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Sessions - subject to change - of the conference Disclosing Futures - Rethinking Heritage. Both days are made up of two blocks consisting of five or six parallel sessions, from which you can choose one. Each session takes place only once, so it is not possible to follow all the sessions. During breaks, take a peek behind the scenes joining one of the Walk & Talks. Check the conference page for more information and tickets.

Wednesday 2 November

10.00 - 11.00 Opening (Auditorium) Speakers: Aric Chen (HNI), Behrang Mousavi (HNI), Gunay Uslu (State Secretary for Culture and Media).

Disclosing Architecture is a six-part heritage programme, financed by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Het Nieuwe Instituut is a driving force behind innovation in heritage in the broadest possible sense. Disclosing Architecture promotes the formation of vision in this area, by linking up theory and practice. The first three years of the programme (2019-2022) focused predominately on our own collection, before connections to the outside were made during the second half (2022-2024). The initial results from Disclosing Architecture were shared during Disclosing Futures – Rethinking Heritage. The conference serves as a podium where we can enter into dialogue with one another, ask one another questions, bring knowledge closer and reflect on the changing role of heritage. In so doing broadening our horizons and making a leap into the future, without losing sight of the past, and the present. 

11.10 - 12.10 Modern Photography, co-produced by SBMK (Room 1) Speakers: Ariënne Boelens en Kayleigh Kunst-van der Gulik (SMBK), Kelly James (HNI).

Owing to their sensitivity to environmental factors, photographs are vulnerable objects within a collection. Together with the University of Amsterdam, the Cultural Heritage Agency (RCE) and sixteen institutes that manage collections, the Foundation for the Conservation of Contemporary Art (SBMK) has set up Project Photography (Collection Knowledge 2.0), aiming to conserve photography in a sustainable way and keeping this accessible to the general public. Which includes the development of a Photography Identification Tool, consisting of a digital platform with information on the most common and/or problematic photographic processes, media and finishes, in combination with a physical sample set containing reference materials. This will enable collection managers identify, monitor and take the necessary conservation measures. In this session, we will discuss a number of issues surrounding the management of photographic works within a collection. Participants will also be able to put the Photography Identification Tool to practical use by identifying objects from Het Nieuwe Instituut’s collection.

11.10 - 12.35 Speculative Archiving (Research Centre) Speakers: Zara Ashad and Vivien Chan (Design Archives in Asia), Fatma Çolakoğlu (SALT), Mariana Lanari (Archival Consciousness), Aric Chen (HNI).

In this session, we will focus on alternative and speculative approaches to archiving that give scope to new stories and different players. We will look at examples of municipalities operating outside of the traditional structures, recording their history and stories in different ways. One of the questions arising: How can heritage institutes respond to the necessity of archiving as put forward by these municipalities? New forms of cooperation between archive creators, managers and users will also be covered; thanks in part to digitisation, these are making new archive interpretations possible and uncovering stories which to date have been overlooked by cultural institutes.

11.10 - 12.25 Shedding Light on the Future of Digitisation (Oostkop) Speakers: Wim Lowet (VAi), Janou Munnik (HNI), Tim van der Post and Tommy Ventevogel (The Rotterdam City Archives).

The digitisation of cultural heritage brings challenges, but also new knowledge and insights. In 2021, Het Nieuwe Instituut developed a DigiLab for the digitisation of archival material from the National Collection for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning. In this session HNI, the Flanders Architecture Institute (VAi) and The Rotterdam City Archives will exchange practical knowledge. We will focus on the potential and challenges of the digitisation of heritage, and explore the similarities and differences in working methods and techniques. We will also shine a light into the future. What will advances in technology mean for storage capacity, (online) accessibility and the digital conservation of cultural heritage?

11.10 - 12.35 Collecting Otherwise Re-tooling, Re-thinking Institutional Research (Room 2) Speakers: Hannah Dawn Henderson, Harriet Morley, Robin Hartanto, Michael Karabinos, Clara Balaguer, Carolina Pinto, Setareh Noorani, Delany Boutkan.

