From 5 May to 16 September, impressive constructions of contemporary artists and architects from around the world will appear in public spaces in the historic heart of Bruges.

“Bruges Triennial 2018 | Liquid City – Vloeibare Stad” uses the image of today’s liquid city as a symbol for positive social and urban change. Artists, architects and scientists are invited to formulate answers to crises in the liquid society, working closely with inhabitants and visitors. By means of cooperative creative processes, Bruges Triennial 2018 creates opportunities for new encounters between a diverse range of city users. Chance synergies, sudden insights and sustainable solutions stimulate the image of the city.

Chance synergies: two faces meet, kissing by the water – © Jarosław Kozakiewicz

These processes lead to a new understanding of liquid urbanity and society. The arts trail in the historic heart of Bruges weaves the various aspects of the liquid city into three broad themes: inviting, hospitable spaces; creative cooperation projects, and the city imagined.

“The perception of Bruges as a bubble of heritage has changed; our medieval Bruges has become a vibrant, bustling city with a lot of opportunities.” – Renaat Landuyt, Mayor of Bruges

The Case of the Mitten Crab
The Chinese mitten crab, an introduced species in the canals of Bruges – © Rotor

Bruges, Liquid City

The world is in transition. Long-established ideas and ways of life are coming under pressure. A state of constant flux, driven by variation, pluralism and ambivalence can lead to uncertainty and even fear. But Bruges Triennial 2018 adopts the opposite stance as a possible beacon, a fluid city, open and involved, the engine of social, cultural and political change.


On a cultural trip to Bruges? Why not travel on to Antwerp for more?


Bruges as a creative melting pot where diversity leads to encounters. A seedbed for innovation in an urban context. In a liquid city, an important role is reserved for the participating citizen. Just like the burghers in medieval Bruges, only without the discriminatory meaning of the citizenship of that time. A responsible citizen today actively participates in the social process and local policy of the city. The citizen and government jointly strive for a community where the sharing of experiences, dreams and wishes of all city users leads to a fusion of the horizons.

‘Lanchals’ will guide you to the city centre – © John Powers

The temporary, shared and welcoming spaces of Triennale Brugge 2018 stimulate such exchanges and help to lay a new urban foundation. The fluid city, literally surrounded by water that once accounted for Bruges’ world fame, will become a metaphorical Liquid City. Fluidity, transition, influx, exchange, Bruges Triennial 2018 is an uninterrupted artistic movement that gently ripples its way through the city, making the occasional wave.

Installations in public space

Taking the specific context of Bruges, Bruges Triennial 2018: Liquid City uses the image of today’s liquid city as a symbol for positive social and urban change. Artists, architects and scientists are invited to formulate answers to crises in the liquid society, working closely with inhabitants and visitors.

By means of cooperative creative processes, Bruges Triennial 2018 creates opportunities for new encounters between a diverse range of city users. Chance synergies, sudden insights and sustainable solutions stimulate the image of the city. These processes lead to a new understanding of liquid urbanity and society. The arts trail in the historic heart of Bruges weaves the various aspects of the liquid city into three broad themes: inviting, hospitable spaces; creative cooperation projects, and the city imagined.

Floating classroom – © NLÉ Makoko

Inviting, hospitable public spaces

International artists and architects develop public spaces in the historic heart of the city and turn them into places where diversity leads to encounter.

(Co-)creative partnerships

At the same time artists and architects will set up cooperation projects among unlikely partners who manage to overcome their often conflicting interests. The resulting dynamic changes the urban identity radically and sustainably.

The city imagined

The focus of a third group of artists and architects relates to the symbolic representation of urbanity. The artworks inspire identity, hopes and dreams. The historical centre, literally surrounded by the water which once made Bruges world famous, becomes a metaphorical Liquid City. Fluidity, transition, intake, exchange, Triënnale Brugge 2018 is a continuous artistic movement, sometimes stormy, sometimes gently rippling, through the city. Everything and everybody is moving.


For new updates of the program, we advise you to take a regular look at www.triennalebrugge.be

Credit cover image: Studio KCA Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale)

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