41 projects selected in Design round 5 – 2020
In the last Design round of 2020, 41 proposals have been selected. All the positively reviewed applications were awarded grants. Coordinator Eva Roolker reflects on the round.
Like the last rounds of Architecture and Digital Culture, a strikingly large number of the applications in this last Design round of 2020 concerned a starting grant. This form of subsidy makes it possible to investigate the design of a proposed project, involve content-specific expertise and look for financial support. Projects that are awarded a starting grant often lead to a follow-up application at a later stage. This is the case, for example, with the following two projects, where the follow-up application has now been positively evaluated:
Prosthetic X – Isaac Monté
Since 2019, Isaac Monté has been questioning and exploring the role technology can play in shaping our appearance and influencing our health and well-being. 'Prosthetic X' will be a technological 'organ' that strongly resembles a natural organ, with 10 prostheses that serve as aesthetic indicators of the functioning or non-functioning of the body, or parts of the body. Nine of these 'body extensions' are linked to the body. The tenth prosthesis – the exo-organ – could be with a family member or caregiver, for example. It displays the 'status' of the other nine, giving a neighbour or attending physician remote insight into the wearer's state of health. For the development of 'Prosthetic X', Isaac Monté is collaborating with various partners from science, the cultural field and industry. The first phase of the project has already led to three artistic proof-of-concept prostheses. In the second phase, Isaac Monté would now like to realize a Prosthetic X platform and show the project as an installation nationally and internationally, in order to raise urgent questions concerning data collection, technology development and the interaction of technology with the body. Can 'wearables' be more than just a gadget? Can they become an essential part of a more vital, healthier and safer life? And to what extent are people prepared to accept 'lifelogging' and 'human enhancement'?
The Gentleman Maverick of Dutch Design – Valiz
The work of Gert Dumbar (1940) belongs to the canon of Dutch design history. Both nationally and internationally, he has left his mark on the field of graphic design, and has managed to pass on his ideas, images, curiosity, attitude, involvement, humour and enjoyment to many young designers. 'Gert Dumbar - The Gentleman Maverick of Dutch Design' aims to reflect on this from a contemporary perspective. How can Dumbar's work be reinterpreted, generate new meanings and provide points of departure for the contemporary view of design heritage? What does the work mean for the design practice of a young generation of designers? How can they relate to issues that were a natural part of Dumbar's practice, such as social engagement, collaboration, interdisciplinarity, hybrid approaches and economic constraints?
Two projects that stood out this round because of their personal motivation and social engagement are:
A way of wearing – Ting Gong
For her project 'A way of wearing' (A Wear-ness), designer Ting Gong will create 20 garments. To do this, she draws inspiration from the heritage and skills of artisans from the Chinese countryside. Ting Gong asks the wearers of the garments to make a 20-year commitment to the garment. The wearer is also asked to return the garment annually to Ting Gong, accompanied by a letter in which the wearer tells the maker about an important event from the past year. In turn, Ting Gong uses this story to change something about the garment, replacing a panel made with a carefully chosen technique with one made of a different fabric. She keeps the removed panel, together with the letter. She considers that the garment, like your skin, changes with the history of the wearer. Ting Gong examines how a garment can no longer be considered purely as a product that is just as easily parted with as it is purchased. Does the perception of the wearer change if the behaviour of the maker and the wearer's relationship with the maker change? And what happens when, as a maker, you place conditions on obtaining a garment and expect more from a future owner than just money? With her project, Ting Gong also wants to bring traditional crafts to the attention of a new audience by using them in an innovative way.
Leuk is anders – Studio de Leijer
In an autobiographical graphic novel, Jeroen de Leijer describes the attempts to guide his adolescent son towards adulthood. Although the word 'autism' is not mentioned in the book, the context shows that Boris was stranded in his education because of his diagnosis. The book describes a 'rite de passage', a number of journeys that Boris and his father made together, and is therefore comparable to a road movie. What initially begins as an autobiographical illustrated story changes when Boris also describes his experiences. Jeroen made drawings of his experiences combined with handwritten texts; the experiences of Boris are typed. This creates two storylines in words and images that give a glimpse into the experiences of father and son. With his graphic novel, Jeroen de Leijer wants to draw attention to the fact that, in this society, you have no chance if you do not have a diploma and are also afflicted with a 'disorder'. The publication gives a different perspective on inclusiveness and the participation society.
Click here for all the projects in Design round 5 – 2020
The available budget in this last round of 2020 was € 576,958; the original budget of € 240,000 was supplemented with € 250,000 from additional funds made available by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. In addition, there was underspending in the previous round, as a result of which € 86,958 was added to the available budget for this round. Ultimately 41 of the 85 subsidy applications considered received grants. This brings the percentage of applications receiving grants to 48%. The first round of 2021 has already closed, and the deadline for the second round of 2021 is 7 April.
Photo above: Dit is geen Ondergoed Collectie - Guusje de Bruin