Afaina de Jong and Debra Solomon
Afaina de Jong
Afaina de Jong is an architect and contemporary thinker with an international and intersectional discourse that explores the boundaries of architecture, art, and culture. Integrating theory and research with design, she believes that architecture is not only to be perceived, but also experienced and interacted with.
After working with renowned international firms, De Jong established the creative studio AFARAI in 2005. An Amsterdam-based architectural studio, that specialises in spatial design and strategy, with a deep connection to represent people and cultural movements that are not traditionally represented in architecture. Using form, language, colour, pattern, and narratives that are 'other', the studio works towards a more holistic and inclusive urban space.
The Multiplicity of Other reconstitutes the dominant architectural paradigm in the current condition of contemporary urban life to explore the 'other' – the female, people of colour, and LGTBQ communities – with interdisciplinary and intersectional viewpoints on all levels. The Multiplicity of Other develops values, theories, and methodologies for a new design paradigm. For its presentation in the Dutch Pavilion, an important part of De Jong’s contribution focusses on the creation of Space of Other, spatialising the complexity of the concept and values of the project, and questioning the prevailing modernist rationale and universal 'white space' of the Rietveld pavilion.
De Jong has been an active educator at institutions including the Faculty of Architecture at TU Delft, Sandberg Institute, and ARTEZ. She has lectured at Columbia University GSAPP in New York, KTH in Stockholm, and the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. De Jong is a PhD candidate at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) at the University of Amsterdam.De Jong is a PhD candidate at the Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research at the University of Amsterdam.
Debra Solomon is an artist, researcher and educator. In 2017 she introduced the term ‘multispecies urbanism’ to describe urban development driven by the priorities of urban ecosystems and natural world stewardship as giving primacy to the care for the natural world. Multispecies Urbanism promotes policy innovations that engage citizens as part of a resilient urban habitat founded on environmental justice for all species. In Soil in the City: the socio-environmental substrate Solomon explores this new paradigm in which urban nature is a rightful stakeholder, engaging with civil society reciprocally.
In 2010 she founded Urbaniahoeve to produce public space urban food forests with locals and to develop urban food forest design and stewardship training in the Netherlands and Italy. Over the last decade, Solomon and Urbaniahoeve have explored public space urban soil-building, food and ecosystem production, climate crisis mitigation, biodiversity and habitat re-generation in action research projects that animate urban greens and their soils. Projects include a 55-hectare urban food forest in Amsterdam Zuidoost, and a demonstration food forest in Amsterdam Noord whose topsoil and biodiversity have been described by soil scientists at Wageningen University soil scientists as a 'paradise on Earth'. Solomon is a PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam in the departments of Urban Planning and Designing Urban Experience.
Caroline Nevejan introduces in the research program as part of the Dutch contribution for the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, City Science, a new way of working in which research, design, and policy work together structurally in the city. As Amsterdam's Chief Science Officer, she inspires and connects various research programs between city, municipality, universities, and colleges. She initiates and directs research based on questions from officials from various boards in the City, and from university researchers in alpha, beta, and gamma sciences. The definition of the research agenda, the formulation of research questions, the design, the methodology, and means of validation and valorization are determined by the integral and accumulative reality of the city. In this way, various partners in Amsterdam are building a sustainable knowledge infrastructure around the major challenges of our time such as equal opportunities, climate adaptation, a healthy living environment, smart mobility and digitization.
Nevejan is also special chair of Designing Urban Experience at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) at the University of Amsterdam and gives shape to this research programme in collaboration with the City of Amsterdam and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Afaina de Jong and Debra Solomon are also part of this research group.
Francien van Westrenen
Francien van Westrenen studied Arts and Culture at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, graduating with her Master’s thesis on the future of the art museum. Since then she has worked at various cultural institutions, including Stroom Den Haag as architecture curator, where she curated, among others, Another Reality. After Lina Bo Bardi, Proposals for a Qualitative Society with Céline Condorelli, and Revolutionary Traces with Ângela Ferreira. With Maaike Lauwaert, she edited Facing Value. Radical perspectives from the arts (Valiz, 2017).
Since March 2018 Francien van Westrenen is the Head of Agency at Het Nieuwe Instituut. She addresses the innovative force and international role of the various design sectors, mediating between Dutch designers, makers and architects, and both national and international platforms, manifestations and policymaking.
After studying history at the University of Utrecht, Klaas Kuitenbrouwer developed an art practice that moved into the field of digital culture. He works at the intersections of culture, technology and ecology, and researches, curates and moderates events in the field, consistently investigating the frictions and exchanges between artistic, legal, technological, scientific, and non-human knowledge practices.
In 2019 Kuitenbrouwer researched and co-curated the Neuhaus Temporary Academy for more-than-human knowledge, simultaneously developing the Zoöp. Inspired by the practice of the co-op and legal innovation in several non-western jurisdictions, the project changes the discussion on the future of the city by developing a legal value for non-humans.
Kuitenbrouwer teaches media and theory at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, and researches digital culture at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, with projects including BotClub – humans welcome, Gardening Mars & Terraforming Earth, and the Datastudio lectures and conference.
InnaVisions is a self-taught artist, graphic designer and DJ. Alongside architect Afaina de Jong/architecture agency AFARAI, he created the spatial design for the 2019 Framer Framed exhibition Diasporic Self: Black Togetherness as Lingua Franca, by Amal Alhaag and Barby Asante. InnaVisions also designed the prints for Framer Framed’s ‘Friend Campaign’.
The work of InnaVisions stems from exploring the circular as a source of creativity. He practices his creative perception of space and time preferably during the night, where all becomes more abstract, and a strong sense of connectivity is felt while listening to his favourite musicians. In fact, the passion for his visual language is largely fueled by legendary jazz musicians such as Sun Ra, Miles Davis, John and Alice Coltrane, Herbie Hancock and Pharoah Sanders; late 60’s and early 70’s musicians who started to gravitate towards a deeper meaning of space and time, in order to connect with a higher creative force.
InnaVisions first started making graphic flyers for his own initiative Da Circle of Sole, an underground night club in Rotterdam, that programmed a wide variety of guest DJ’s, producers, musicians and artists. Also, InnaVisions co-founded Ultra de la Rue together with architect Afaina de Jong; a creative gallery space in the Red Light District in Amstredam, where he and other artists would exhibit their work. Besides creating his own art, InnaVisions often works in close collaboration with Afaina de Jong to make installation designs for museums like Framer Framed, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Textielmuseum Tilburg, TENT Rotterdam, the Storefront for Art and Architecture.