Architecture Biennale Rotterdam opens 22 September with Derk Loorbach as co-curator

The 10th edition of the Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, IT’s ABOUT TIME will take place from 22 September to 13 November 2022 in the Ferro, an imposing former natural gas container in Rotterdam’s western harbour area. With Derk Loorbach – professor social-enonomic transitions at ESSB and director of DRIFT – as co-curator, the biennale has an Erasmian twist this year, as well as a strong focus on justice and sustainability transitions.
This article was co-written by ESSB and DRIFT, and was first published on
Fifty years after the publication of the Club of Rome report, the 10th edition of the Architecture Biennale Rotterdam takes stock: how is it possible that we ignored their warnings and now find ourselves overwhelmed by the crises already predicted back then? The exhibition paints a picture that is at once worrying and hopeful. It includes work by architects, urban planners, artists, academics and landscape designers that shows the causes and consequences of climate change. And it argues that the current transition moment we are in provides an opportunity for a great leap forward.
Although The Club of Rome had already pointed out the negative consequences of fossil and linear growth, other problems were consistently considered more urgent, or short-term interests more dominant. By now we know and feel first-hand the existential and acute threat posed by the continuation of our current model. The 10th edition of the Architecture Biennale Rotterdam is, therefore, more than a wake-up call; besides presenting an impressive picture of the current state of the world, it shows real, hopeful possibilities of new, more radical pathways towards a liveable future. The exhibition makes visible sweeping, doable transitions that can lead to a just and ecologically healthy world. The use of imagination, architecture and landscape design is a crucial factor in this.
So, thanks partly to Derk, you can visit a biennale that connects transition science and design practice. The 10th edition is thus more than an exhibition. It will feature transition talks in a transition arena, allowing visitors to see and participate in transitions in practice. These will be discussions about cities that no longer need cars, the phase-out of construction of new roads, the future of flood management, the ecological-economic transition in the Delta, or the transition in underground infrastructure. These conversations are initiated by cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam or national programmes, and guided by design and research.
“During the biennale, we will show transitions in a new way. Short-term thinking and crises have slowed down transitions, but we are now in a transition moment. To move forward, we also needed a physical transition arena in the exhibition. This way, we will make room for transformative innovation and energy needed for desired and radical action. And we will discover how design and transition can join hands,” says Derk.
The exhibition IT’S ABOUT TIME has been curated by Véronique Patteeuw, Léa-Catherine Szacka, Peter Veenstra and Derk Loorbach.
Visit the Architecture Biennale Rotterdam website here.

September 20, 2022