The Future of Archiving: New Responsibilities and Practices Nieuwe Instituut Talks

Salt Galata

October 7, 2023 14.00

06water Cities Rotterdam Ruben Dario Kleimeerhnihr Kopie Water Cities Rotterdam (Fotoğraf: Rubén Dario Kleimeer
Water Cities Rotterdam (Photo: Rubén Dario Kleimeer)

Workshop II-III

The Future of Archiving: New Responsibilities and Practices, organized in collaboration with Nieuwe Instituut, is a one-day event of talks exploring the archival practices of cultural institutions. The public talks by Behrang Mousavi, Gijs Broos, Lois Hutubessy, and Delany Boutkan from the Nieuwe Instituut team will address different aspects of archiving, from sustainability, usability, and visibility to how institutions can preserve and present archives in more accessible ways to the public.

Nieuwe Instituut is the Netherlands national museum for architecture, design, and digital culture based in Rotterdam. Through its exhibitions, public programs, research, and wide-reaching national and international initiatives, the institute engages thinkers, designers, makers, and diverse audiences to critically reflect on the urgent issues confronting the past, present, and future. In addition to housing the National Collection for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning, the institute also operates the Sonneveld House as part of its campus in Rotterdam’s Museumpark.

This free-admission program will be held in English and is open to everyone.


14.00-14.20 Behrang Mousavi, Head of Collection, “Strategies for Cultural Institutions and Museums”

Behrang Mousavi will talk about how changing societal landscapes influence and challenge the positions and roles of cultural institutions and museums. There is a need for these institutions to not only adapt to changes but also take on a leading role in reshaping the cultural landscape. The Nieuwe Institute aims to address broader social issues within architecture, design, and digital culture, challenging traditional museum practices.

14.20-14.40 Gijs Broos, Program Manager, Disclosing Architecture, “Strategies for Networking Archives”
What does it mean for institutions to use open platforms for archive collections and employ techniques that start from users’ questions rather than data organization? How can heritage institutions and external partners cooperate sustainably to open up and provide access to collections?

14.40-15.00 Lois Hutubessy, Collection System Manager, “New Ways of Online Accessibility”
Holding the National Collection of Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning, the Nieuwe Instituut is developing an online platform for architecture and urban planning enthusiasts to explore and engage with its collection. The project Disclosing Architecture aims to improve the collection’s tenability, usability, and visibility, thereby increasing its value for a wider audience. With this new collection platform, the focus shifts from catering to the needs of domain professionals and experts to those of enthusiasts and wider audiences, which leads to new data and design challenges. Firstly, building a platform based on Linked Open Data (LOD) technology impacts infrastructural decision-making. While LOD presents new opportunities to enrich the data with external sources, it impacts the performance and stability of such a platform. User research led during the development phase exposes the challenge of making such a vast and rich collection personally relevant and engaging for different audiences. While LOD seems useful for professionals and experts when woven into functionalities that collection platforms are traditionally composed of, it is a more significant challenge to design accessible ways to navigate this data for diverse audiences. The institute hopes to provide practical insights for colleague organizations by deconstructing approaches to these data and design challenges.

15.00-15.20 Delany Boutkan, Researcher, “Collecting Otherwise: Tool Sheds for Alternative Archival Practices”
Drawing on the architecture collection under Nieuwe Instituut’s management, the Collecting Otherwise project explores the possibilities for an alternative architectural, heritage, and archival practice that reflects a constantly changing society. Following the previous iterations Seen/Unseen (2021) and Post/De/Colonial (2022), this year’s edition, The Tool Shed, is dedicated to the resources that can help to develop new ways of acquiring, classifying, and exhibiting heritage.

15.20-16.00 Discussion/Q&A

Behrang Mousavi has been Head of Collection, Architecture, and Urban Planning at the Nieuwe Instituut since 2010. Previously, he worked as head curator of prints and drawings at The Hague Municipal Archives and later as policy advisor at the Municipality of The Hague. He is a museologist, heritage specialist, policy advisor, opinion maker, writer, and collector. He studied museology at the Reinwardt Academy in Amsterdam and later archaeology and art history at Leiden University. In the last 26 years, he has given many lectures and worked as a curator and author on national and international projects. He is a member of national and international committees, such as Raad voor Cultuur, Mondriaan Fonds, and Het AFK in Amsterdam. He has been chairman of the Supervisory Board of CBK Rotterdam since 2022.

Gijs Broos holds an MSc in Sociology from Tilburg University and is the Program Manager of Disclosing Architecture at the Nieuwe Instituut. He is responsible for the six-year program, which involves the large-scale restoration, conservation, and digitization of the institute’s national collection. Previously, he was a partner at Except Integrated Sustainability, working for city governments, organizations, and industries on projects committed to reshaping urban landscapes, business models, and industries into sustainable, circular, and regenerative ecosystems. Before that, he was a strategist at the City Development Corporation Rotterdam, working on the mid-and long-term visions and translating them into integral strategies for implementation, looking at real estate, land policy, and economic policy.

Loïs Hutubessy holds an MSc in Information Science from Universiteit van Amsterdam and a BA in Cognitive Sciences from the Amsterdam University College. She works as a Collection System Manager at the Nieuwe Instituut, where she is responsible for the information systems that the Collection Department uses. Within the program Disclosing Architecture, she takes on the role of product owner in developing the new collection website.

Delany Boutkan is a writer, editor, and curator and works as a researcher in the Nieuwe Instituut’s Research team. She has been coordinating the annual International Call for Fellows and several other collaborative research projects and public programs since 2019, such as Collecting Otherwise and Design Drafts. Her research interests involve language as world-building (design) materials that shape everyday social, political, and economic environments. Her writing has been featured in publications by Metropolis M, MacGuffin Magazine, Z33, Onomatopee Projects, Sandberg Instituut, Disegno Journal, and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam’s Kunstlicht Journal. Between 2020 and 2022, Delany curated the lectures and debates program “5th Floor Talks” at the Design Academy Eindhoven, where she received her master’s degree in Design Curating and Writing in 2018.

This program is kindly supported by the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.