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The final event in the TNL! Lithium series will recharge online visitors with a lecture by architect Christie Pearson on the intricate history of European spa towns and public bathhouses, and their relations to different forms of power. Following that, set designer Katrin Bombe will give insight into the scenography of the Lithium exhibition, staged as a mineral spa.

Past events


What is the story behind the creation of a battery powered future? Through contributions by Unknown Fields (Kate Davies and Liam Young) and astronomer Francisco Förster, the third event in the TNL! Lithium series will explore the cosmological origins of lithium, and its role in the ‘green’ energy transition.


The second event in the TNL! Lithium series will address the relationship between lithium and mental health. Contributions by the LiCo (Lithops Corporation) collective

and anthropologist Emily Martin will explore the role of lithium in our culture of productivity, and the cultural life of mania.


A lecture by architect and researcher Godofredo Enes Pereira explores the consequences of lithium extraction in the Atacama Desert in Chile. This is the first in the Lithium lecture series, discussing the role of this element in different conditions of burn-out.


14:00 – 15:00

On Sunday 25 Oktober (2pm), detour guide Erik Peters will lead us through the exhibition Lithium. During this Sunday Stroll, Erik will take us on a retreat through the Lithium spa, where he will discuss bodily and climate exhaustion. Erik will speculate with us about alternative energy sources, and imagine what the extremes of our futures might look like. 

17/10/2020 – 25/10/2020
Dutch Design Week online

This year, over nine days from 17 to 25 October, Dutch Design Week (DDW) transforms itself into a virtual festival. Via, visitors can view and experience three-dimensional exhibition spaces online. Het Nieuwe Instituut is joining the fun with a digital edition of the Lithium exhibition.

11:00 – 17:00
Het Nieuwe Instituut

How often can we keep recharging our batteries? The treatments in this spa resort are designed to make us think about productivity and the burn-out of people and the planet. Researchers, designers and artists use the element lithium to illuminate the beneficial and harmful aspects of our constant search for energy. Our phones, laptops and electric cars run on lithium. The mineral is also used to treat all kinds of physical and mental disorders. However, lithium mining and use also contribute to environmental damage, the dispossession of Indigenous peoples and oppressive forms of social control. When the cure is worse than the disease, shouldn't we accept the limits of energy and develop new ways of living?

Marina Otero Verzier, Anastasia Kubrak
David Habets, Cameron Hu, Stefan Schäfer
Ina Hollmann
Katrin Bombe
Austin Redman