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After two months of forced closure, public life is slowly restarting. While Het Nieuwe Instituut has developed alternative formats and remained open online, it's now possible to open physically again  and so develop more hybrid programming in the near future. Our perspective will continue to be nurtured by the need for different voices, both socially and ecologically. It is our assignment, and we also feel it is a necessity, to supply inspiration and perspectives while providing creative commissions for designers, theorists and makers. After all, since its foundation the institute has linked the role and importance of design to precisely those social issues, which are once again proving their urgency.

Latest event

September 17, 19:30h: Collectivizations #3. In a third edition of Collectivizations, Jonas Staal interviews cultural historian Siva Vaidhyanathan, author of 'Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy', on what it would mean to democratise Facebook. Flora van Gaalen, Head of Programme at Het Nieuwe Instituut, interviews Paris Marx , urbanist, writer and founder of the podcast 'Tech Won’t Save Us', on strategies to nationalise and repurpose Amazon.

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Recommended

Listen to the Serpentine podcast ‘Back to Earth: Tracing the Roots’ with Formafantasma, Dunne & Raby and sound works by Black Quantum Futurism.

Watch ‘Climate Imaginaries’ at Framer Framed, a discussion on the relation between the climate crisis and the rise of pandemics.

Read how long can coronavirus live on surfaces, and why smooth surfaces seem to transmit the virus more easily.

From the door handle to the cardboard box: Follow Pandemic Objects, an editorial project by V&A.

View copper stories by curator Mariana Pestana, exploring the sterilising qualities of this material.

Frame highlights the best of antibacterial surfaces, designed to boost hygiene in shared environments.

On the Surface: Timber and Plastic

On the surface, timber, plastics and other materials have become essential for preventing contagion with Covid-19. Sterile medical disposables, antibacterial coatings and virus-proof cardboard boxes proliferate, forming new markets, habits and waste streams. Commonly overlooked surfaces and materials are reconsidered, measured and labelled in line with new hygiene and safety regulations. Yet their industries continue to aggravate the degradation of ecosystems, closely intertwined with the rise of pandemics to begin with. From deforestation to the anthropogenic exploitation of natural resources, the timber and plastic industries are paradoxically complicit with exacerbating the disease. This newsletter brings to the surface a selection of design projects that respond to the changing role of material industries in current social and ecological crises.

Listen to the Serpentine podcast ‘Back to Earth: Tracing the Roots’ with Formafantasma, Dunne & Raby and sound works by Black Quantum Futurism.

Watch ‘Climate Imaginaries’ at Framer Framed, a discussion on the relation between the climate crisis and the rise of pandemics.

Read how long can coronavirus live on surfaces, and why smooth surfaces seem to transmit the virus more easily.

From the door handle to the cardboard box: Follow Pandemic Objects, an editorial project by V&A.

View copper stories by curator Mariana Pestana, exploring the sterilising qualities of this material.

Frame highlights the best of antibacterial surfaces, designed to boost hygiene in shared environments.

Commissioning in the Time of Covid-19

Every week, Het Nieuwe Instituut invites a designer to make a cover for the online magazine in response to the question: What’s occupying you now? This week: artist, graphic designer and screen printer Harmen Liemburg.