Underground in the City

We are thoroughly familiar with the city aboveground. But what is hidden away out of sight underneath the houses and streets? This is the tagline of an ambitious exhibition by the Museum of the City of Ghent (STA.M), for which they invited Rotor as researchers, co-curators and designers. The exhibition, addressing a public of young and old, features 400 exhibits from prestigious European collections, such as the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, the London Transport Museum or the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. It means to shed light on the Urban Underground from a wide variety of angles, covering topics such as sewer systems, data cabling, animal life, geology, archeology, excavation technology and the cultural relevance of the underground. 

Rotor developed the exhibition concept, based on an idea by STA.M. Our scenography, built by an external contractor (Twin design), uses second-hand, raised office floors as a basic component. These modular elements adapt easily to the majestuous sequence of rooms of the Baroque convent in which the exhibition is held. All texts were co-written by Rotor and STA.M. Many drawings and models were also produced by Rotor for the occasion.

Underground in the City also featured an installation by Ghent-based theatre company Studio Orka. 

Research & concept (Rotor)

Lionel Devlieger, Gaspard Geerts, Michaël Ghyoot, Robrecht Verstraete

Design & production (Rotor)

Alex Basile, Tristan Boniver, Stijn Colon, Lionel Devlieger, Gaspard Geerts, Robrecht Verstraete, Uri Wegman


Lionel Devlieger (Rotor) & Annelies Nevejans (STA.M)

Team STA.M

Annelies Nevejans, Anja Hellebaut, Rika Deltour, Kris Uyttersprot

Graphic design

Stijn Dams

Exhibition Build

Twin Design


Chris Pype LICHT


See 'Exhibition Colophon'


See 'Exhibition Colophon'


The exhibition ran from November 22, 2019 until September 22, 2020. It was closed for two months due to the COVID-19 emergency, between March and May, 2020.