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Heritage innovates. It does this partly through technological progress, but mainly by questioning current practice. A collection is not a neutral representation of the past, but acquires meaning through interactions with, and interpretations of, new generations of users. This means that heritage must, by definition, be future-oriented. At the conference Disclosing Futures – Rethinking Heritage, on 2 and 3 November in Het Nieuwe Instituut, we discussed the reorientation of the role of heritage, and innovation as a condition for sustainable collection management.

Innovation focuses on new perspectives. Whose voices are represented in a collection? Are authorship and authenticity in need of re-evaluation? And what does all this mean for the collection policy? Multivocal, speculative and intersectional research provides space for new stories and other actors. We also focus on the democratisation of heritage: on the (creative) reuse of archive material, collective research and crowd editing.

Innovation is also about technological innovation: the preservation of material heritage through new restoration techniques, and the creation of new connections between collections through techniques that take users’ questions as their starting point, instead of the organisation of data. Machine learning, virtual reality and data visualisation enable new kinds of online access that open up collections to new user groups.

Disclosing Architecture

The discussion about the reorientation of the role of heritage is based on the work of recent years, both within Het Nieuwe Instituut and at other institutions, and both nationally and internationally. In 2018, Het Nieuwe Instituut embarked on Disclosing Architecture, a six-year programme to improve the visibility and accessibility of the National Collection for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning, made possible by a one-off investment from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Since the start of the programme, Disclosing Architecture has contributed to developing new methodologies, promoting inclusive and multivocal research, and building networks around the collection for greater visibility, both offline and online.

Two days of inspiration and knowledge sharing for heritage professionals, designers and educators

Together with our partners and fellow institutions, we have put together a rich and varied programme in which we discuss the future and the roles of heritage institutions. The conference is aimed at practitioners from the heritage sector and their colleagues working together with (national) trade organisations, the government, or associated sectors, nationally and internationally. We also warmly invite designers, students and members of educational institutions to join us. Registration gives you access to a two-day programme full of inspiring presentations, intervision sessions, debates, workshops, networking opportunities and guided tours.

Would you like to stay up to date with the latest news about Disclosing Architecture? Then please register here

10:00 – 19:00
10:00 – 18:00

Het Nieuwe Instituut
Museumpark 25
3015 CB Rotterdam


Wednesday 2 November € 70,00
Thursday 3 November € 70,00