Satellite Projects
The Travelling Academy: In Search of the Pluriverse
Sophie Krier and Erik Wong
Project description

The Travelling Academy is conceived by Rotterdam-based architecture, design and digital culture institution Het Nieuwe Instituut in partnership with Dutch diplomatic posts across Europe. The ambition of the academy is to become an interactive exchange platform for all types of ‘design knowledge’, based on the idea that relevant knowledge is produced not only in academic circles and established design practices, but also in informal, underground or radical contexts outside of traditional institutions.  

Designers and researchers Sophie Krier and Erik Wong are the curators of the first edition of the academy. As storytellers and radio broadcasters they will set up camp in five locations on the fringes of Europe. With Netherlands-based and local designers they will go on an adventurous field trip that forms the basis of an intense conversation on how we navigate towards the ‘pluriverse’. This “world in which many worlds fit”, as described by anthropologist Arturo Escobar in the book Design for the Pluriverse, functions as the theoretical base of Wong and Krier’s quest. 

In Istanbul the focus will be on (drinkable) water as a commons. The distribution of water in urban areas is an intriguing perspective, especially in Istanbul where the complex, collective supply of water goes back to pre-Roman times. Artist Serkan Taycan, designer Nur Horsanali, urbanist Yaşar Adnan Adanalı, and ecologist and activist Li An Phoa will be among those taking part in this edition of the Travelling Academy.


Sophie Krier is a relational artist, researcher, educator and editor. Through her work she interweaves biographies of beings and places, and conceives tools and situations for collective narration and reflection. Since 2008, Krier leads Field Essays, a series of hybrid publications, which enables listening pauses between practitioners and thinkers across disciplines. In 2018, Krier initiated School of Verticality, a series of acupuncture-like activities around embodied, situated forms of knowing, in the context of a residency at Lungomare Bozen-Bolzano.

Erik Wong has a background in graphic design, teaches at the Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam, in the TXT department and founded Wongema: a place for work, contemplation and surprising encounters in the far north of the Netherlands. Wong and Krier met at the Rietveld Academy in 2007, where they both gave shape to different departments. They joined forces in and outside the academy. Ever since, they work together whenever the universe allows it, since 2018 under the name Making Radio. They describe Making Radio as, “A (live) radio programme about what we make, why we make it, who ‘we’ are, and in the end or in the beginning, what gives and deprives us, and others, of humanity.”


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