Making City: Catalogue Of The International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam

Over the past couple of months, we’ve written a fair amount on the 5th International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam (you can see our overview of the IABR here). There’s been a lot going on in the contemporary world’s architectural heart as part of the 5th version of the IABR, including a rooftop farm, a pop-up urban village for surfers, and an exhibition about art interventions in Douala. In addition to all the happenings across town, the curators of the IABR have put together a nice catalogue of the exhibits. We’re excited to be giving away three copies of the catalogue to our lucky readers! Click here for more information.

In a short essay as part of the catalogue, Joan Clos makes a bold claim about how we conceive of the task of making city: “Identifying critical acupuncture points can transform existing cities.” An incredibly apt point for today’s urban practitioner: all is not lost when it comes to our urban areas. They are not the basis of the fundamental global problems of humanity: no, they are sites of opportunity for regeneration, and we, as humans, must embrace this.

The point is evident throughout the collection of works associated with this year’s IABR. Each of the elements of Making City (the Main Exhibition and its associated projects, the global Test Sites, the manifesto-style essays, and the series of public events in Rotterdam) suggest more attention to making cities better places through taking advantage of human nature. The curators’ statement that opens the catalogue is aptly titled ‘No Cities, No Future’, and they’re onto something: we can’t go about solving our global problems without addressing our urban problems.

In all, the catalogue is a well-written synopsis of this year’s Biennale, especially great for those of you that are unable to take the train down to Rotterdam for a visit. The project summaries are richly illustrated with photography that captures the challenges and solutions to the process of making the contemporary city.

Making City: Catalogue Of The International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam
Edited by George Brugmans and Jan Willem Petersen
Published by IABR
225 pages
ISBN: 978-90-809572-0-6