A ‘temporary intervention’ by graphic designer Karel Martens marked the transition from three individual organisations to Het Nieuwe Instituut. He also designed the exhibition graphics for the first exhibitions The Ruin and Biodesign in 2013. Karel Martens has an extensive oeuvre with an emphasis on the design of books and covers, such as the architecture magazine OASE. He has lectured since 1977, first at the ArtEZ University of the Arts in Arnhem and then at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. He is a co-founder of the Werkplaats Typografie, the MA course in graphic design of ArtEZ in Arnhem.
In 2013 three cultural institutions – the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI), Premsela and Virtueel Platform – fused to form Het Nieuwe Instituut. In a temporary intervention, Karel Martens linked the name Het Nieuwe Instituut in a non-hierarchical way to the names of the three organisations, whose house styles he incorporated. The existing material – printed matter, websites, etc. – was stamped with a coloured field and three circles, which retained the visibility of the earlier house style while adding a new layer, symbolic of a new remit and ambition. The circles, referring to the three existing organisations, took the form of overlays or die-cuts. They were combined with the name Het Nieuwe Instituut and the three names of the former organisations.
In 2013 Het Nieuwe Instituut introduced a summer programme under the title The Ruin, marking the transition to the coming cultural year, in which Het Nieuwe Instituut made use of various projects to give form to the multi-faceted ambitions. Besides eight presentations The Ruin consisted of a parallel programme, including old questions, radical design practices, worn-out ideas and even the claim of a new Industrial Revolution.
Living trees support houses and bridges; mushrooms replace synthetic foam for packaging and insulation; leaves grow into decorative patterns inside glass tiles. For Biodesign, curator William Myers selected dozens of projects that illustrate new ways to harness living systems for art, design and production.