Interdisciplinary Research Program – TUDelft Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
The Port and the Fall of Icarus
A project for the Dutch Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia 2018

A project by
Hamed Khosravi
Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin
Filippo LaFleur

In collaboration with
Miles Gertler
Baktash Sarang Javanbakht
Alessandro Pedron

Modeling and design assistant
Mariapaola Michelotto

Graphic design (posters)

Igreg Studio

Photographic essays
Giovanna Silva

Publisher (book)
Humboldt Books

Het Nieuwe Instituut, produced in collaboration with and supported by Creative Industries Fund NL

Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Department of Urbanism, TUDelft


Image: Installation view, 16th International Architecture Exhibition, Riva dei Sette Martiri, Venice, 2018



Logistics originates and learns from our lives, our movements, and our desires. Frantically but efficiently, it makes connections in a laborious paranoia. It establishes associations through the aggregation of data and the expansion of infrastructure. However, no single body is really able to control logistics and, like a scientific experiment gone wrong, a monster has been conjured beyond the control of its dispersed creators.*

Free spaces of trade, storage, and distribution are transformed into centres of detention and expulsion for labourers; whose bodies are not only controlled by the automated machinery and robots but are also dominated by the obscure desires of the others.


Logistics today is a biopolitical apparatus.

This biopolitical machine is founded on the division of life, into biological life and political life. The same means of division however, is precisely what permits one to construct the unity of life: a life that is not separated from its form. As the contemporary philosopher Giorgio Agamben puts it, such form of life is not defined by its relation to a work, but rather by a potential, and by ‘inoperativity’: that is, a mode in which it is maintained in relation to a pure potential in a work, where life and its form, private and public enter into a threshold of indifference; wherein the question is neither life nor work but happiness.

“Work is an instrument to reach the truth, but inoperativity (laziness) is the real truth of mankind.”
Kazimir Malevich, 1921

The Port and the Fall of Icarus is part of the extended program of the Dutch Pavilion, ‘Work, Body, Leisure’, for the Venice Biennale 2018, curated by Marina Otero Verzier. The project is composed of four complementary components: an installation inside the Dutch Pavilion with fourteen drawings and seven models, a public installation at Riva dei Sette Martiri in Venice, two public events in Venice and Rotterdam, and a publication.
Departing from a rather critical proposition on the rationale of logistics, and in particular the port, the project seeks possible scenarios for the future development of the port with respect to its relationship to the city, its territory, and forms of labour. These scenarios have been generated through a year-long research and educational program in collaboration with TU Delft and IUAV Venezia.
The Port and the Fall of Icarus could have not been possible without the intellectual and financial support of Creative Industries Fund NL, Port of Rotterdam, Port of Venice, LDE Center for Metropolis and Mainport, TU Delft DIMI– Delft Deltas, Infrastructures & Mobility Initiative and L’Ermitage.
After Territory Symposium / Inland-Seaward End-of-Cycle Exhibition – Transitional Territories Studio and Research
Section of Urban Design/Transitional Territories Lecture Series—After Territory—Session 3