Fri. 16 October – Sun. 25 October

Last year, What A Time To Be Alive explored the spirit of design in a rapidly changing world. For this years exhibition, #WATTBA presents six makers that use their design as a magnifying glass to tell unheard stories. While reflecting on the world as it is, they speculate on a different tomorrow. How can design contribute towards understanding, visualizing and constructing scenarios for a better future?


#Exhibition opening hours: 

• Fri. 23 October: 16.00-19.30
• Sat. 24 October: 14.00-18.00
• Sun. 25 October: 14.00-18.00

#WATTBA is sponsored by: 

• Vizio
• Leeuwerik
• Inprintmatter

1. The Global Souvenir Shop

Noud Sleumer

Our experience of technology tends to be uniform: we buy a device that is identical to millions of others and then throw it away. The Global Souvenir Shop challenges this experience by approaching the re-mining of minerals not just as a method of reusing raw materials for economic or ecological gain, but as a tool to extract the social, geographic and cultural inscriptions that are alive in the production and processing of smartphones. These ‘local memories’ of the global system of production are displayed in a triptych. The three panels together illustrate a narrative of local consumption intertwined with a global market.



2. Hotel Symbiogenesis

Designmatter x Hypothetical Studios

You are at Hotel Symbiogenesis, a speculative hotel standing on a fictional island. The island is a big, sympoietic cell that survives near-apocalyptic times by operating in symbiosis with its dwellers. Humans are not exceptional in this relationship. Various rituals of the island’s human residents have co-evolved in balance with the island’s animals without the exploitation of any species.

Your hotel room is equipped with islanders’ garments and objects made of materials derived from their cohabiting animals, giving hints on their interspecies relationships and raising critical questions about that of ours.


3. Virophilia

Pei-Ying Lin

Can we build our relationship with viruses in a proactive, rather than passive, way? Virophilia is a project that investigates the possibilities of human-virus encounters within the realm of culture through the completion of events, performances and material objects. The aim is to create a new discourse grounded in a sensible understandings of viruses. Virophilia consists of a speculative cookbook written in the year 2068 that examines, in retrospect, how humans began to develop viral cuisines that extend our sensorial experience – it includes a roll of constantly updated virus names, a dinner performance, and three silent videos.


4. The Marvelous Container

Studio Krom

As our interactions with others occur more and more within digital spaces, the urge to capture and present our physical self in digital format has intensified. More than ever, we create photos and videos to show others who we are, or who we want to be. We are dependent on technology to make these images, but they don’t necessarily show us reality. The outcomes are often distorted, modified or lacking in variety. What influence does the continuous exposure to these images have on the way we perceive ourselves?


5. Space For Civic Assets

Timothy Liu

What is the future of independent art spaces? As cities grow, multi-layered art spaces such as TAC have to revalue their position. Space for Civic Assets maps TAC’s value and influence within the city. From this, it reimagines the city and its spaces as an inclusive sharing society, that can be shaped and used collectively. What does the art space bring to the city? And how can TAC be an inclusive public space: a civic asset for our sharing society? Space for Civic Assets is an ongoing practice-led research project that runs parallel with the long-term trajectory of TAC’s redevelopment process.


6. Soundscapes of Fear


Soundscapes of Fear highlights Studiocalh’s ongoing investigation on the relation between sound and the feeling of fear. What can we learn when we consider fear from a sonic perspective?

Through an audiovisual installation, the project explores the growing exposure to sensory information extracted from popular and trending sources such as lm, news media, and music. The installation consists of different viewing stations exude sounds that trigger the spectrum of alertness, including fear. The structures disseminate the experiences that are crafted in our exposure to the media’s manipulations of our fear triggers.


Dutch Design Week

Events /// Sat. 17 October – Sun. 25 October

During Dutch Design Week, TAC will host multiple events that can be visited in both the online and offline realms. Meet the participants of #WATTBA and learn in-depth about their projects. Further details on how to reserve your ticket for our events will be shared soon.


1. Sound design and the spectrum of fear

Talk, Performance /// Tue. 20 October /// 20.00-21.00

Mediated by Lauriane Heim and Colette Aliman of Studiocalh, the panel discusses and performs the connection between sound and the feeling of fear, as featured in their #WATTBA installation Soundscapes of Fear. Artists Marylou Petot will open the panel with a performance of her Bird Boxes, as the stage transitions into a discussion with Toros Senan and Karena Kalmbach.


2. New tools to perceive ourselves

Talk, Performance /// Wed. 21 October /// 20.00-21.00

Studio Krom takes you in a deep dive on the theoretical and expressive topic of self perception. Concluding the event is a performance by dancer Izah Hankammer in The Marvelous Container: the interactive installation that is part of the #WATTBA exhibition.


3. Designing Symbiogenesis

Talk /// Thu. 22 October /// 20.00-21.00

Designing Symbiogenesis will open up a discussion about the meta-level of the exhibition: the cooperative design process between various initiatives in 5 different countries. The collaborative methodologies of Designmatter – to connect interdisciplinary initiatives to construct an infrastructure for creativity – will be presented as hypothetical hints for the creative audience living in these weird times.


4. Unmaking 10 phones in 30 minutes

Performance /// Fri. 23 October /// 20.00-21.00

Noud Sleumer’s Smartphone Destructor takes the seemingly catastrophic moment in which a smartphone breaks as an opportunity to redefine the value of the expired object. The machine both dramatises and guarantees the destruction of the data storage, making personal information inaccessible, while capturing the moment in which the smartphone’s inner materials are revealed.