creative industries fund nl
A recap of the Russia, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco meet-ups

A recap of the Russia, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco meet-ups

22 February 2018

The Fund organized a series of meet-ups centred around the current Open Calls Russia, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco. Four speakers from each of the four countries shared their insights relating to metropolitan issues. They gave examples of the ways in which local initiatives are approaching these issues from a cultural and design perspective. There were opportunities for the audience to ask questions and exchange knowledge with Fund staff, the speakers and cultural attachés.
We look back at the sessions here and provide a link to the Frequently Asked Questions about the Open Calls, which close on 7 March.

During the Russia meet-up, Vera Leonova, deputy dean at the Graduate School of Urbanism in Moscow, provided an overview of Russian urban development in the last decade. She sketched a picture of rapid urbanization in a country where three-quarters of the population live in urban areas. She showed how appearance and daily life is determined by the modernist approach of Soviet Russia and the subsequent euphoria of free-market principles. Vera demonstrated how these initiatives – originated for instance by residents, designers and cultural organizations – deal with these challenges. And how bottom-up practices compare with the top-down way of working. The questions from the audience made it clear that a collaboration with Russia demands good preparation for working in a complex context that requires the necessary flexibility.

Meet-up Russia with Vera Leonova, Deputy Dean Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism, Moscow. Photo: Khalid Amakran

Serhan Ada, associate professor in Cultural Policy & Management at the Bilgi University Istanbul, began his lecture with a map of Turkey. The aim was to emphasize that, besides Istanbul, Turkey has other cities where interesting developments are taking place in the area of culture. In Istanbul, the creation of a local cultural policy began when the city wanted to stand as a candidate for European Capital of Culture 2010. Local cultural policy is still being developed. For instance, the city was recently selected to be UNESCO's City of Design and more and more bottom-up initiatives are being generated to involve citizens and other stakeholders in the development of the city. After Istanbul, Serhan Ada talked about the city of Izmir and how it has become an attractive city for designers, makers and cultural institutions. By combining significant local investments in culture with the developments for the city's major port, Izmir has managed to put culture on the map. The third example was the city of Mardin, where in recent years an increasing number of interdisciplinary projects have been initiated that focus on the contemporary significance of the city's material and immaterial heritage.

Meet-up Turkey with Serhan Ada, associate professor Bilgi University Istanbul, Cultural Policy & Management. Photo: Khalid Amakran

May Al-Ibrashy, founder of the Built Environment Collective-Megawra, introduced the third session about Egypt. One of the topics in her lecture dealt with the various ways in which the inhabitants of Cairo, these days a militarized city, are trying to claim the city for themselves. Examples of graffiti, mapping projects and sports events demonstrated how these initiatives aim to appropriate the city. In Egypt, too, a turbulent mix of social, spatial and economic factors lies at the root of urban issues; housing, migration, brain drain and economic instability. May emphasized that in Egypt there is an immense potential of knowledge, vision and experience to draw on for a collaboration. Working together with Egyptian partners is very important for getting meaningful projects up and running. It does ask for an open attitude and not a mind or project that is set on 'helping'. Working in Egypt also means that you need to work with legal complexities, such as every-changing legislation and restrictive regulations for NGOs. Working out how the collaboration between Dutch and Egyptian partners is to be arranged, in terms of content and finances, is also essential.

Meet-up Egypt with May Al-lbrashy, oprichter Build Environment Collective - Megawra, Caïro. Photo: Khalid Amakran

Amina Mourid and Hicham Bouzid from Think Tanger provided a concise historical overview of Morocco's rich urban development: from long before Western intervention and the time of the various dynasties to the influence of the post-colonial era. They then zoomed in on current social and urban development in the North Moroccan port city of Tanger. Think Tanger is a platform that plays an active role in involving various stakeholders in thinking about new forms of urban development. They do this by means of artistic and cultural productions, sharing knowledge and generating ideas within various coalitions. After an introduction about the specific situation in Tanger, Bouzid and Mourid elaborated on current planning for the region around the city. In the coming years, three ville nouvelles are being realized, linked to the development of a number of free-trade zones. Bouzid and Mourid explained that it is difficult for citizens to get a picture of the various area developments. As an example, everyone in Tanger was surprised in the spring of 2017 when it was announced that a smart city is being realized on the east side of the city with investments from China. These developments often lack a social, sustainable and inclusive perspective and as a result, the local population feels only limited involvement in urban development. The platform aims to change this situation by involving the inhabitants, politicians and other stakeholders in its activities.

