creative industries fund nl
Open Call Participation in Urban Labs UN-Habitat

Open Call Participation in Urban Labs UN-Habitat

Creative Industries Fund NL is offering 16 architects, urban planners and landscape architects the opportunity to participate in UN-Habitat's Global Network of Urban Planning and Design Labs. UN-Habitat commissioned Rogier van den Berg to establish this network in order to foster sustainable urban development in cities found within emerging economies. The contribution of Dutch designers is a joint project of UN-Habitat and Creative Industries Fund NL.

You can also read UN-Habitat's news item.

UN-Habitat's Urban Planning and Design Lab is active in more than 40 cities and has entered into a cooperation agreement with several cities to establish urban labs. The participating Dutch designers will spend a year working in one of the labs, collaborating within an international, multidisciplinary team on urgent assignments, which were formulated on the recommendation of these cities. Cooperation as well as sharing knowledge and experience in an open process is a precondition for participation. As a project manager for the Global Network of Urban Planning and Design Labs, Rogier van den Berg will be supervising the participating teams in conjunction with local UN-Habitat branches. These will meet three times over the year and elaborate proposals within their own bureaus.

Participating cities:
Palestine: Gaza City or Khuza'a Town
Myanmar: Yangon
Mexico: Mexico City
Philippines: Tacloban City
Ghana: Ningo-Prampram (Accra Urban Region)

A team of four designers will be assembled for each city. Four of the five cities will be selected, depending on factors including political stability and submissions. During registration you can express a preference for two cities. You can read the description of each case here.

UN-Habitat and the Fund will be selecting 16 participants for 4 different urban labs. The Fund will be supporting participants with a contribution of €15,000 per person.
The evaluation takes the form of a tender: up to four designers will be selected for each assignment. Criteria for selection are: motivation, quality of the oeuvre, relevant knowledge and experience.
The Fund will announce the names of the selected designers, but will not correspond about the rejections.
A maximum sum of €240,000 is available for this Open Call.
In addition, each team of four designers will receive a budget of up to €10,000 in order to procure local knowledge in the fields of legislation and funding mechanisms.

Expectations and obligations
The level of ambition of UN-Habitat and the Fund is high: the formulated design tasks are complex and are highly urgent. The local authorities as well as UN-Habitat's local branches have committed themselves to this process and prepared the assignments. Participants are expected to be able to devote sufficient time to this process over the year. Participation implies taking part in the urban lab in situ on at least two occasions, immersing themselves in the assignment, elaboration of the design proposals and making them presentable, participation in symposiums aimed at sharing knowledge.

The tasks are real and urgent, in a number of cases situated in conflict zones and/or complex political settings. The commissioning authorities and UN-Habitat are focused on implementation of the plans. The reality aspect and the elaboration of the design proposals therefore demand the requisite devotion of time. This requires that the designer takes a broad perspective and wide-ranging interest in order to consider the proposal in relation to legislation, funding models and the political context.

The designers will be participating in the urban labs on behalf of UN-Habitat and Creative Industries Fund NL, which implies that UN-Habitat's guiding principles and modus operandi are respected. The 'Objectives and preconditions' document provides more information about this, to be found as a PDF at the bottom of this page.

You can express your interest in participation by 15 October 2015 at the latest, using Creative Industries Fund NL's online application environment, choosing the 'Open Call' programme first and then selecting 'Open Call: Participation in Urban Labs UN-Habitat', where you will be asked to upload three documents:
• Attachment I: a plan in which you motivate your preference for two cities and describe your knowledge and experience, including your portfolio (max. 15 pages);
• Attachment II: CV with contact details (max. 2 pages);
• Attachment III: KvK registration certificate that is no more than one year old.

For more information about how to apply via the online application environment see the Conditions for online applications.

The Open Call procedure is described in the Fund's General Subsidy Regulations. If you have any questions, please contact Martijn van der Mark via or 010 436 16 00.

Further information
• To receive a grant you must be registered with a Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KvK). If that is not the case, then it is still possible to register subsequent to selection.
• The Fund's secretariat can offer no advice regarding a draft proposal.
• Applicants will receive an acknowledgement of receipt by e-mail within a week of the closing date.
• The Fund will contact the selected parties.

more Open calls


Open Call Research, Act & Reflect

This open call is aimed at grassroots platforms, collectives and organizations whose programmes contribute to a more culturally diverse and inclusive creative industry. Does your ambition for 2021 focus on topics such as decolonization, emancipation, gender diversity, anti-racism or intersectionality? Do you contribute to the design field from this position, or do you actually question the existing frames within the design field? Then apply for a programme before 11 November 2020.

This open call takes place against a background of public debate and protests against systematic inequality and discrimination. The Fund observes that in recent years initiatives have emerged in the Netherlands from makers and platforms who, based on a 'lived experience' and personal drive, address themes and question established systems that are not yet sufficiently seen and recognized within the design sector. These makers and platforms relate to design in their own unique way, and question with their practice what design is or could be. In order to enable these makers and initiatives to connect with the Fund, the Fund has been developing new collaborations and procedures, such as the scout nights, for several years now. We do this based on the conviction that diversity and inclusion contribute to a stronger and more sustainable creative industry and that the Fund should be accessible to a broad group of makers. We are going further with this open call, and we want to encourage institutions and platforms to interpret this agenda in their own way.
The budget for this call comes from the government's COVID-19 support measures.