We zoom in on institutional knowledge infrastructures, highlighting changing perspectives on institutional tasks and responsibilities. How can we establish lower thresholds for public connection, developing socially sustainable institutions through sustainable innovation in heritage? We examine and reflect on the strategies to re-tool, re-think, re-visit and re-narrate shared heritage across communities. We encourage participants to bring ‘tools’ (examples) from their own projects that actively regenerate and resituate (institutional) archives and collections, for instance by recirculating knowledge (from research) back to communities or making space for other archive practices. Highlighting decentring, distributed networks and communal learning allows for new insights. This round table is situated within the impetus of the ongoing project Collecting Otherwise. We will take time to introduce current tools in development, establishing links between its thematic iterations and the knowledge development within its Working Group, along with introductions its members.

11.10 - 12.35 Alison's Room I VR & Immersive Environments (6de Verdieping) SpeakersDirk van den Heuvel (JBSC/TU Delft), Paula Strunden, Angelika Schnell (Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna)

In two sessions, we will explore the possibilities of VR and XR design for new modes of research and the public presentation of archival documents. Starting point is the XR test installation on show in the foyer of Het Nieuwe Instituut: Alison’s Room, designed by Paula Strunden as part of her work at Het Nieuwe Instituut for the EU-funded project Communities of Tacit Knowledge in Architecture (TACK). The installation consists of an immersive reconstruction of the work room of the British architect Alison Smithson and the archive of her and her husband Peter’s practice. In this first session, Paula Strunden will present her work. She will engage in a conversation with Dirk van den Heuvel, head of the Jaap Bakema Study Centre and expert in the work of the Smithsons, and Angelika Schnell, professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna.

11.30 - 12.55 Van Doesburg: Through the Eyes of the Restorer. (Auditorium) SpeakersElizabet Nijhoff Asser and Jurjen Munk (RNA), Wietse Coppes (RKD), Herman van Bergeijk (TU Delft)

The large-scale restoration of the Van Doesburg collection was completed in October 2022. Restorer Elizabet Nijhoff Asser will discuss the discoveries made during the restoration work with art historians. What do these drawings tell us about Van Doesburg and how he worked? What choices were made during the restoration and what influence did historical research have on this? Experts will examine Van Doesburg and his era from both art history and academic perspectives. 

13.30 - 14.30 The Quality of Others, co-produced by NDE (Room 1) Speakers: Thomas van Maaren (Picturae), Wilbert Helmus (NDE), Michelle van Lanschot (Wikimedia Nederland), Sanneke Huisman (LIMA).

The possibilities of Linked Open Data (LOD) influence the role heritage organisations play in the digital domain. At the same time, the application of LOD creates a more circular idea of culture. After all, creation and re-use, makers and users, are very close to one another within the digital domain.  Use by other parties of collection data leads to valuable benefits. This session deals with the ways in which heritage organisations can deal with such benefits from other parties, whether invited or not. How can heritage organisations respond to a more participative and inclusive approach to culture in the digital domain? Experienced experts and end-users will discuss this..

13.30 - 14.30 From Visitors to Users (Oostkop). Speaker: Mirjam Verloop.

The reasons for visiting a cultural heritage website might differ over time, and users might show other behaviour in various roles. For example, someone visits a cultural heritage website on workdays to find relevant information to support their research. However, this person might also visit the website to relax and browse exciting stories. How could heritage institutions consider users' different behavioural roles and needs when designing digital products?

13.30 - 14.55 Alison's Room II (Research Centre) Speakers: Thea Brejzek, Keiichi Matsuda, Paula Strunden, Dirk van den Heuvel (JBSC/TU Delft), Angelika Schnell.

In this second session, invited guests will explore previous and future possibilities of real and virtual models, in terms of interdisciplinary knowledge production and new narratives. Guests include Thea Brejzek, professor of Spatial Theory at the University of Technology, Sydney and author of ‘The Model as Performance: Staging Space in Theatre and Architecture’, and Keiichi Matsuda, designer, filmmaker and founder of Liquid City. Speakers at the first session, Paula Strunden, Dirk van den Heuvel and Angelika Schnell, will engage in the conversation as well.