Meet-up Morocco with Amina Mourid en Hicham Bouzid van Think Tanger. Photo: Khalid Amakran
frequently asked questions

Is it your intention to submit a project plan for the Open Call Russia, Turkey, Egypt and/or Morocco? Many of the questions asked during the four meetings can be found here with the answers.

Photo: Khalid Amakran

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The Scene is Here performance programme announced

10 October 2019

What can light do to you during a boxing bout? What do smart electronic devices look like on the inside? And how can you contribute to a collective clothing collection? These questions play a role in various performances that are part of 'The Scene is Here'. Everything comes up: workshops, lectures, LARP and a letter-writing campaign.
In The Scene is Here, the Creative Industries Fund NL presents all the designers and makers who received a grant this year from the Talent Development grant programme. The 2019 group has been brought into focus in one-minute film portraits that will be screened during the Dutch Design Week in MU at Strijp-S. By means of unique performances, the talents also present themselves personally to the public. The performances take place daily at fixed times and all but two are freely accessible. Curious about who will do what and when? Take a look at the programme.


Saturday 19 October
13.00 - Studio Knetterijs
The illustrators at Studio Knetterijs make a 'zine' about the future. With their illustrations as a starting point, they challenge visitors to form an image of the future.

14.30 - Arvid & Marie
Design duo Arvid & Marie perform a Live Action Role Play about censorship and self-censorship, as alter ego Omninaut.

16.00 - Arif Kornweitz
Together with Füsun Türetken, Arif Kornweitz gives a performative lecture on the phenomenon of 'function creep' and objects without clear boundaries and fluid notions of objects.

Sunday 20 October
13.00 - Waèl el Allouche
In a combined workshop, lecture and travel report, Waèl el Allouche illustrates how he uses data to get a grip on abstract themes such as origin, belonging and becoming.

15.00 - Teis De Greve
Discover what's inside smart electronic devices in Teis de Greve's Disassembly Café. Devices are opened up, disassembled and documented, in search of new possibilities for everyday technologies.

15.00 - Kostas Lampridis and Théophile Blandet
What are the elements of a design concept? Kostas Lambridis and Théophile Blandet do not use materials or objects, but bodies, gestures and sounds to define the abstract elements of design culture.

17.00 - Johanna Ehde
See 'Cry Till I Die', part of the '(Post)Menopausal Graphic Design Strategies' project, in which graphic designer Johanna Ehde focuses on the development of a lifelong graphic-design practice dealing with issues such as age discrimination, sexism and physical health.

Monday 21 October
15.00 - Vera de Pont
In 'Creating everything by making nothing', Vera de Pont shows why digital and additive production are indispensable aspects of sustainable fashion.

17.00 - Darien Brito
For his audiovisual performance 'Strange Attractors', artist and multimedia designer Darien Brito was inspired by Edward Lorenz's chaos theory in his search for the beauty of disorder.

Tuesday 22 October
13.00 - Elvis Wesley
In a one-day residency, Elvis Wesley creates an animated visualization in which he reflects on the exhibition, the works and the visitors.

15.00 - Ninamounah
Fashion designer Ninamounah takes the visitors along in a performance that questions the relationships between people and other animals, as she herself puts it.

17.00 - Elvis Wesley
Elvis Wesley presents the animated visualization he made during his residency in MU exhibition 'The Object is Absent'.

Wednesday 23 October
13.00 - Manetta Berends
Discover in a workshop by graphic designer Manetta Berends the effect of using algorithms when reading a collection of techno-feminist manifestos.
Please note: the number of places for this workshop is limited; reservation via Manetta Berends: [email protected]

15.00 - Bernhard Lenger
In social designer Bernhard Lenger's mobile post office, write letters to newly elected MEPs, the designers of Europe for the next five years.