Through the platforms, we want to involve communities of makers that we know do not feel directly addressed by the Fund. The call is intended as an impulse to introduce these makers, who have often developed themselves outside the Fund's customary platforms, to the Fund. By supporting them now in the development of their own practice and organizations, we hope to create through-flow to the Fund's regular grant programmes.

open call
By means of the Open Call Research, Act & Reflect, the Fund aims to stimulate programmes focused on strengthening other or marginalized voices. The programmes contribute through their multiperspectivity and enrichment to the creative industry. In addition, we are asking various questions: What visions and stories are now being missed in the pursuit of a more diverse and inclusive design sector? What can design mean for the debate on systematic inequality? With these questions, the Fund is focusing primarily on grassroots institutions that can provide a new or additional perspective to the design field from their own experience. The programmes or projects focus on underexposed fields of activity of the Fund, broadening and deepening the design field as a result.

A maximum sum of € 440,000 is available for this open call. This allows four programmes to be supported for a maximum amount of €110,000. The Fund strives to support two programmes in which design criticism is the starting point, and two programmes that focus on the process of making, whereby at least € 50,000 of the grant amount must be spent on assignments for makers.

Who can submit an application?
Platforms, institutions or collectives relating to the fields of design, architecture or digital culture are free to submit an application. Parties that are in the process of being established or whose formation is part of the programme may also submit applications. In that case, additional agreements will be made with the Fund about guidance and phasing. Applications will explicitly not be judged on the basis of previously organized activities and results achieved. In this way, we are offering new grassroots initiatives a level playing field.

Parties that already have a structural subsidy relationship with central government (BIS) or are being supported under the Fund's Four-year Institutional Grant Programme cannot apply.

What does the Fund mean by a programme?
For the purposes of this open call, the Fund understands a programme to mean a coherent set of activities covering the period of one year. The programme is to start no later than April 2021. Within this, the form is free. Possible options include online/offline presentations, an open call, performances, debate moments, publications, podcasts or other kinds of manifestations. The applicant indicates whether a reflective programme has been chosen, in which the social theme mentioned plays a central role in relation to the design field (this includes design criticism), or a programme that focuses on makers, where the emphasis lies on design, commissioning and presentation.

What are the evaluation criteria?
An independent committee will make a selection from the proposals submitted and pay attention to the following aspects:
1. The artistic or reflective ambition in the project;
2. The approach to the theme and link with the design disciplines;
3. The extent to which the theme is effectively translated into a programme and an appropriate audience;
4. The level of support within the described community. This should be reflected in the form and intensity of collaboration, among other things.

Parties may submit an application until 11 November 2020. An application can be submitted via the Fund's online application environment. Select here Open Call Research, Act & Reflect.

The proposal consists of:
1. A project plan (maximum 10 pages and no larger than 8 MB) containing:
motivation, aim and organization of the project;
a description of the activities;
a description of the intended audience;
a description of the intended results.
2. Planning and budget
3. CVs or biographies of the makers or parties involved.
4. An extract from the register of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce. In order to receive a grant, the applicant must be registered with the Chamber of Commerce. If this is not the case at the moment of application, it is still possible to register subsequently in the event of selection.
5. A representative and royalty-free image of the project for the Fund's communication purposes.

If the application fails to satisfy the description above, it will not be possible to evaluate the substance of the application.

Points of attention relating to the proposal:
The COVID-19 conditions should be taken into account as much as possible in the design of the programme;
Additional funding (co-financing) from parties other than the Fund is not mandatory for this open call;
If the plan is for a programme focusing on makers, an amount of at least € 50,000 must be reserved for assignments for makers;
For the preparation of the budget, please consult the project plan guidelines;
Create an account for the online application environment in good time. Validation of a new user account can take up to one working day.

The evaluation of an open call takes the form of a tender: this means that, within the available budget, a number of proposals will be prioritized over other submissions. Only projects with a positive evaluation can be supported.

You will receive confirmation of receipt by e-mail at the latest one week after the closing date. All applicants will be informed of the results of the open call; this also takes place by e-mail. In addition, the Fund will only communicate about the selected proposals. Rejected proposals receive a negative decision. The Fund aims to announce the results by 21 December 2020.

The processing and evaluation of the proposals submitted will be carried out within the framework of the Subsidy Regulations. Any subsidy will be awarded on the basis of these Subsidy Regulations. Important in this context is Article 7, paragraph 2, which allows for a special procedure for Open Calls. The following articles in these Regulations do not apply to this Open Call:
Article 11, paragraph 2, under a and c, and paragraph 3, under a
Article 13, under b
Articles 16 to 21
Article 22, paragraph 3

If you have any questions about this open call and the procedure, please contact:
Lion Zeegers via or Sharvin Ramjan via or call 010 - 436 16 00.

the fund