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Het Nieuwe Instituut presents the exhibition Have we met? humans and non-humans on common ground, the official Dutch contribution to the 23rd International Exhibition Triennale Milano, which is on show until 11 December 2022 in Milan. The overall theme of Triennale Milano this year is Unknown Unknowns.

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"The show is an uplifting meditation on the urgency to welcome the perspectives of non-human life into our vision of the world...  The attitudes, tools and technologies selected for Have we met? explore realistic possibilities for interspecies relationships."

Have we met? promotes new ways for understanding our planet as a shared space for plants, microbes, humans and other animals. The view that the earth exists solely for human exploitation must be radically rethought to confront today’s environmental crises. Have we met? therefore examines what attitudes, tools and technologies are necessary to recalibrate the relationship between humans and non-humans.

An urban area in Rotterdam, a regenerative farm in the Netherlands’ rural east, and an abandoned North Sea oil rig: these three ecologically diverse sites help to explore the possibilities for interspecies relationships. 

Studies of nature traditionally rely on quantitative data, whereas qualitative methods are reserved for the studies of humans and their subjective experiences. Could these approaches be integrated to give better insights into how humans and non-humans can share space, collaborate and thrive?

Have we met? explores a range of collaborative tools developed by practitioners across art, design, agriculture, data- and marine sciences. These methods and instruments aim to sensitise humans to the interests of non-human life, creating new channels of communication. In doing so, Have we met? explores a foundation from which to organise the common ground of a multispecies society. 


Have we met? builds on the Zoöp organisation model collaboratively developed at Het Nieuwe Instituut, who is practicing this model since 22 April 2022. A Zoöp commits to making the interests of non-human life part of its organisational decisionmaking, with a Speaker for the Living representing the voices and interests of non-human life to help create a more ecologically regenerative organisation. A Zoöp follows an annual cycle of learning to become a symbiotic body in the ecosystems in which it participates.


Studio Ossidiana have designed the Have we met? exhibition as a collective body that doubles as an observatory, combining human, animal, botanical and mineral components. Visitors are welcomed into the belly of this living being that temporarily inhabits the triennale site. The installation was conceived by Tomaello B.V. and Showtex.

The dedicated font for the exhibition by Mislav Žugaj and Gailė Pranckūnaitė likewise emphasises this sense of interspecies connectivity. 

With contributions from Harald den Breejen and Sjoerd van Leeuwen (on behalf of regenerative farm Bodemzicht), Dear Hunter, Joost Emmerik, Gisto, Christine Hvidt, Philipp Groubnov, Andrzej Konieczny, Alexander Köppel, Leon Lapa Pereira and Vivien Vuong (ArtScience Interfaculty-students of the University of the Arts The Hague, in collaboration with Rodrigo Delso en Eric Kluitenberg), Keer Hu, Yuzhi Liu and Jiafeng Zhu, Ian Ingram and Theun Karelse, Takuma Kikuchi, Lucy Li, Florian Sapp en Alan Schiegl, Marica de Michele, Fiona Middleton, Ania Molenda, Wineke van Muiswinkel, Studio Brynjar and Veronika Togar, Sander Turnhout, Leena Valkeapää and Oula A Valkeapää, Embassy of the North Sea, Tomaello, Marica de Michele, Showtex, SOS Lab and others.

The exhibition is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.


Workshops and an interdisciplinary closing conference are organised in collaboration with cheFare, a Milan-based agency for cultural transformation. 

For more information and booking see our Programme page.

The programme is supported by the Embassy and Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Italy 

Interview Studio Ossidiana

During the opening days of Have we met?, curator and writer Maia Kenney sat down (virtually) with Alessandra Covini and Giovanni Belotti of Studio Ossidiana to discuss the process of and philosophy behind their design for the Dutch pavilion at the 23rd Triennale Milano International Exhibition. Find the interview below.



A three-episode podcast expands on the exhibition themes with the help of podcast producer Wineke van Muiswinkel. Episode one explores the Zoöp Het Nieuwe Instituut, followed by future Zoöp Bodemzicht, concluding with the North sea, where a Zoöp could significantly improve sea life. You can find the podcast here.

15/07 – 11/12/2022

Triennale Milano
Viale Emilio Alemagna 6
20121 Milano MI, Italy


Tuesday — Sunday
11.00 — 20.00



Have we met? humans and hon-humans on common ground was made possible thanks to the generous support of: