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Reporting from Venice - The Recap

Reporting from Venice - The Recap

21 July 2016
While in Venice the Architecture Biennale 2016 is in full swing, the Creative Industries Fund organised an afternoon to reflect on its theme ‘Reporting from the Front’. In the dance studios of the HipHopHuis in Rotterdam, a group of 60 attendees got together and shared experiences on working and designing in the field of engaged architecture. The main question on how to develop a practise at the front, based on a personal, societal or humanitarian agenda, was explored in two sessions by means of several cases and during the keynote by Kunlé Adeyemi.

Can you feel it?
Joost Emmerik shared his reflections on the Architecture Biennale through a spoken column. He states that this year’s Biennale shows signs of a new Renaissance in the avalanche of material from all over the world. Read his reflections here.

Working at the Front
In the session Working at the Front, the discussion focussed on the various ways in which architects work in extreme conditions to address urgent issues that face our cities and to foster positive change. Marieke Kums (MAKS) showed the complexity of stakeholders within the urban lab of the Philippines: a collaboration between UNHabitat, municipality of Tacloban, the regional and national government, local inhabitants and the Creative Industries Fund. She shared her insights and experiences working in the post-disaster struck environment and elaborated on the contribution by the various parties setting the complex brief. Marieke articulated the challenging process to ensure that all stakeholders are part of the climate resilient development.

On and off site
Martin Sobota (Cityförster) is part of the UN-Habitat team that works in Gaza. He showed the arguably remarkable engagement of the local community and municipality in urban planning. His presentation also addressed the difficulties faced making a site visit or simply moving around in Gaza city in order to conduct work. In the Black Friday report, Forensic Architecture collaborated with Amnesty International to reconstruct the events in Rafah, Gaza, from 1 – 4 august in 2014. Since the team was denied access to Gaza, Forensic Architecture created a reconstruction of the events from images and videos recorded by professional and citizen-journalists. The team used its highly analytical spatial skills – and understanding of architecture and the city – to cross-reference different data and identify patterns.


Making impact
During the discussion, it became clear that strong spatial compositions of evidence base material – models, proposals and strategies – can instil important changes. Although (cross-disciplinary) design is a good instrument to structure information, producing a plan or design does not necessarily deliver the impact desired. The urban labs and Forensic Architecture are both searching for ways to insure impact in different domains – politics, policy, human rights – through the logic of architecture and close collaborations.

Designing beyond the Nation State
Contributions to the Architecture Biennale in Venice show various reinterpretations of utopia. The session on desiging beyond the nation state explored how artistic-driven and speculative design research can contribute to building a new political, economic and social unity. Ali Karimi and Hamed Bukhamseen, curators of the Kuwaiti Pavilion, revealed their unlikely proposal for the piecemeal masterplan for the Gulf as a region. In their (speculative) plan for a united Gulf, it would be the first time in history for Persian and Arabic islands to create an archipelago beyond the nation states. Researchers of Behemoth Press delved deeper into a possible future of the region through a poetic manifesto for two islands: one reconnecting with the ancient ruins, the other cyber-tapping on the underwater data cable.


Pushing boundaries
Stephan Petermann (AMO) pointed out how relevant and urgent it is to keep on thinking beyond nations and to reflect on it; to see how utopian thoughts can become operational or to learn from places that turned out to be dystopian. Stephan stated that architects should push their boundaries and enter the domain of politics. The discussion focussed on the possible role of the architect in co-creating new visions and on the way in which projects based on utopian thoughts can be realized. The speculative proposal for A Gulf saw the light of day at the Venice Biennial - a cultural manifestation. This made it possible to question issues and make proposals which otherwise, due to political tension, would be censored.

Learning from Makoko Floating School
Kunlé Adeyemi, founder of the architectural office NLÉ, reflected on the experiences of working on the Makoko Floating School (MFS) in a conversation with Afaina de Jong. They discussed the premise, process and the impact of the project and the possible next steps – considering the fact the structure collapsed recently. MFS is a prototype structure that was realized in 2013 in the context of responding to urgent situations due to a physical and social challenge. Physical in terms of urbanisation and climate change, social because of the status, existence and development of the Makoko floating community: a settlement on the Lagoon in the heart of Lagos. The project is an example on how to catalyse change.


