Values for Survival

The Dutch Pavilion for the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale was invited to research the Values for Survival, a project commissioned by Het Nieuwe Instituut in collaboration with the City of Amsterdam.

I was invited to write a children’s story about the textile history between India and The Netherlands and present-day issues. My story has been released as a podcast and is published in Tuning to Rhythm, Values for Survival.


From rhythm of breath and heartbeat, to the rhythm of recurring seasons and growing plants, to rhythm in music and dance to; rhythm appears to be something that connects people with one another and with nature. When we face major challenges in the world, we can hold on to rhythm. Rhythm makes us resilient, because it is always there. We can fall back on it when we need to. And when we tune to rhythm afresh, it is possible to imagine again.

Rhythm relates to the magic of direct aesthetic experience. Rhythm holds the network together and defines what happens next. Musicians, crafts people, dancers, surfers, biologists or psychologists have in depth knowledge about rhythm without even formulating it.

For this third Cahier, Caroline Nevejan (Chief Science Officer and principle investigator of Values for Survival) together with designer Huda AbiFarès, asked various researchers with different backgrounds to write a story about rhythm as they notice this dynamic in their field of expertise. They were asked to tell the story for children of about 11 years old. Every author’s story was then given to an experienced visual artist to illustrate and tell the story visually as well. As result the Cahier 3 offers a special and beautiful insight in the force of rhythm. Tuning to rhythm emerges as the Values for Survival we need.

Weaving Networks

My story tells the rhythm of making processes. I tell about my personal connection with the making process of textile and the history and the trade routes of textiles between India and the Netherlands and the present-day fashion industry. Craftspeople in India often live in villages with nature all around them. They follow the rhythm of nature. You can listen to the podcast and read the story.