serve a light vegetarian meal. Dinner vouchers are available for € 7.70 up to a day before the particular Thursday Night event via the Tickets link. 

Become a Member

Become a Member of Het Nieuwe Instituut and you’ll support our mission to navigate the vast and evolving field of design. You’ll also be inspired by our special program of Members’ events, meeting up with other like-minded people as we invite you to reflect with us on design’s changing role in technology, economics, culture and society.

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.