In addition to commissioning the Dutch pavilion, the Nieuwe Instituut is also the artistic director of the 2023 edition of the London Design Biennale. Under the direction of general and artistic director Aric Chen, the institute is experimenting with an alternative approach to the usual biennial format. The theme, The Global Game: Remapping Collaborations, asks countries and regions to shape and visualise new forms of international cooperation and participation in joint activities and manifestations.
The Global Game, an actual online game developed by Play the City, encourages and facilitates these collaborations beyond the representation of countries and territories along which the London Design Biennale is usually divided. The aim is to explore the possibilities of transforming the biennale, with its national and territorial pavilions, into an alternative geopolitical landscape driven not by conflict or competition, but rather cooperation.
Playing The Global Game is similar to using a dating app: the game offers biennial participants a way to find each other by creating their own profiles, searching for others based on common ground and entering into collaborations (with the support, if desired, of the Nieuwe Instituut). An experiment in self-organisation, the game enables a process whereby the pavilions, their curators and designers learn, think, create and act together on the international stage of the London Design Biennale. Meanwhile, the game will influence how participants approach and conceptualise their pavilions, and how ideas and inspiration are exchanged between design teams and visitors and through the biennale's public programme.