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This year marks the 40th anniversary of the publication of What Would a Non-Sexist City Be Like? Speculations on Housing, Urban Design, and Human Work (Signs, 1980). This essay, by American architect and architecture historian Dolores Hayden, became a major influence on feminist thinking about design, construction, living and gender. In it, Hayden argues that architectural design and urban planning limit women's position in society, and investigates radical alternatives that could faciliate a more equal role.

20:00 – 21:30
also this evening

18:00-19:30 Thursday Bite

19:00-21:00 Guest Programme: Kick-off Young NVTL & Open Mic

19:30-21:00 The Hoodie Unravelled: Garment, Sustainability, Meaning-Making

The museum is free of charge from 17:00-21:00 


Het Nieuwe Instituut
Museumpark 25
3015 CB Rotterdam


Free entrance, RSVP via the ticket link 

We explore the continuing relevance of Hayden’s ideas 40 years on, and examine the progress achieved since she wrote her essay. These days, inclusivity is a ubiquitous term; but how far has it become a natural component of contemporary design and construction practices? Do more recent generations take a different view of the issues involved? What would a non-sexist city look like, and does it perhaps already exist?

We relate these topics to the ideas of the former action group and feminist network Vrouwen Bouwen Wonen (Women Build Homes), whose archive will soon be acquired by Het Nieuwe Instituut.

Moderated by Sandra Rottenberg, with contributions from Lidewij Tummers and others. 

Thursday Bite

Why not grab a bite to eat with the speakers and staff of Het Nieuwe Instituut before the event? Het Nieuwe Café serves a light vegetarian meal at 18:00. Dinner vouchers are available for €7.70 (up to a day before) 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 programme 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.