17.00 - Irene Stracuzzi
Irene Stracuzzi is fascinated by cartography and investigates visual strategies for mapping out complex geopolitical scenarios. During a lecture, she gives insight into her approach on the basis of recent projects.

Thursday 24 October
13.00 - Koen Steger
Fascinated by the influence of light on our state of mind, scenographer Koen Steger takes you into a world of light, the psyche and... boxing.

15.00 - Pim van Baarsen
Social designer and co-founder of Super Local, Pim Baarsen, is active in different corners of the world. In this informal workshop, the impact of their projects is discussed with local makers.

17.00 - Philip Vermeulen
When does an artist become an object and vice versa? And what role does the public play in this transformation? Installation artist Philip Vermeulen investigates the subject of embodiment. Do you dare to hit him?

Friday 25 October
13.00 - Anouk Beckers
Make a garment together in the JOIN Collective Clothes workshop by fashion designer Anouk Beckers, who researches fashion as a collective practice, aimed at making and wearing clothes together.
Please note: this workshop lasts five hours and the number of places is limited; reservation via Anouk Beckers: [email protected]

15.00 - Lucas Munoz Munoz
What are the different kinds of influence that people derive from the rocket? Designer Lucas Muñoz presents his ongoing project 'Rocket Trial', which he is conducting together with various filmmakers.

17.00 - Daria Kiseleva
Daria Kiseleva, who trained as a typographer, reflects in a live essay on a world in which not we but algorithms, databases and 'training sets' determine what normal and desired behaviour is.

Saturday 26 October
13.00 - Tomas Dirrix
What if a person becomes a structural part of a building or space? With 'Dress Rehearsal For A Building', architect Tomas Dirrix investigates the merging of visitor and architecture.

15.00 - Mirte van Duppen
Artist Mirte van Duppen takes you along in her poetic research into the automation of Dutch agriculture. How do people and machines relate to each other?

17:00 - Bastiaan de Nennie
After a period of absence, designer Bastiaan de Nennie plays open card with the visitors and makes them part of his physical and digital comeback in 'design country'.

Sunday 27 October
13.00 - Job van den Berg
Welcome to Job's industrial playground! This behind-the-scenes journey takes you on a voyage past great machines, craftsmanship and insights into how Job van den Berg transforms ideas into products.

Two open calls Venice Architecture Biennale 2020

9 October 2019

Het Nieuwe Instituut and the Creative Industries Fund NL present a collaboration aimed at supporting designers and promoting knowledge in the field of architecture before, during and after the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale, which takes place from 23 May to 29 November 2020.
The two institutions are joining forces to make the best possible use of the Venice Architecture Biennale as an international platform for topical spatial and social issues and to conceive it as a catalyst for an ongoing discussion about the significance of architecture for the way we live together. This discussion is directly related to the central question posed by curator Hashim Sarkis: How will we live together?

Het Nieuwe Instituut and the Creative Industries Fund NL are jointly launching an open call for a public parallel programme at the Dutch pavilion on the theme of 'Multispecies Urbanism'. In addition to the joint open call, the Creative Industries Fund NL will issue another open call for projects related to the theme How will we live together? at the main locations of the architecture biennale.

Open Call Venice Architecture Biennale #1 was launched on 8 October 2019 by Het Nieuwe Instituut in collaboration with the Creative Industries Fund NL and focuses on the Dutch pavilion's public parallel programme. Het Nieuwe Instituut is responsible for the Dutch contribution to the architecture biennale. Researchers and designers are invited to submit proposals that reflect on and respond to the theme of the Dutch pavilion: Multispecies Urbanism. The selected projects will form part of the Dutch pavilion's parallel programme.

