democratizing architecture debate is not always an easy task…
Under Jean Leering’s directorship and curatorship (1964-73), the Van Abbemuseum developed a new form of architecture exhibitions in which the audience took on an ever more important role. This new condition was perhaps best exemplified by the 1969 exhibition Cityplan Eindhoven (produced in collaboration with the architectural office Van Den Broek en Bakema and the Eindhoven Department of Planning and Transport).
The material analysis conducted for this research project revealed the disjunction between the exhibition’s goals, its instruments, and its memory. Namely, while this exhibition is most remembered by its translation of Van den Broek en Bakema’s project to a spatial experience through an enormous scale model (1:20) that visitors could walk through, a closer analysis of the exhibition’s instruments and practices revealed the model to be but one element of a broader strategy of engagement. If the model allowed the public to understand the plan, another of the exhibition’s rooms provided the tools for visitors to articulate their criticism of—and alternatives to—the project, thus providing a much more radical departure from standard museum exhibitionary practices.
September - October 2016
Sergio M. Figueiredo
Judith de Blok