Call for Universities and Educational Programs: Student Exhibition

Call for Universities and Educational Programs: Student Exhibition

The Media Architecture Biennale 2020-21 (MAB20) is looking for universities and educational programs that educate urban interaction designers and media architecture professionals to showcase their approaches to this emerging new discipline.

The Media Architecture Biennale is a biennial event, featuring workshops, a conference, and an exhibition that attracts interaction designers, lighting designers, architects, artists, researchers, and industry practitioners who showcase their work, analyze new developments, engage in networks, and discuss emerging trends in this new profession. How do various disciplines work together in media architecture projects? What new tools, design patterns, and roles are emerging in urban development due to the emergence of digital networks, urban screens, mobile media, sensors, and data? What competencies are architecture firms and tech developers looking for in new hires in this field? And how do we educate for this?

We invite educational programs to MAB20 to showcase their students’ work and present their curricula at the MAB Student Exhibition. Next to the exhibition, a special symposium will be organized for representatives of educational programs to take part in a broader discussion about the education of future media architecture professionals and urban interaction designers. What competencies do these future professionals need, and what methods in teaching and research contribute to the development of these competencies?


The MAB20 will offer to participating universities:

  • A branded space showcasing their academic/educational program alongside that of other leading institutions worldwide;
  • The opportunity to showcase outstanding works from their students to the MAB-community;
  • The opportunity for staff and students to get introduced to leading thinkers and practitioners as well as future employers;
  • The opportunity to engage in a discussion with the MAB-community about the education of media architecture professionals and interaction designers of the future;
  • Representation of the academic/educational program and student work in an online catalog.


Important dates

  • Call opens 1 December 2019; educational programs are encouraged to contact the Student Exhibition Chairs to indicate their interest in participation
  • Memoranda of Understanding between MAB and educational programs signed: 1 March 2020
  • Call for student projects opens: 1 April 2020
  • Call for student projects closes: Date to be announced; educational programs send in their internal selection of works to conference organizers
  • Student Exhibition Selections announced: Date to be announced  
  • MAB Academy, a symposium on education and research in the field of Media Architecture: June 28-29, 2021
  • Build up of projects on site: Date to be announced
  • Opening of Exhibition: Date to be announced
  • Exhibition open to the public: Date to be announced
  • Take down of Exhibition: Date to be announced


Preparing your submission

MAB20 invites educational programs that are interested in participating to contact the Student Exhibition Chairs to discuss details and practicalities (see below for contact information). An exhibit will typically consist of an introduction to the program itself, accompanied by three to six works by students. The student works can take the shape of (small scale) installations, prototypes, or representations of work through posters or videos. Students or their representatives are expected to be present during the exhibition to discuss their work with exhibition visitors at set times during the conference.

The MAB20 will provide an indoor exhibition site and basic infrastructural provisions such as electricity. Contributors to the exhibition have to set up their own project space, bring their own technology, and brand their own space adhering to the exhibition guidelines that will be shared later on.

We expect each university/educational program to join the production of the projects on-site with at least one staff member to support their own students during the set-up, exhibition, and dismantling phases. The Media Architecture Biennale cannot provide financial support for the participants, but will be able to generate exhibition material, such as posters, based on the data submitted. Further details will follow in the fall of 2020.

Accepted programs will be asked to nominate a maximum of ten projects to the exhibition curators, of which at least three will be selected for the exhibition. Guidelines for the projects can be found in the Call for Participation Student Exhibition MAB 2020-21. Selection takes place by a review committee formed by members of the MAB community. Criteria are the quality of the work in relation to the biennale themes as expressed in the curatorial statement and the Call for Participation Student Exhibition MAB 2020-21.

The participation of educational programs will be formalized through a memorandum of understanding.

A special student fee ticket will be on offer for student participants to take part in the various MAB activities.


MAB Theme: Futures Implied

The theme for the Media Architecture Biennale 2020-21 is Futures Implied. The following themes are of specific interest:

  • The Aesthetics and Poetics of Responsive Urban Spaces: Media architecture that contributes to a sense of place, deepening citizens’ understanding of and attachments to local sites, and making them more legible, imaginative, and inclusive.
  • Citizens’ digital rights in the era of platform ecologies: Media architecture that articulates public values and allows citizens to govern through digital platforms, rather than be governed by them.
  • Playful & Artistic Civic Engagement: Media architecture that enacts people-centric interventions through which citizens themselves learn, negotiate, and create innovations through play and games.
  • Restorative Cities: Media architecture that enables societies to regenerate socially, ecologically, physiologically on multiple levels, from the individual to the city as an entity of systems.
  • More-Than-Human Cities: Media architecture that embraces the well-being of the natural ecosystem as a whole.


More information & Contact

One of the highlights of MAB2020-21 will be a curated student exhibition, displaying prototypes and concepts designed by students from around the world. Universities and educational programs are invited to participate in the exhibition and showcase their best projects in a branded space highlighting their program as well as the works of their students. An award will be given out to the best student project, to be presented during the Media Architecture Awards Show.

The exhibition will take place in and around the Marineterrein in the city center of Amsterdam. The site used to be a navy yard and is nowadays turned into an urban innovation district accommodating startups, research units and among others the Amsterdam Economic Board and Amsterdam Smart City Council. The Marineterrein is an organizing partner of the MAB20 and will also host other MAB20 activities. The student exhibition will be combined with an exhibit of demos, posters, and prototypes sent in by artists, designers, researchers, and other professionals working in the field of Media Architecture, and flanked by an exhibit of the Media Architecture Award Nominees. More information about specific Marineterrein buildings and how to travel to and between them can be found here and here.

In addition, MAB2020-21 will organize the MAB Academy to discuss educational and research approaches to the emerging field of Media Architecture and Urban Interaction Design. The goal of the MAB Academy is to bring together program coordinators, educators, deans, and early career researchers interested in the nexus between the practice-oriented field of design and theoretical scholarship in teaching programs and other didactic infrastructures, and in research and design practices. During the MAB Academy 2020-21 meeting in Utrecht, we will focus specifically on developing and teaching innovative methodological approaches that productively combine research and design/making. For the program of this day, we seek collaboration with educational programs in showcasing the best practices and joining discussions around some urgent and shared questions.

For more information about the theme, see our curatorial statement.


Student Exhibition Chairs

Universities and Educational Programs interested in participating should contact the Student Exhibition Chairs.

Juan Carlos Carvajal Bermúdez, Media Architecture Institute –

Olina Terzi, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences –


The Media Architecture Biennale 2020-21 is organized by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences in collaboration with Utrecht University.

Executive Committee & General Chair: Martijn de Waal, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences; Frank Suurenbroek, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences; Nanna Verhoeff, Utrecht University; and Michiel de Lange, Utrecht University. Program Chairs: Dave Colangelo, George Brown College Toronto; and Ava Fatah, Bartlett, University College London.

Download the PDF of this call.