First do it
To the question about how embedded Kunlé had to be to actually realize it, he explained that it took one and a half year of intense contact with the community to gain trust and knowledge. He explained that the purpose was to do it first, to start building it as a prototype. To do that takes a lot of effort and learning about the local logics and ways of living. In the 2 years after completion, the team monitored the structure and its usage to understand its function and possible impact. The impact of the project continues, also after the collapse. It left a certain mark and state of mind, gave a second life of impact to the situation and raised the question of responsibility and the way to move on. The team is committed to learn from this process and take it to the next level. Besides keeping in contact with relevant stakeholders, NLÉ took the Biennale as an opportunity to enhance the building structure. On the water at the Arsenale quayside, the team built a replica of the Makoko Floating School. The replica – MFS II - also stages an exhibition about the changing relationship between water and rapidly expanding cities.

Cultivating a new kind of architecture
To the question whether a building at the frontline needs to be photogenic to have an impact in this image driven world of fast media, Kunlé stated that it is more important to make it meaningful. Even so, if beauty is powerful and has an impact, then it should be employed. We should build our most beautiful buildings for the most needy in this world. In that sense, we should cultivate a new kind of architecture that is super sexy and super serious at the same time.


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26 Dutch designers show work at London Design Fair 2018

6 September 2018

The London Design Fair is being staged from 20 to 23 September. The Fund has joined forces with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) to realize the Dutch Stuff pavilion, where 26 Dutch design studios, collectives and individual designers are showcasing their work.
After a successful debut in 2017, Dutch Stuff is being staged at the Old Truman Brewery for the second time. The pavilion’s initiator and curator, Jimmy MacDonald, explains his fascination with Dutch designers as follows: ‘The Netherlands has always been our go-to country for experimental design, which is central to the curation of this second edition of Dutch Stuff. As many of the designers have been sourced over the last 10 months, we are excited to see where these experiments have led and how they may have manifested in new products and collections by September.’

highly promising design talent
In 2018 the 26 participants will have more space to present their work, allowing visitors more opportunity to enter into conversation with the designers, to peruse the work, and become acquainted with the underlying concepts. Dutch Stuff is intentionally conceived as an eclectic, multidisciplinary presentation that represents the breadth of the design discipline in the Netherlands. The pavilion is showing furniture design, lighting design, textiles, ceramics and free design, such as objects and installations. The selection is a mix of highly promising design talent and more established names who are experimenting with methodologies, materials and means of collaboration in their work.

The participants include alumni of the Grant Programme for Talent Development, such as Alissa+Nienke and Boris de Beijer, as well as designers who have previously enjoyed the Fund’s support to take part in the Salone del Mobile in Milan, such as Earnest Studio and VANTOT.

panel discussion
The Fund is joining forces with London Design Fair and the Embassy of the Netherlands to organize a panel discussion moderated by designer Ineke Hans and design critic Max Fraser in the Dutch Stuff pavilion from 10:30 to 12:30 on 20 September. Together with some of the participating design studios, the moderators will discuss the artistic and professional opportunities and challenges for Dutch designers in the British market.

Studio Simone Post
Studio Plott
Studio Johan Viladrich
Martijn Rigters
Nina van Bart
Studio Laurids Gallee
Boris de Beijer
Fabian Briels & Hans van Sinderen
REM atelier
Maria Tyakina Studio
Studio Ro-Smit
Atelier van Middendorp
Bart Joachim
Creative Chef
Earnest Studio
forever studio
Studio Jeroen Wand
Christian Hammer Juhl
Made by Rens

The Fund is supporting the pavilion with a contribution from the supplementary resources of the Internationalization programme. The Fund’s contribution means that up-and-coming Dutch designers can expand their field of activity and position themselves more effectively within the international design sphere.

Photo above: London Design Fair, Dutch Stuff 2017. Photographer: Sophie Mutevelian


Dutch games developers at Gamescom 2018

6 September 2018

In late August, approximately 370,000 visitors from 114 countries visited Gamescom in Cologne, the most important European fair for consumers and professionals in the games industry. This is the place to network and build structural relationships in national and international circles for games companies and individual developers. Creative Industries Fund NL backed the Dutch Games Association (DGA) in its organization of the Holland Pavilion for the fourth time.
The increase in the number of participating countries and professional visitors underscores Gamescom’s international character and the importance of Europe’s most trend-setting business platform in the realm of games. Alongside Austria and the United Kingdom, the Netherlands ranks among the three most rapidly expanding countries in the fair’s business section.

networking: B2B
Five game developers presented their work in the Holland Pavilion within the fair’s B2B section with the Fund’s support. The combination of indie developers and presentations by a number of larger Dutch games studios bore fruit once again. The indie developers note that the pavilion served as an important meeting place for budding professionals and was a valuable complement to planned meetings with publishers, game developers, media and investors. For example, Luuk Waarbroek of games studio Napalm Tree spoke with potential leads, while indie developer Erik Habets of Fromto made highly promising steps towards finding a publisher. Meetings with international contacts are simpler to plan here, and deals are struck wherever possible. That makes this event the ideal networking opportunity within the European and global games industry.


public: B2C
The Fund also supported two Dutch game developers – KeoKen and Ronimo Games – to present themselves at the Indie Arena within the B2C section. The massive turnout gave the studios the opportunity to promote their games to a wide-ranging public in a short time. Both stands were really busy and drew plenty of attention from visitors. Joost van Dongen of Ronimo Games: ‘The personal contact with consumers at Gamescom gives a great deal of satisfaction and is really useful for finding new customers.’