Open Call Venice Architecture Biennale #2 was launched on 8 October 2019 by the Creative Industries Fund NL and focuses on the development of Dutch initiatives and projects at the main locations of the Architecture Biennale, including the Arsenale and the Giardini. Researchers and designers working in the field of architecture are invited to submit proposals that reflect on and respond to the central theme of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2020: How will we live together?

click here for the two Open Calls:
Venice Architecture Biennale #1: Public parallel programme Dutch pavilion
Venice Architecture Biennale #2: Development budget main locations Biennale

more information
In connection with this open call, Het Nieuwe Instituut and the Creative Industries Fund NL are organizing an event during Dutch Design Week on Tuesday 22 October 2019 from 15.00-17.00 in TAC Eindhoven. Debra Solomon, Afaina de Jong and Klaas Kuitenbrouwer each reflect on 'multispecies urbanism' from their own perspective. There is also an opportunity to ask questions.

Selection open call Researching Remix

9 October 2019

From the 32 proposals received by the Fund as a result of the Researching Remix open call, four proposals have been selected. This open call arises from a collaboration between Metro54 and the Creative Industries Fund NL. The results will be presented at the upcoming Dutch Design Week, during This is a Take-Over: Researching Remix.
The Researching Remix open call is part of an annual programme in which Metro54 aims to focus attention on design, reflection and research within urban arts and culture. The open call was aimed at makers, designers and thinkers who critically reflect in their practice on themes such as balance of power, ownership and appropriation. By zooming in on remix as a research method, the use of materials, language and space is dissected and redefined in the process of making. In order to be part of This is a Take-Over: Researching Remix, the proposals had to be realizable in a relatively short time frame.

All the proposals were evaluated by the selection committee consisting of Amal Alhaag, Damiana de Windt, Radna Rumping and Lee Stuart. Proposals that were able to interpret the theme in a layered way and that had a distinctive voice within urban arts and culture, were preferred. The extent to which the work relates to one or more disciplines of the creative industry – ranging from design to film, photography and the visual arts – was also examined.

The following proposals were selected:
We Got It From Here – Leana Boven en Funs 'Funzig' Janssen
NKAIII – Hab Labs
Undo – Sydney Rahimtoola (photo above)
Makandra – Laeno Lashawn

From the large number of project proposals submitted, the committee concludes that there is a need within urban arts and culture to create space and recognition around the theme. The quality of the applications was extremely high; in order to stay within the available budget, the committee had to make difficult choices. The applications were diverse in nature, rich in words and images, and came from makers from various disciplines.‎

The proposals that were not selected fell short on one or more of the criteria. For example, project proposals were submitted that were not sufficiently interdisciplinary to be relevant to the disciplines represented by the Fund. The committee also found that the themes and sub-topics of the open call were not always an intrinsic part of the project or the practice of the applicant.

This is a Take-Over
The four selected projects will be exhibited at Dutch Design Week during This is a Take-Over: Researching Remix in TAC, Eindhoven. This interdisciplinary programme deals with the boundaries (including ethical ones) and frayed edges of fashion, music, architecture, design and identity. Metro54 investigates, shows and experiments with the current trends of cultural appropriation within metropolitan art, fashion and digital culture. To what extent does remix as a research method offer a possibility for producing alternative culture, design and art seen through a decolonial lens? How can we revise the binary notion within design in contemporary art and culture? The programme includes workshops, discussions, performances, film screenings, and video and installation works.

With This is a Take-Over: Researching Remix, Metro54 aims to claim a place for the critical and creative visions on design that emerge from street culture, queer scenes and activism that are currently influencing contemporary popular culture and everyday urban culture.

Here is… Bernhard Lenger

9 October 2019

Bernhard Lenger sees it as his task to create change, even if only on a small scale. In 2016, he graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven with the project 'This is Ecocide'. The impact was considerable. Although it is not easy, he decided to set up social design projects outside the walls of the academy as well. In 2018, he founded the We Are Foundation, in order to bridge the gap between designers and decision-makers and stimulate collaboration. The talent development grant he received last year from the Creative Industries Fund NL also helped him to take steps in this direction.
'We design impact for stories that need to be heard', it says on his website. The expectations of this impact are often high, says Bernhard Lenger, who comes from Austria. 'However, impact can be significant and earth-shattering, but also very small. And that is no less valuable. In my opinion, inspiring one or two people is already a very noble effect. Recently I gave a workshop in special-needs education. In that situation, you have direct contact with the participants, and the impact is very visible. That was much less the case with This is Ecocide. I wanted the project to draw attention to the strange fact that there is no international legislation against serious destruction of our ecosystem. Although it had a very considerable impact in terms of numbers, the degree differed enormously and was not very tangible to me.'

