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‘Qu‘il nous est difficile

De trouver un abri

Même dans notre coeur’

Jules Supervielle


[Aldo van Eyck, The Enigma of Vast Multiplicity, wall text at entrance to Aldo van Eyck’s Triennale di Milano installation, 1968.]

The Imagination

Van Eyck’s installation is a pessimistic indictment, but it is also a plea for the restoration of the connection between man and nature, through a comprehensive, ecological approach to architecture and urban planning (as he saw in traditional cultures, among other things), and through the commitment of imagination and creativity (as he saw in art and poetry, among other things). A message that is also significant for our time. Van Eyck, like other members of Team 10, was inspired by non-Western living and settlement patterns. According to him, these spontaneous or primitive settlements offered, among other things, insight into the relationship between social patterns, climatic conditions and landscape characteristics.

Within Team 10 from the 1940s, other architects also sought to collaborate with artists in their search for alternative approaches to the city and society. According to Van Eyck, imagination could free architecture from a practice based on efficiency and rationalism.

“Imagination remains the only common denominator between humanity and nature, the only force that is able to recognize spiritual revolutions at their exact moment and to derive meaningful predictions from that. The imagination is the first to discover change. Although architecture – planning in general – is bound to highly tangible functions, its ultimate purpose is in no way different from any form of creativity: namely, to express the natural course of life, through humanity and for humanity.”

[quote from Aldo van Eyck, ‘Statements against Rationalism’, (‘Stellingen tegen het rationalisme’), intervention during CIAM 1947 Bridgewater.]

Guus Beumer, artistic and general director, Het Nieuwe Instituut
Angela Rui, Marina Otero Verzier, Francien van Westrenen
Rudy Guedj
Olivier Goethals