HNI curator Klaas Kuitenbouwer, gives a tour and insights to the exhibition:
“The Human Insect – Antenna Architectures 1887 – 2017”

(Podcast coming soon to accompany this post)


Many thanks to Klaas Kuitenbrouwer, curator at Het Nieuw Instituut for my tour and this interview that walks us through Antenna Architectures.  This fascinating exhibition curated by Mark Wigley, professor of Architecture at Columbia University, ran from April to September, 2018, as part of a collection of exhibitions ‘Dissident Gardens’.

Het Nieuw Instituut, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, is Museum for Architecture, Design and Digital Culture, and  National Archives for Architecture.

The material in this exhibition was fantastic. Ranging from presenting different scales of antennas, utopianian modernist dreams of Contant’s New Babylon, where cities inhabitants are horizontally connected by radio, to the monumental designs of U.S.S.R. propogandist illustrations, emphasising power in one way transmission of state – compared to the European aesthetic of erasing of antenna from images; an extraordinary diversity of shapes, turning buildings to masted ships with invisible sails, or futuristic worlds of radio controlled space pod cars…

From the exhibition programme:

“Antennas destabilize architecture. They redesign it. Figuratively speaking an antenna can dwarf any building to which it is attached, providing levels of communication and shelter far beyond the architect’s most ambitious imagination. On the other hand, an antenna can supercharge the most modest building. A humble shed can be launched into interplanetary exchanges with the addition of a thin wire connecting the building to an invisible world of signals.”