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The CIAM organisation of modern architects, like its successor Team 10, operated internationally and can be analysed in network terms. To visualise this network and explore its connections, an interactive visualisation prototype was developed on the basis of the correspondence of Jaap Bakema (1914-1981). It enables the visitor to navigate between people, places and archival documents.

In 1959, Jaap Bakema organised the last CIAM conference at the Kröller-Müller museum in Otterlo, the Netherlands. There it was decided to terminate the CIAM organisation. A new organisation for international exchanges was not secured as yet, although a group around Bakema was moving towards the establishment of a platform of its own, called Team 10, together with Aldo van Eyck, Alison and Peter Smithson, Georges Candilis, Shadrach Woods and others.

As an alternative to CIAM and to secure its international network of exchanges, Bakema established a correspondence network: the Post Box for the Development of the Habitat. The idea was as simple as it was effective: everybody could send in materials, designs or ideas they wished to share. Bakema would collect them and distribute them by way of a newsletter. ‘Postman Bakema’, as he signed himself, produced 18 such newsletters up to 1971. The Post Box is now an archive of those exchanges between the various international avant-gardes active during the 1960s, among them Team 10 of course , but also the Japanese metabolists such as Kenzo Tange. Others include Oskar Hansen, Yona Friedman and Hans Hollein. Topics ranged from the future direction of modern architecture and the Team 10 exchanges, to the new idea of the megastructure typology and planning policies as developed by Unesco. The Post Box correspondence archive is now part of the collection of Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam.

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Jaap Bakema Newsletter Archive

Claudia Mainardi and Giacomo Nanni

Claudia Mainardi is an Italian architect and researcher. Together with her collective Fosbury Architecture, she is curator of the Italian Pavilion at the International Architecture Biennale in Venice, 2023. Mainardi is a PhD candidate with the Politecnico di Milano in the framework of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie project TACK. Communities of Tacit Knowledge: Architecture and its Ways of Knowing coordinated by the ETH Zurich, which included a research secondment at Het Nieuwe Instituut.

Giacomo Nanni is a web and information designer based in Berlin, who works with large datasets, spanning from digitised collections, archives, photographs, texts and maps. He designs web applications, books and interactive visualisations. He is particularly intrigued by the way information is curated and the role that technologies play in this.