Witte de With Contemporary Art
Saskia Van Stein
Saskia Van Stein

Since January 1st 2013, Saskia van Stein holds the position of the artistic director of Bureau Europa, platform for Architecture in Maastricht, a presentation and network organisation, which offers exhibitions and other activities in the field of architecture, design and urbanism from a social point of view. As a cultural institute, Bureau Europa aims to address topics relevant contemporary agenda of (Western) society.

From 2002 until 2011, Van Stein worked as a curator at the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) in Rotterdam where she investigates topics relevant for society at large, by experimenting with different exhibition formats and discursive models, while forming strategic alliances and collaborating with local and (inter)national partners. She was engaged in all the facets of the NAI’s extensive program; exhibitions, collections, publications, films, competitions, public lectures and debates and also (music) performances and network dinners.

During her tenure at the NAI, she curated over 40 exhibitions including ‘The Good Cause, Architecture of Peace’ (i.c.w. Archis foundation), which opened at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (Montreal, Canada) and addressed the role architecture in post-conflict areas.
She was part of the curatorial team responsible for the prize winning Dutch entry for the 2010 Architecture Biennale in Venice, Italy, entitled ‘Vacant NL, Where Architecture Meets Ideas’ (i.c.w. Rietveld Landscape, Jurgen Bey, Barbara Visser and Joost Grootens).

In collaboration with Stealth Unlimited architects, she curated ‘Archiphoenix, Faculties for Architecture’ in the Dutch Pavilion at the Architecture Biennale in Venice in 2008. The exhibit took the devastating fire at the TU Delft as a starting point for dense program and scripted processes focused on the production of knowledge. By facilitating and engaging exchanges between the vast network of architects and other cultural professionals we took advantage of the cultural capital present during the opening week of the Biennale. Reflecting on ‘how we make’, ‘what we make’, ‘for whom we make ‘, ‘with what we make ‘, in order to address the overall theme of ‘Architecture beyond building’.

Interested in the wide force field that shapes man’s surroundings, she seeks to understand the contemporary cultural practice as an intricate relational complex of social, political, economical, psychological and cultural phenomena, in all its ambiguity. Van Stein has an ardent social commitment and is actively involved in many debates on art, architecture and design, both as a participant and as a moderator.

In 2014 van Stein is a jury member for the Prix de Rome and the Pierre Bayle price for architecture critic. She is a member of several committees, she programed the lecture and debate program entitled Source for the Master department at the Design Academy in Eindhoven and was a guest lecturer at the Artez in Arnhem, Stroom The Hague, MA HKU Utrecht, AvBK Maastricht and other institutes.