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The general theme of the 2019 edition, Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival, sets out to investigate the potential role of design in restoring the relationships between human beings with their environments, including both natural and social ecosystems. 


With the title I See That I See What You Don’t See, the Dutch contribution responds to the ambition of the Triennale by focusing on our relationship with darkness. The Netherlands is one of the most illuminated countries in the world. In that sense it serves as an extreme example of a 24-hour economy that emphasizes production and growth. At the same time it reflects a changing relationship with the environment: in a world that is always switched on, the simple experience of a clear, starry sky has become a rarity.

In this context, the Dutch presentation investigates the subtle influence of the age of permanent performance on the way different human and non-human agents experience the world. In I See That I See What You Don’t See designers, makers, artists and researchers from the Netherlands and further afield, present a layered and sometimes unexpected picture of the current, multispecies relationship with darkness, and set in motion imaginative, critical responses to it. 

Central to the project is the notion of the designer as researcher when it comes to addressing developments that have now reached a planetary scale. Not only does this question the role of the designer, it also has implications for methodologies and issues of responsibility. These are recurring themes within research initiatives previously launched by Het Nieuwe Instituut, in such fields as automation, materials and datafication.

The exhibition and public program will be curated by Angela Rui (independent curator and researcher) in collaboration with Marina Otero Verzier (Director of Research, Het Nieuwe Instituut) and Francien van Westrenen (Head of Agency, Het Nieuwe Instituut). 

Programme and exhibitors

In addition to the exhibition and programme at Palazzo dell’Arte in Milan, the Dutch presentation at the XXII Triennale di Milano will feature a parallel public programme in Rotterdam. Commissioned exhibitors for the Dutch Pavilion are, among others, Ramon AmaroDanilo Correale, Design Academy Eindhoven, Academy for Urban Astronauts, Melvin Moti, Het Nieuwe Instituut afdelingen Research en Hertigage van Het Nieuwe Instituut, Lucy McRae, Bregtje van der Haak, Richard Vijgen en Leanne Wijnsma. 



Palazzo dell’Arte
Viale E. Alemagna, 6
20121 Milaan, Italië