In addition to raising awareness, he also wants to connect and activate people with his projects. After all, the social problems we face can only be tackled together. He focuses mainly on NGOs, activists and politicians, both locally and internationally. As to whether he should become a politician himself in order to be able to exert even more direct influence, he is very clear. 'Politics is about people; I don't want to place myself centre stage and my own story is not what concerns me, either. I would like to work with politicians, but seen from their point of view, that is quite a step. As part of the 'Green New Deal for Europe', I am currently working with a group of young policymakers; they see the added value of a collaboration and made contact themselves after they had seen my work at the Dutch Design Week last year. I am helping them to present a policy document in an impact system and to tell the story to a larger audience. 'It's very interesting, and I'm very excited about many of the innovative ideas in the piece.'

The fact that it is possible to address the right people and parties outside the design world, and to be taken seriously, inspires confidence. If you've just come from the academy, there's quite a bit of insecurity. I wondered if I wasn't dreaming too much with my projects and if I was on the right track. The confirmation that I am is also borne out by the fact that I was selected for VPRO's TV programme 'De toekomstbouwers' (The future builders). It's very exciting and it gives me energy, although of course it's a bit weird to determine who's the best builder for the future. Every effort to make the world a better place is to be applauded.' In any case, Bernhard hopes that the effect of his nomination will be to inspire other young social designers to continue to set up projects, just like him, with the aim of making a social impact, even if the road to a stable practice, including financially, is perhaps a little longer.

He was able to strengthen his own practice last year thanks to a talent development grant from the Creative Industries Fund NL. 'I had quite a few steps to take, but the first time I applied for the grant, I missed out. So I thought very carefully about what I wanted to do with the grant; I hadn't been specific enough about this in my first application. In addition, I looked closely at how I could best describe my work and went through my application with someone from outside the creative industry. That helps to refine the application; because you are so familiar with your own work and your own story, it is actually very difficult to see which points are not clear.'
The grant gave Bernhard room to develop a way of getting off to a good start with the extensive projects concerning complex issues. He investigated how best to explain his work to parties who do not speak 'design language', made many new contacts, formed the bases for new collaborations and was given space to develop new concepts for his own practice, but also for the We Are Foundation design collective, which he initiated. He will present the results of the latter at the upcoming Dutch Design Week in the exhibition 'we are social impact'. Five fields have been formulated in which the collective sees a role for design and in which various actions are being undertaken: Systems of Governance, Culture of Information, Civic Society, Ethics of Technology and Justice in the Anthropocene. For instance, they show an ongoing field research study into the impact of Nicaraguan sugar plantations on people and the environment, they demonstrate the effect of workshops on improving special-needs education through the use of design thinking and design research, and they write letters to all newly elected members of the European Parliament to congratulate them on their new position and to express their confidence, but with a view to creating a stronger Europe, they also underline that the MEPS will be the designers of Europe for the coming five years.

As part of 'The Scene is Here', an exhibition and performance programme for all designers supported by the Fund in 2019 through the Talent Development Grant Programme, visitors can contribute to the letters to the MEPs in a mobile post office in MU during Dutch Design Week.

Workshop design thinking and design research, 2019

Platform Talent
You can find more information about the Creative Industries Fund NL's Talent Development grants here. Are you curious about all the people who have received support through the Talent Development Grant Programme in recent years? Platform Talent provides an overview of all the supported designers and makers.

