Places of Hope, which is part of the Leeuwarden-Fryslân 2018 Capital of Culture year, is an exhibit about “country builders”: homemakers on the frontier of Dutch urban – and rural – living.
By Traci White
“Places of Hope” aims to provide inspiration and at least some answers for how societies can move from concrete housing blocks and grinding commutes to communities built around wind turbines and integrating green spaces.
Various spaces displaying artwork and sci-fi films are interconnected by hallways that appear to have become dunes on a beach, and soil has been incorporated into the texture of multiple features of the exhibit. Studios and workshops will feature activities for visitors to learn more about the possibilities of the future of housing.
The exhibit has been curated by Maarten Hajer, a professor of urban futures at the University of Utrecht, and Michiel van Iersel, the founder of Failed Architecture, a research platform focused on urban architecture. The curators want visitors to ask themselves: “How can we take on the challenges of the 21st century, from climate change to social cohesion, if we’re still stuck in the past?”.