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Animals did not enter people’s lives as meat or leather, rather, they first entered the human imagination as messengers and promises. The earliest drawings, and one could suppose, the earliest metaphors, were about animals. More than meat and leather, their relation to humans was essential in defining both the humane and the divine.

A transformative relation

This talk focuses on different scales at which animals have been institutionalized and abstracted. “The Cage”, “The Zoo", and “The National Park” will be highlighted as archetypes, just as the production of cultural and geographical contexts, and the definition of legal and political boundaries. Through these boundaries animals have been transformed: the wild has become domestic, the pet has become feral, the dangerous has become endangered. But people have also been transformed, becoming the domesticating species, the one that produces boundaries.

Dialogue across species

Through the lenses of design and architecture, this talk addresses these archetypes, investigating intersections and contradictions across their scales: from the domestic and the civic to the territorial. With the design of the installation Animal Encounters, Studio Ossidiana reimagines these boundaries and institutions not as spaces of confinement, whether for leisure or salvation, but as mediative places, possible translators in a dialogue across species.

Animal Encounters

With a spatial installation of models, drawings and cabinets Studio Ossidiana explores how architecture might mediate between all sorts of creatures, making room for a variety of encounters and setting the stage for interactions between humans and animals. The installation addresses issues of proximity, scale and cross-species politics. In addition to the research of Studio Ossidiana a selection of projects from the State Collection for Dutch Architecture and Planning is showcased, that proposes a relational understanding of the animal-human encounter, and expands the ecological to notions of systems theory.

Studio Ossidiana is formed by Giovani Bellotti and Alessandra Covini. Animal Encounters is the successor to Habitat: Expanding Architecture, and part of the Total Space project.

19:00 – 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. 

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