Show Your Courage
Creating games is one thing, but bringing them to the market successfully is something else. At Gamescom there are all kinds of key industry figures in attendance who can help games companies in this regard, as young developers often lack experience in pitching and networking. This prompted the Dutch Games Association (DGA) and Dutch Game Garden to organize Show Your Courage. A selection of veterans from the games industry were interviewed about a diversity of topics within the sector, which gave others the opportunity to enter into discussion with peers and learn from their expertise. This whole programme has been recorded in high-quality video and is easy to find on the DGA website.

Visitors play the game Mish Mash developed by Doron Hirsch, where players of the game are drawing parts of the game step by step.

Photos: Dutch Games Association (DGA)


22 Oct: Designing a Community of Care | From creative research to practice

22 August 2018

During the Dutch Design Week 2018, Creative Industries Fund NL and Waag are organizing the ‘Designing a Community of Care: From creative research to practice’ network meeting, in association with the Aedes-Actiz Knowledge Centre for Housing, Care and Welfare and the Who Cares team. You are warmly invited to join us.
In the Netherlands we are reinventing care. An ageing population, decentralization and technological advances are making new demands on the provision of care in our communities. Creative Industries Fund NL and Waag believe in the power of design’s contribution to this process of transition within care in the community.

what can you expect?
an inspiring keynote lecture by Prof. Paul Chamberlain, design director Lab4Living Sheffield Hallam University, and Dr. Claire Craig, health director Lab4Living Sheffield Hallam University, both founders of the conference and the journal Design4Health;
networking with other interested partnersincluding care professionals and designers;
a guided tour of the ‘Chronic Health’ exhibition at the Embassy of Health about the role of designers within healthcare.

Do want to join us in building a community of practice?
Join us on Monday 22 October for Designing a Community of Care at the Embassy of Health in the Innovation Powerhouse at Strijp-T, Eindhoven.
The programme is currently under development and will soon be added to this page. Keep an eye on the Fund’s various channels of communication.

Designing a Community of Care
The reason for this meeting is the Open Call: Designing a Community of Care, which was issued by the Fund in the spring of 2018. Thirteen projects have been initiated, in which designers are tackling changes to care in the community in conjunction with municipal services, care providers and housing corporations. You can find further information via this link (Dutch only).

keynote speakers
Prof. Paul Chamberlain, Design Director of Lab4Living at Sheffield Hallam University
Dr Claire Craig, Health Director of Lab4Living at Sheffield Hallam University

Good design can mean a lot for society, but how can design practices and processes help to tackle the challenges we are facing in the 21st century? Paul Chamberlain argues that design is as much about the definition of the question as it is about providing an answer, and that interdisciplinary collaboration is the starting point for new creative possibilities. In Claire Craig’s former role as an occupational therapist she gained experience in the advancement of the wellbeing of the elderly, and she believes that design plays a pivotal role in this field.

‘Chronic Health’ exhibition
The Embassy of Health is an initiative of Waag, VanBerlo, Philips, Máxima Medical Centre, U Create and the Dutch Design Foundation. The ‘Chronic Health’ exhibition reveals how we are jointly shaping care. We show how care products or services are not autonomous, but interact within a complex care environment. The exhibition immerses visitors in an interactive environment and allows them to experience the current and prospective role of design for (health)care: now, as well as in the immediate and more distant future.

practical information
date: Monday, 22 October 2018
time: 13:00 – 17:00
venue: Innovation Powerhouse (Strijp-T), Zwaanstraat 31a, 5651CA, Eindhoven

Participation in the meeting is free of charge. Please register by sending an e-mail to [email protected], mentioning ‘Designing a Community of Care’ in the subject line. Please provide your name, position and organization in the email itself. Enrolment will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Would you like to keep up-to-date with developments in relation to ‘Designing a Community of Care’ and other healthcare-related news from the Fund? Sign up for the Care newsletter by sending an e-mail to [email protected], mentioning ‘Registration for Care newsletter’ in the subject line.

