The IABR is more than a series of biannual events. It initiates Ateliers: open-minded development trajectories, driven by research by design, often spanning several years, always linked to existing urban projects in cities in Holland or abroad, and focused on finding applicable solutions.

IABR–Atelier Istanbul, Workshop in Arnavutköy

picture: IABR

Each IABR edition seeks a new point of view and a new perspective while building on the work of the preceding edition(s). Nothing is needlessly discarded; knowledge and results accumulate, the network grows.
The IABR is continually working on clarifying and presenting the challenges of tomorrow, by positioning design, by connecting thinking to doing, and open research to concrete ventures and existing projects.
As a result, the IABR is now more than “just” a string of bi-annual events, and each event is more than “just” an exhibition. Its methodology links the manifestation to long-running research and development projects that we initiate, always in collaboration with municipalities in Holland or abroad, and focused on actual implementation.
These two elements –the biennale proper and the research and development– reinforce each other: the making of city is exhibited, and the exhibition in turn tangibly contributes to the actual process of making city.

In the course of the 4th IABR: Open City, the IABR first made this working model concrete in a close collaboration with SEHAB, São Paulo’s Social Housing Department. One result of this collaboration was the IABR’s formal inception of the working model of the sabbatical detour, a methodology that links location, research, exchange, presentation, and implementation to one another and makes it possible for urban planning projects to literally make a detour by way of an international exhibition.

São Paulo became the first IABR Test Site, Rotterdam and Istanbul soon followed. In these three cities the IABR set up Ateliers in close collaboration with local partners. Open and new alliances between urban designers, academics, knowledge centers, businesses, developers and local authorities form the driving forces behind these projects. These were presented to the public in all three cities during the 4th and 5th IABR: Open City and Making City.
Later, IABR also set up Ateliers in Albania, and in Brussels and East-Flanders, Belgium, and, together with the Dutch government, private enterprises and nature organizations, an Atelier that explored the Northsea's potential for large-scale wind energy production by 2050.
The explicit aim of these collaborations is always to actually see the project proposals implemented and realized.

Workshop Atelier Istanbul

partnership with the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment
In 2011 the Dutch government decided to take part in the 5th IABR: Making City, with seven nationally important spatial planning projects. In 2012 the Ministry commissioned the IABR to apply the successful sabbatical detour model in the Netherlands.

The advantage of collaboration between a city and a cultural organization like the IABR is the 'free space for thinking' that is created temporarily, a sabbatical detour in an international setting with the aim of making city differently and possibly better. The formation of new alliances, research and development, the exchange of knowledge and expertise, public debate and presentation on a prestigious platform as well as implementation are riveted together in this model: a guarantee almost for the delivery of alternative approaches, new perspectives and often surprising but always applicable and realistic solutions.

For a complete list of IABR–Ateliers, click here.