The International Architecture Biennial Rotterdam (IABR) deals with urgent questions about the climate and our living environment. Architects as well as designers and politicians are challenged to think about the future. Things really need to change, but how? We came up with a clear and convincing way to communicate the IABR’s serious yet relevant themes by thinking radically and optimistically.
The 8th edition of the IABR was titled ‘THE MISSING LINK – Our Future in the Delta, the Delta of the Future’. Our challenge was to attract the attention of a wide audience. We came up with ‘Radical Optimism’ as the title for our publicity campaign while thinking of the Dutch anti-nuclear movement and their classic symbol of the smiling sun.
The tension between issues such as housing and mobility was translated into posters where delta-shaped colour planes threaten to push out the information. The radical visual language, combined with the optimistic colours, forces the viewer to take in the message of the Biennial and is a call for change.
This powerful concept was applicable to all expressions coming from the IABR: the publicity campaign, the signing throughout the city and at the venue, the catalogue and the exhibition design. Thanks to our design, the issues of the IABR have become widely known among regional, national and international visitors. In order to change things radically, we need an optimistic approach!