Photo above: Sander van Wettum

6 Sept: Grant Programme for Internationalization Advice

8 August 2018

Do you want to submit an application for the third round of the Grant Programme for Internationalization and do you have a specific plan that you wish to present to the Fund’s staff? If so, then register now for the Grant Programme for Internationalization Consultation Session that Creative Industries Fund NL is organizing at Het Nieuwe Instituut.
The Internationalization team will be ready to offer advice and help you to improve the application. With this grant programme the Fund supports projects that substantively contribute to nurturing, publicizing and reinforcing the international position of today’s creative industries.

date: Thursday, 6 September
time: between 16:00 and 19:00 (each consultation lasts a maximum of 20 minutes)
venue: Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam

Register by 2 September at the latest via [email protected], mentioning ‘Grant Programme for Internationalization Consultation Session’ in the subject line. In the message provide your name, organization and the country (or countries) where you intend to implement the project, as well as the discipline(s) involved.

Photo above: Aad Hoogendoorn

22 sept: Meet-up Istanbul | Sustainable and Inclusive Cities through Design

8 August 2018

On Saturday, 22 September, Creative Industries Fund NL is organizing a meet-up in Istanbul around the projects selected from the Open Call Turkey #1. In late 2018, Dutch designers and cultural organizations were invited to submit a plan for a project, intervention or process that employs design for sustainable and inclusive urbanization in Turkey.
With Prof. Asu Aksoy as moderator, the teams will talk about their visions for more sustainable and inclusive cities in the Turkish context. What are their interpretations of this? And what experiences have they gained in Turkish-Dutch cooperation during the initial phase of their projects?

The meet-up is an opportunity for Dutch and Turkish parties in the field of culture and design to meet each other and share expertise. It will also be possible to pose any questions to Yasmin Kursun and Zineb Seghrouchni of Creative Industries Fund NL. In the autumn the Fund will be issuing a second open call, focusing on challenges involved in urbanization in Turkey.

meet-up Istanbul
The meet-up is being held from 10:30 to 14:00 on Saturday, 22 September, in association with the Consulate General of the Netherlands in Istanbul, during the opening days of the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial.

time: Doors open at 10:30. 11:00 – 14:00 (EEST), with refreshments
venue: Akbank Sanat, Istanbul, Beyoğlu
language: English

speakers and projects
Toroslar Interactive CityLab
Speakers: Dr. Nida Naycı and Dr. Mehmet Ali Mazmancı
Nida Naycı and Mehmet Ali Mazmancı (Mersin University, Faculty of Architecture) introduce an interactive method for city-making in conjunction with Play the City (NL).

Lüleburgaz Bisiklete Biniyor – cycling for a better city
Speakers: Berrin Benli and Melih Gezer
Berrin Benli and Melih Gezer (Novusens Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute, Ankara) are working with Sustainable Solutions (NL) and Artgineering (BE) to develop an integrated cycle strategy and roadmap in Lüleburgaz, to serve as a catalyst for sustainable and inclusive urban development.

Izmir Metabolic Cycling Network
Speakers: Dr. Çiğdem Çörek Öztaş and Hande Dönmez
World Resources Institute Turkey, Sustainable Cities (TR) and FABRICations (NL) are carrying out design-based research in which they treat cycling as a driver for sustainable urban development as well as a means of tackling issues such as waste, gentrification and the improvement of public spaces.

Turkish and Dutch Farming Practices Learn from Each Other
Speaker: Barış Samir (engineer, economist, biogas- and energy expert)
Together with various Turkish partners, IND [Inter.National.Design] (NL) is introducing an innovative agriculture project in Erzincan that integrates arable farming, animal husbandry, science, architecture and art.

Moderator: Prof. Asu Aksoy, Istanbul Bilgi University, Faculty of Communications
Asu Aksoy has carried out research into urban and cultural transformations, specifically into migration and globalization, as well as into existing and prospective visions in these realms. She also has experience in TR-NL cooperation, including her role as the Istanbul curator for the 5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam.

If you are interested in a project in Turkey, then you are very welcome to join our meet-up in Istanbul.
Please inform the Fund and the Netherlands Consulate General that you will be attending by sending an RSVP via [email protected], mentioning your name, function and organization, by 15 September at the latest.

Please contact Yasmin Kursun, grants officer Internationalization, if you have any questions.

the fund



In late August, approximately 370,000 visitors from 114 countries visited Gamescom in Cologne, the most important European fair for consumers and professionals in the games industry. This is the place... more >
Are you planning to present your work outside the Netherlands or has a foreign organization invited you to speak at a conference or symposium? If so, then you can apply to the Fund for a Voucher for P... more >