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Guus Beumer in the Dutch Media

The first year is drawing to a close for Guus Beumer, first director of The New Institute now responsible for, among many other things, design.nl. He has started to unveil his plans in the Dutch media. 

By Editor Design.nl / 17-10-2013

Guus Beumer arrived in January 2013 to take charge of a government funded institute meant to support architecture, design, fashion and e-culture. It’s raison d’être is purely political: the previous government wanted to cut cultural expenditure and forced a merger of the Netherlands Architectural Institute (NAi), Premsela foundation for design and fashion, and the Virtual Platform. The merged organisation is simply called The New Institute (HNI).

Yet combining architecture, design, fashion and e-culture “was and is in my view a good idea”, Beumer told daily newspaper de Volkskrant last week.

November will see the real start of HNI with the exhibition “Sets by Erwin Olaf” – interiors photographed and rebuilt. Beumer: “Erwin Olaf carefully studies interiors. He is not only interested in ‘space’ but also in the way space is decorated. The interior is a great starting point for a debate with our audience on architecture, design and e-culture.”

Beumer doesn’t just want to celebrate the successes of Dutch architecture and design. “It’s about problematizing design,” Beumer told the paper – not just about showing the latest design, but taking a step back from the latest craze and initiate critical debate. “HNI is a last stronghold of freedom where one can study issues without pressure from the market. A blessing in an age when cultural policies have become very politicized.”  

But “the market” will also get a place at HNI, located in a building once exclusively dedicated to architecture as office and exhibition space of NAi in Rotterdam. A design shop will open in the building in the hopes of stimulating the number of visitors from 150,000 a year to 250,000.

Also for this purpose HNI will try to organize events in places like Amsterdam, where Premsela was once located.

Main image: article in 'de Volkskrant', 11 October 2013.