De Fluyt en de Hoi #1: No public realm

12 February 2019, 8pm
Julian Lewis, East Architecture

Rib is thrilled to introduce De Fluyt en de Hoi, a programme developed and guided by Paul Elliman, for which he has asked a group of artists to respond to his directive to explore the life of Rib’s building along with the Charlois neighborhood and the city surrounding it. Throughout the course of the year, the group will overlap and contribute collectively to the functioning of the building and its outer extensions as a developing social composition within and as part of its environment.

Based around a specific street address and what happens within and nearby, De Fluyt en de Hoi attempts to extend a motivating interest that Elliman shares with the participating artists, “that art can appear in the functioning form of any of those parts of the world that it might claim to be reporting or establishing a connection with”.

Beginning this month, the first phase of De Fluyt en de Hoi will turn Rib inside out with the renovation of the ground floor by architect and urban planner Julian Lewis, co-founder of East Architecture in London. In the material language of a Rotterdam street, the outside will be brought into Rib’s space as a physical and symbolic act initiating the programme’s intention to reach outwards to Charlois’ social environment. Lewis will offer a talk, discussing his participation at Rib in the context of his own practice.

With De Fluyt en de Hoi and Radio JUJU fundamentally reconstituting Rib on many levels, we take another step on a continued pursuit to ignite different model identities of production and presentation of art. We welcome you to join us and participate in aspects of the programme. More information will follow on upcoming De Fluyt en de Hoi events and contributing artists.

Julian Lewis: No public realm

The first event within the context of De Fluyt en de Hoi will feature Julian Lewis of East Architecture. He will discuss the way in which public aspects of the city are essentially uneven, place-specific, and open when successful, despite being often conceived in generic ways around pre-determined genres and outcomes. Previous projects and his participation in De Fluyt en de Hoi will illustrate these ideas.

Lumps of concrete resist car wheels bumping against pedestrian territory; a drain signals the municipality’s role servicing underground; flexibly laid concrete flags are sized to be lifted and laid by a single person easily, are textured against slipping, placed in a pattern partly defined by the geometry of the unit and partly defined by a notion of the extending city territory; fallen yellowed leaves indicate trees nearby and dramatically highlight the seasonal life of maintenance at the gutter, where all unwanted material is directed by the camber of the carriageway; the diagonally laid clay setts are sized smaller to resist cracking under heavy moving vehicles, while allowing drainage through the cracks to keep water in the subbase for longer.

This scene takes place on a Charlois street and is remarkably beautiful in its representation of change. All of it offers benefits as well. It does not, however, add up to constitute a public realm, which requires other conditions to invite public social access and promote social vitality, including the agency of ideas.



Paul Elliman (1961, UK) is an artist based in London. His work follows language through many of its social and technological guises, where typography, human voice and bodily gestures emerge as part of a direct correspondence with other visible forms and sounds of the city. His work has been exhibited internationally in many solo and group exhibitions, including Century City, the inaugural exhibition for Tate Modern, London, UK (2001), Unmonumental at the New Museum, New York, USA (2008); Ecstatic Alphabets at MoMA, New York, USA (2012) Objectif Antwerp (2014); KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, (2017); and the Liverpool Biennial (2018). Elliman has been a Yale School of Art faculty since 1997, a long term visiting critic and advisor for Werkplaats Typografie in Arnhem since 2000, and was a tutor and advisor for the (temporary) Master of Voice MFA at the Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam, 2016–18.

Julian Lewis (1963, UK) is an architect and urban planner, and co-founder and director of East, award winning architecture, landscape and urban design practice in London. He is interested in how places influence architecture and the designed public realm, and what role architecture can have in cities. Julian is a member of several London Borough Design Review Panels, and is one of the Mayor of London’s Design Advocates. He has been teaching and lecturing since 1992, having held a Diploma Unit teaching post at London Metropolitan University for 13 years. Julian was invited by Valentin Bearth as Visiting Professor at the school of architecture in Mendrisio, Switzerland, and taught there from 2009 to 2011. Julian is an Honorary Professor at the University of Nottingham Department of Architecture and Built Environment, and will act as External Examiner at the University of Cambridge Department of Architecture from 2019.