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Het Nieuwe Instituut organises the Dutch contributions to the architecture biennales in São Paulo, Shenzhen and Venice: three occasions with a core focus on spatial issues at which Dutch architecture can present itself to the world.

International architecture biennales are prestigious opportunities for countries to showcase their talent. This is especially true of the national pavilions in which each participating country curates a representative presentation of recent architecture. These presentations are an essential element within cultural diplomacy. Het Nieuwe Instituut has been responsible for curating and coordinating the Netherlands’ submissions since 2013.

Originally there were national presentations at three architecture biennales: Venice, São Paulo and Shenzhen. Recently São Paulo and Shenzhen have adopted a different model, which precludes national pavilions. In these cities there is now an opportunity to develop different (and possibly more sustainable) forms of partnership. In dialogue with the organisers, Het Nieuwe Instituut is exploring concepts for an exchange with China and Brazil. Over the past few years, the institute has begun to develop the necessary network for this exchange, for example through Crimson’s role as curator of the Dutch contribution to the International Architecture Biennale in São Paulo. These activities support Het Nieuwe Instituut’s ambition to promote innovative forms of cultural diplomacy.

While the international architecture biennale has a long history, international manifestations for design and digital culture are relatively new. Het Nieuwe Instituut now also has responsibility for representing these disciplines at key international events such as the annual Milan Furniture Fair.