Through its programme 'Amplifying Voices', the New Emergences platform focuses on the issue of diversity and underrepresented voices within the field of electronic music and sound art.
Programme components in the proposal by Hackers & Designers are also interesting, such as the Feminist Intersectional Search, set up in collaboration with Read-in, Openbare bibliotheek Amsterdam and Atria Knowledge Institute on gender equality and women's history, about the dominant Western mindset in search results.
In the coming year's programme, PrintRoom will focus on non-Western practices, among other matters. According to the platform, artists' publishing is currently still a dominant Western system, despite the growing participation and radically innovative contributions of non-Western makers. Artists' book fairs and specialized shops/project spaces still exist mainly in Western Europe and North America, although important players are active in Asia and South America. How can the perspective of the field become broader and more inclusive and can we learn from the Do-It-Yourself production and presentation forms of non-Western artistic ‘publishers’?
The 26 institutions receiving a contribution are:
• The Hmm
• CKB Zeeland
• Hackers & Designers
• Platform GRAS
• Architectuur Centrum Amsterdam
• Creative Coding
• Current Obsession
• Spatial Media Laboratories
• Ontwerp Platform Arnhem
• Partizan Public
• What Design Can Do
• Architectuurcentrum Nijmegen
• New Emergences
• Podium voor architectuur, Haarlemmermeer en Schiphol
You can find more information about the content of the specific programmes per institution here (in Dutch only).
The closing date for the Activities Programmes in 2019 is 9 October. The total available budget for 2019 is € 1,450,000.
The nature of the proposals selected varies widely. The selection includes three proposals for more application-oriented and specifically detailed designs, namely those by Studio David Derksen, Studio Joris de Groot and a retrospective exhibition by Os & Oos. Presentations of more experimental and investigative projects come from Sanne Visser, Siba Sahabi and Studio Minale-Maeda. The presentation of 'art-design' by Mark Sturkenboom targets collectors. Cor Unum and Knitwear Lab (Thijs Verhaar) show the innovative design results of designers who use the facilities provided by the workplaces. Cor Unum presents ceramics by various well-known designers. The Knitwear Lab shows live the work process in which design and production come together and invites designers and labels to come and work on the spot.
The selection also includes two presentations by collectives: Oddness by Adrianus Kundert (four designers) and Morph by Audrey Large (fifteen designers). Both presentations were initiated and produced by young designers who want to offer an alternative in terms of form and content to the current furniture and product design in Milan.
Although not all the locations of the selected presentations had yet been confirmed, the advisors note that applicants are aware of the significance of the place they present their work. This is important because the specific locations in Milan each present themselves differently from the others. It is also striking and positive that in their proposals the applicants provided insight into the considerations they make in relation to the work being shown, the presentation strategies and the objectives they themselves formulated.
In general, the advisors note that the nature of the proposals reflects the diversity of the Salone del Mobile. The fair is no longer purely focused on furniture design, but has become a place where innovation, creatives in the broadest sense of the word and industry can find each other. According to the advisors, the applicants know how to give a good description of what they have to offer in the context of the furniture fair.
Finally, the advisors see an upward trend in the professionalism of the applicants and the proposals. This is evident from the images shown in the proposals and the presentation strategies. The advisors note that this applies to almost all applications. Applicants are well aware of the substantive significance of their work and practice. The proposals often reflect a highly developed body of thought.
Photo above: Adrianus Kundert United Enterprises
Nagehan Kurali Alan is a co-founder of Design In Situ, a design studio in Istanbul with a passion for the creation of digital experiences with a narrative. Nagehan sketched out an image of Istanbul as an urban playground; a city with challenges and opportunities. Within that context the studio’s mission is to employ the public space for more interaction between people and to capitalize on social behaviour. When creating their statements, interactive technology is the servant of the message, as in the case of the politician who stated that women should not laugh out loud in public space. She placed this quote in ‘monumental script’ on a wall, and thanks to the use of interactive technology every passer-by gets to hear a giggle. With them being female designers, much of the studio’s work is related to the position of women, because the city’s development does not self-evidently provide space for women. Social media and new media are subsequently used to disperse the narrative beyond the public space.
After Turkey we turned our attention to the cold north, to the independent collective Fridaymilk in Murmansk, which Zhanna Guzenko and Oleg Khadartsev told us about in greater detail. As a collective they explore the northern identity, and far away from Moscow they discover that they have more in common with their neighbours across the border (Finland, Norway, part of Sweden and the Arctic Circle) than the inhabitants of their own country. They investigate what it means to live in Murmansk in a post-Soviet Russia. This is about loving a place despite the discomfort, the struggle with nature and infrastructure, and that struggle is one of the factors that is shaping a new northern identity. Oleg uses the fridge as a metaphor, as you don’t just want to take something from it where you need it, but to add something as well. Zhanna and Oleg have achieved this with, among other things, their festival, which besides providing physical warmth also and primarily promotes the idea of the decentralization of cultural centres: a shift of the focus on major cities to rural regions. Regional identity and the perception of the region’s specific culture is being constructed and built on in conjunction with producers of digital culture, architects, designers and journalists.
Lastly, Kenza Benchouchaïb, director of the Kulte centre for contemporary art and editions in Rabat, provided us with insight into her experiences. The guiding principle for the Kulte gallery is experimentation with various disciplines, analyses and reflections on social questions in Morocco and Africa in a broader context. The connecting thread is the questioning of the public space and the role that is played by diverse groups. As an example, Kenza mentioned ‘The Africans’ project, which tackles the discussion about race and black identity, a topic which in Kenza’s opinion deserves greater attention in Morocco. For the ‘Ghorfa’ project, artist Younes Rahmoun devised a travelling ghorfa – a room which can accommodate various functions – that started out from his village in the mountains and after a journey through various parts of the world returned to its roots in the Rif mountain range. His message is about the ability to adapt oneself to different circumstances and reconnect with the here and now based on a new situation. This resilience is a quality that is needed to cooperate and to make an impact in the Moroccan context.
After this tour of all the projects and the wealth of presentations by the international guests, the discussion proceeded to the parallels in the projects and the challenges that are encountered when employing design for inclusive societies. These discussions encompassed elements such as gaining trust, the troublesome issue of mobility (visas) and the contextual sensitivity that is needed to establish meaningful collaborations and projects.
Text: Rachida Abdellaoui
Photos: Mohamed Najah