Saskia van Stein is an independent curator, moderator, and educator with an emphasis on design and architecture. Since 2019 she’s headmaster of the MA entitled The Critical Inquiry Lab, a department with artistic (design) research at its core. The course provides an environment for the development of a design practice understood as a cultural signifier and an agent of change. She was Director at Bureau Europa, platform for architecture and design, in Maastricht (2013–2019). Van Stein worked as a curator at the Netherlands Architecture Institute (now Het Nieuwe Instituut) in Rotterdam (2003–2012). She contributes to the development of cultural discourse, and she’s a board member of multiple advisory committees, involved in the several juries and advisory bodies such as The Independent School for the City and the architectural peer to peer review journal OASE.

Photo: Moniek Wegdam

Van Stein has a deep-seated interest in a broad range of topics, in the discourse of exhibition-making and the politics of representation. During her carrier she has experimented and explores different formats and methods of knowledge production and performative display. Through a broad cultural perspective, Van Stein examines issues related to sociatal urgencies and how they manifest and resonate at different scales/ levels. Her cultural practice and interests address the intricate relational complex of technological, political, economic, psychological, and cultural phenomena and how these are analyzed, addressed, visualized, mediated or expressed in the designed environment.

Besides her work as Head of Department at the Design Academy, she is a PhD candidate at the Curatorial Research Community at the Technical University of Eindhoven. Currently van Stein is also working on an exhibition entitled Disney, The Architecture of Staged Realities which will be on display at Het Nieuwe Instituut from spring 2021 on.