Petroleum – its extraction, refining, transformation, and consumption – has shaped our built environment in visible and invisible interconnected ways around the world over the last 150 years. Industrial structures, buildings, monuments, urban forms, and infrastructure stand as material witnesses to the ubiquity and power of petroleum. Many people orient themselves in space referring to gas stations, others point to oil headquarters as local urban icons, and a select few are aware of local oil industry facilities or the educational, housing or leisure facilities of the petroleum industry employees. But while observers recognize the connection to oil in select buildings, they do not picture the enormous collective presence of oil in the built environment, its impact on production processes, financial flows, and associated social and cultural patterns in our everyday environment, or the long history of oil’s impact on our lives. Expanding on the show “Oliedam: Rotterdam in the Oil Era from 1862-today,” this augmented exhibition on “The Global Petroleumscape” analyses the impact of oil in shaping architecture and the urban landscape at a larger global scale.
The exhibition can be found at ground level in the hallway leading towards the lecture rooms of the Van Steenis building. Entrance is free of charge.