At the Venice Architecture Biennale 2014 Het Nieuwe Instituut introduced the public side of Bakema and his ideas for the open society in Open: A Bakema Celebration, while the presentation in Rotterdam – the city where he lived and worked for years – highlighted Bakema’s private life.
On display were wall hangings and mosaics by Sia that played a key role in his design practice. She was a textile artist and regularly offered colour advice to the office Van den Broek en Bakema. The presentation featured Bakema’s writing desk and a number of items of furniture designed by him (literally from the ‘Chair to the City’) as well as his personal films and excerpts from his diary. All these ingredients together formed an inspiring context for how Bakema viewed the idea of the ‘Open Society’. The exhibition was created in close collaboration with Brita Bakema, the daughter of Jaap Bakema.