13.30 - 14.55 Looking for New Perspectives on Blueprints (Room 2) Speakers: Caroline Lange, Hetty Berens (HNI), Ellen Smit (HNI). 

This session takes place within the context of Invented from Copies, a piece of research into the cultural value of analogue architectural reproductions in Het Nieuwe Instituut’s collection. Although reproductions such as blueprints and whiteprints make up a sizeable portion of the collection owing to the traditional focus on the ‘artistic original’ – such as attractive sketches and perspective drawings – they also constitute something of a blind spot. This research focuses on the cultural value of these reproductions and strives for a new framework for the evaluation of architectural archives. One that replaces the hierarchical distinction between high-value originals and lesser value copies by reciprocal relationships that shine a new light on the definition of the design process and the practice of design. To feed this research with new perspectives, Invented from Copies draws the research into contemporary artistic practice. This artistic research offers new perspectives on the use and appreciation of blueprints.

13.30 - 14.55 Film: Curating Decay (Auditorium) Marit Geluk.

During the first phase of the Disclosing Architecture programme, filmmaker Marit Geluk made Alvorens verloop/Curating Decay, a documentary about the restoration and conservation of the Van Doesburg collection. From 2019, she closely followed the work of paper restorers, colour specialists, lighting experts, exhibition-makers, programmers and policymakers. Throughout the restoration process, trade-offs had to be made between the preservability, visibility and useability of this fragile material, in the knowledge that decay is inevitable.

13.30 - 14.55 Film: metrics of a temporary dwelling (Auditorium) Hannah Dawn Henderson.

metrics of a temporary dwelling unfolds as a meditative survey of Het Nieuwe Instituut’s archival depot. Amidst the depot’s corners and corridors, four spectres seek out idiosyncrasies – traces of haptic interventions and doubts in the archival process, rupturing the space’s otherwise formal, laconic aura. This search for human presence extends to the depot’s permanent inhabitants: figures depicted in archival materials, or housebound in dossiers. Reflections arise regarding the archive’s function as a chronic host, its conceptual relation to architecture, and its role in negotiating and narrating the Netherland’s colonial history.

13.30 - 14.55 Keeping the Digital (6de Verdieping) Speakers: Manon Janssens (Zaha Hadid Architects), Damjan Kokalevski (Architecture Museum Munich), Ania Molenda (HNI), Frans Neggers (HNI).

Archives that have been created digitally entail complex issues of conservation: how to keep the authentic informative object – such as a drawing, render, 3D model or animation – alive and accessible in a sustainable way? In this session, we will devote attention to the evaluation and selection of this born-digital material. The fast, iterative nature of digital design translates directly into the fragmentary, layered character of born-digital architectural archives. The ease with which files can be reproduced and modified, as well as the interdependence between files and software, make individual digital objects difficult to assess. Are analogue approaches to evaluation and selection – with their emphasis on the authentic, original object – still applicable to the born-digital archive? Or do we need to go in search of new selection methods? And what role can AI play in this?

16.30 - 17.30 Future Roles and Practices of Heritage Institutions and Heritage (Auditorium) Speakers: Fiona Cameron (Western Sydney University), Laura van Dolron.

This session draws on the arguments in The Future of Digital Data, Heritage and Curation in a More-Than-Human World (London: Routledge, 2021) and speculates on the future roles and practices of heritage institutions and heritage in the context of rapid technological innovation. The focus lies on digital cultural heritage, which can no longer be considered solely a product of human expression in digital format. Human agency, associated definitions of heritage, drivers of heritage preservation, the artifact and the authentic must therefore be recalibrated. Novel concepts and terms for new forms of heritage as more-than-human are advanced, and the notion of humanist and human-centred heritage practice, current object-centred concepts, and the conceptual framing of users and producers of historical data as more-than and other-than human is challenged. The conclusion speculates on potential futures of archiving as a distributed practice of transformation and examines the new legacies, institutional roles and responsibilities that might emerge. Laura van Dolron looks for connections, disruption, emotion and vulnerability in todays’ sessions. During the day she moulds these into a telling live column. Unique and written on the spot.