For centuries the Oude Kerk has played a pivotal role in caring for the needy. What can we learn from this legacy today? Nowadays there is an urgent appeal to our sense of empathy, charity and love for our neighbour. But who is our neighbour? The lonely one, the homeless, the Syrian family? Questions about mercy – misericordia in Latin – took centre stage during an evening filled with talks, guided tours and performances at the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam.

Bureau Lada created a dynamic and crowd-assembled set of props that borrowed from the church itself to create a backdrop for the evening of talks and performances.

The installation grew from an investigation into the parts of the church that give a sense of human intimacy and introspection: the church's merciful architecture

Through sets of small models, the proportions of each of the individual elements was tested

There is a text for this, I just needs to dig it up from the emails…

— Michiel van Iersel, curator and commissioner of the project

The models were arranged over scale drawings of the church itself. This allowed for a design that was not prescriptive, but was ready to be adapted by the visitors on the evening—indeed, this adaptability and unpredictability was the entire concept

The model elements became life-sized, built in a workshop and delivered to the Oude Kerk