Initiated in 2014 by Storefront for Art and Architecture, “Letters to the Mayor” is an itinerant exhibition that displays a collection of real letters written by over 100 architects, with a relation to a specific city, to their mayors addressing the most pressing issues within their local contexts. “Letters to the Mayor: Rotterdam”, the latest iteration of the program – which has traveled to more than 15 cities across the globe in four years (Bogota, Athens, Taipei, Lisbon, among others) – involves the Netherland’s second biggest city and comes as a result of a year-long collaboration on the theme of ‘City Forces’ between Het Nieuwe Instituut and Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York.
For the edition in Rotterdam, architects such as Elma van Boxel, Elsbeth Ronner, Ekim Tan, and Nathalie van Vries were invited to deliver their thoughts directly to Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, as a means of bringing innovative ideas and visions of the city closer to the decision-makers, and vice versa. The presentation of personal letters by selected architects is on display at Het Nieuwe Instituut until February 11.
How can architectural practice and design partecipate in the construction of the public life? What ethics should be associated with architectural practice? In an era dominated by the rise of globalization and the homogenization of the contemporary city, it appears even more challenging for architects to actively partecipate in the political arena. “Letters to the Mayor” offers both local and international architects and the political authorities the opportunity to share thoughts, concerns, and suggestions while simultaneously engaging the public consciousness. By encouraging meaningful conversations between architects, mayors, and citizens, the initiative is a valuable forum for the discussion of the future of cities.
- Letters to the Mayor: Rotterdam
- Opening dates:
- 15 January – 11 February 2018
- Het Nieuwe Instituut
- Museumpark 25, Rotterdam