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The world's first Solar Biennale opens in the Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam on September 9

Netherlands Architecture News - Sep 09, 2022 - 17:35   789 views

The world's first Solar Biennale opens in the Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam on September 9

The world's first Solar Biennale has opened today in the Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, aiming to bring a new and inclusive perspective on the energy of the sun through many programs.

Starting from the main question of "How much energy do you have and need today?", the Biennale will start with The Energy Show – Sun, Solar and Human Power, which is a survey exhibition at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam from 3 September 2022 to 5 March 2023.

The first Solar Biennale will take place from September 9 to 30 October, 2022 with various kinds of programs, installations, exhibitions and seminars, lectures in the Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam. 

While a rich program is shaped around solar futures built on the power of design, consisting of Solar Lectures and Solar Labs, various installations and an exhibition will be showcased in the Het Nieuwe Instituut. 

The world's first Solar Biennale opens in the Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam on September 9

Marjan van Aubel, 'Ra', luminous solar design that charges itself. Image courtesy of Het Nieuwe Instituut

The Sun in the City and a true solar pavilion is part of Dutch Design Week 2022, which will be held from 22 to 30 October in Eindhoven.

The Solar Biennale was initiated by solar designers Marjan van Aubel and Pauline van Dongen to explore the counterbalances of the prevailing technological and economic viewpoints on solar energy.

For seven weeks, the biennale aims to tackle the solar energy from the human perspective: "a solar-powered world goes beyond scientific research and uniform solar panels, after all," explained the organizers of the Solar Biennale.

"Cultural practices and place-specific energy needs also determine how the post-carbon future will develop."

The Biennale's programs is inviting citizens and non-profit organizations and bringing together designers, scientists and people from the solar industry. 

On Friday, September 9, the Biennale's program kicks off with a international seminar on solar design, The Solar Seminar, which explores solar futures built on the power of design, what these futures look like and how to make them a reality.

The Biennale touches upon the definition of Solar Design through different lenses. The redefinition Solar Design is at the heart of the Biennale and focuses on how Solar Design shapes new relationships between people and their environment. 

The world's first Solar Biennale opens in the Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam on September 9

Maria Telkes, Dover Sun House, 1948. Image courtesy of Het Nieuwe Instituut

Solar (energy) relations are planned to be explored under four different themes (i.e. levels of scale and intimacy and systemic complexity and value): The Personal, The Social, The Spatial and The Environmental. 

Another component of the Solar Biennale is an exhibition, titled The Energy Show – Sun, Solar and Human Power - which is part of the first edition of The Solar Biennale and will be on view from 3 September to 5 March 2023 in the Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam. 

Compiled by curator and designer Matylda Krzykowski in collaboration with The Solar Biennale, the exhibition revolves around the sun and its design possibilities. 

The show reflects on visitors’ personal energy levels, features dozens of examples of innovative solar technology, and poses the key question: what would the world look like if it ran on solar energy?.

The world's first Solar Biennale opens in the Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam on September 9

Pauline van Dongen, 'Solar Shirt'. Image © Liselotte Fleur, courtesy of Het Nieuwe Instituut

The exhibition showcases projects by artists, designers and researchers from all over the world, from pioneering inventions by ‘solar queen’ Mária Telkes to the experimental designs of Michael Jantzen, and from the solar-integrated architecture of Jessenvollenweider to creative concepts from movements such as Solar Power for Artists and Solar Mamas.

The Energy Show also features work by solar designers Marjan van Aubel and Pauline van Dongen, art director Mirka Laura Severa, social designers Cream on Chrome and story designer Alice Wong.

The show is arranged chronologically and takes visitors on a journey through the history of the sun. While the exhibition spaces are vibrantly designed, "they are first inspired to think about their own ‘energy culture’, before being introduced to a diverse range of projects and objects related to solar technology, including some from the Museum of Solar Energy." 

The world's first Solar Biennale opens in the Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam on September 9

Image courtesy of Solar Biennale 

Upon entering, visitors travel from last century’s first solar developments to the future-oriented initiatives that are helping to advance the energy transition today. 

The exhibition puts a focus on its comprehensive theme, starting from a technological and economic perspective while also considering – through the works on display and personal questions to the visitor – the ecological and social impact of solar energy. 

Top image: Mirka Laura Severa, Solar Views (The Visitor), 2021, courtesy of Het Nieuwe Instituut. 

> via Het Nieuwe Instituut & Solar Biennale