Portret Bernhard Lenger: Anne Lucassen


New grants awarded Upstream: Music x Design

8 October 2019

In the second round of the Upstream: Music x Design grant programme, projects by one-man band Spinvis and techno producer Albert van Abbe received grants. The grant programme focuses on innovative applications of design and technology in pop music. An advisory committee with representatives from both the design field and the pop sector considered all the proposals and managed to keep the selection just within the available budget. The next possibility for submitting an application is 23 October 2019 at the latest. The budget available for this round is € 115,000.
grants awarded
Spinvis in collaboration with International Silence
'Alles Is' is a live electronic music performance by Erik de Jong (Spinvis) and Saartje van Camp in combination with an AR app developed by the designer duo International Silence, Twan Janssen and Johannes Verwoerd. The musicians and makers are examining the current role of digital media in our lives and the way in which digital technology can actually create more connections with each other. While the musicians play and rotate on a circular stage, the AR app allows the audience to see a cloud of texts and images merging around the stage. The music, texts and images will reinforce and question each other during the performance. In autumn 2020, the performance can be seen in various museums and at festivals. Other partners are Ruud op den Kelder (creative software developer), Esther Lutgendorff (production), Excelsior Recordings, Mojo Concerts and Hans Klik.

Johannes Verwoerd had this to say about the project:
'Unlike a regular concert, the AR and live music keep to the same script, complementing and questioning each other in a tension curve that you would expect to see in the theatre rather than on a concert stage. It's an intimate performance using an app about the things in life there isn't an app for.'

Albert van Abbe in collaboration with Ricky van Broekhoven
Sound designer Ricky van Broekhoven and techno producer/musician Albert van Abbe are developing a hybrid musical instrument called 'PhasingWaves', which combines kinetic light sculptures with electronic sounds. The installation consists of a flexible string, at least five metres long, which displays magical spatial forms and patterns through light. By controlling the speed at which the installation moves, synthetic sounds are created. The team is also developing an interface to operate the instrument and to create an interactive live performance with the audience. Van Broekhoven and Van Abbe together with Innovation Space and TU Eindhoven. In addition, industrial designer/researcher Mathias Funk, mechanical engineers from the European Prototyping Centre and audio engineers from the Willem Twee pop venue are also involved in this project.

Ricky van Broekhoven said about the collaboration:
'We noticed that we could join forces very effectively in an iteration of a project that I recently developed with the TU/e. I couldn't explore the musical potential of this installation because I lacked the skills to do so. However, Albert did have the necessary expertise. In addition, our teaming up offers an opportunity to work with parties that have their specializations, such as the Willem Twee studios and E.P.C. This allows us to transcend ourselves.'

the advisory committee's impression
The advisory committee chaired by Jeroen van Erp, consisting of Arjo Klingens, Brian Elstak, Eva van Netten and Klasien van de Zandschulp, is very satisfied with the quality of the selection. Despite the fact that the number of proposals submitted was rather limited, the round had a diversity of project forms and applying parties. The committee's selection also demonstrates the broad spectrum of the grant programme. In both projects, music and design come together in a special, artistic way, creating a new experience and visualization of music and performance.
For the next deadline (23 October 2019), the committee is once again interested in projects in which an interesting application or crossover with technology, design or visual culture is sought. Ideas and concepts can always be discussed by telephone or e-mail with the team behind the Upstream: Music x Design grant programme: Sean Gilis and Ibrahim Alaoui Chrifi.

Upstream: Music x Design
With Upstream: Music x Design, the Creative Industries Fund NL, together with the Performing Arts Fund NL and Sena, supports innovative artistic formats and collaborations within Dutch pop/urban music. The Upstream: Music x Design grant programme is run by the Creative Industries Fund NL and is intended for projects in which artists work together with designers and makers on new applications of design, visual culture and technology within music. With the help of Upstream, the Funds and Sena aim to broaden and strengthen the music industry in the Netherlands, to come across more strongly internationally and to stimulate crossovers into other disciplines. The annual budget is made available in three application rounds.

the fund



In the second round of the Upstream: Music x Design grant programme, projects by one-man band Spinvis and techno producer Albert van Abbe received grants. The grant programme focuses on innovative app... more >
The Creative Industries Fund NL gives an impulse to the deepening of the practice and professionalization of designers and design studios within the field of design. Designers and studios have until 6... more >