City Ideas. Marina Otero

Marina Otero
Marina Otero

City Ideas (Ideas de Ciudad) is a laboratory for research, dissemination and debate on the spatial and social transformations of the contemporary city. The aim is to create a city laboratory, an open research platform geared towards exploring the future of cities as spaces for culture and the generation of new social, technological and innovation paradigms.

The fourth conference of the cycle is that of Marina Otero. The architect presents the experience she has gained from research, cultural renovation and her work in biennials and triennials of architecture to face the changes that are needed to confront the new paradigms in cultural institutions: universities, museums and biennials.

We need new ways of presenting creativity if we are to cope with the rapid changes we are experiencing, and at the same time, we need to devise new institutions to deal with the changes that await us. Marina ponders the role of the museum as something different, as a place where different disciplines can collaborate.

Marina Otero Verzier is a Doctor of Architecture and director of Research at the Het Nieuwe Instituut (the Dutch National Museum of Architecture, Design and Digital Culture, which includes the National Architecture Archive) in Rotterdam. She is also director of the master’s degree in Social Design at the Eindhoven Design Academy. Her work as a curator includes such projects as the Dutch Pavilion in the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale and the 13th Shanghai Biennale in 2021.

Marina previously worked as Director of Programming at Studio-X GSAPP, a global network of research centres focusing on the future of cities, with headquarters in Amman, Beijing, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Mumbai, New York, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo, affiliated with Columbia University. Marina has co-edited Unmanned: Architecture and Security Series (2016), After Belonging (2016), Work, Body, Leisure (2018), Architecture of Appropriation (2019) and More-than-Human (2020). She has taught at ETSA Madrid, the Royal College of Art London, Columbia University GSAPP New York, Barnard College New York, and Geneva University of Art and Design, among others.

“Institutions have to challenge, transform and reinvent themselves all the time in order to remain relevant and serve the public good. They have to reconsider their structures, methodologies and dynamics and they have to devise new forms of anti-racist, feminist and decolonial coexistence. They have to act as mediators between the established powers-that-be and activism. This requires collaborative efforts based on trial and error, putting into practice new concepts of what an institution is and “instituting”, without fear of failure.”