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On 20 October, Het Nieuwe Instituut presents two children’s books: one is a reader - Hoi, ik ben een lijn (Hi, I’m a Line); the other is an activity book - Hoi, jij bent een ontwerper (Hi, You’re a Designer). Both books introduce children to highlights of the State Archive of Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning and to architecture as a profession. Initiator and author Behrang Mousavi and project leader Clara Stille-Haardt reveal how the books were devised.

Street game

The two volumes will soon be on sale in the bookshops. They are suitable for use in primary schools and will also form part of Het Nieuwe Instituut’s educational programme. Stille-Haardt explains how the books interrelate, yet can also be used separately. ‘In the activity book Hi, You’re a Designer frequent reference is made to the page in the reader where a particular project is discussed. Icons also indicate how much time each activity is designed to take, what you need to complete the task and whether you can do it alone or together with someone else. One example is a task involving a street game developed around the work of Herman Hertzberger. His architecture is always based on the idea of living together and space for meeting each other. For that activity we developed a board game which encourages children get to know their own street better and to improve it together.’

Mousavi is happy with the result: ‘I wanted the children’s book about Het Nieuwe Instituut’s collection to radiate quality in every way. So we spent lots of time on selecting projects, writing texts, graphic design, all the way down to the choice of paper.'

Text: Lotte Haagsma

All pictures are taken from the book Hi, I'm a Line.