creative industries fund nl
Here is… Bernhard Lenger

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

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Head of grants programmes Joris van Ballegooijen

8 January 2020

As of January 7, 2020, Joris van Ballegooijen will start as Head of grants programmes at the Creative Industries Fund NL.
Joris joined the fund in 2012 and has worked on a very solid foundation under the Grant Programme for Digital culture for the past eight years. He was one of the founders of the new Immerse\Interact arrangement that he set up together with the Film Fund. In the new position, Joris will be responsible for the various subsidy schemes at the fund, including the new Four-year Institutional Grant Programme for Creative Industries 2021-2024. Joris succeeds Aline Knip who said goodbye to the fund in January. Sean Gilis succeeds Joris as coordinator of Digital culture, Immerse\Interact and Upstream: Music x Design.

Photo: Stacii Samidin

Six design teams selected for the Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia

19 December 2019

Het Nieuwe Instituut and the Creative Industries Fund NL announce the six design teams selected from their open call for the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. The open calls aim to promote knowledge and contribute to the development of research in the fields of architecture and urbanism. La Biennale takes place from 23 May to 29 November 2020.
The Dutch pavilion - Who is we?
The Netherlands' official contribution to La Biennale is commissioned by Het Nieuwe Instituut and surrounds the theme 'multispecies urbanism'. In response to chief curator Hashim Sarkis' question, 'How will we live together?', Het Nieuwe Instituut asks in return, 'Who is We?'. Architect/researcher Afaina de Jong and artist/researcher Debra Solomon explore a new urbanism where the starting point of design is the multiplicity and influence of both humans and non-humans, from animals and plants, to soil life and artificial cognitive systems.

In October 2019, Het Nieuwe Instituut and the Creative Industries Fund NL launched an open call for contributions to the public parallel programme of the Dutch pavilion that responded to the theme multispecies urbanism. This programme takes place before, during, and after La Biennale, both in Venice and elsewhere.

selection for the public parallel programme of the Dutch pavilion 2020
Failed Architecture with Stories on Earth. Stories on Earth is an attempt to introduce storytelling and design into the development of a critical model to challenge the current narrative regarding the relation between man and nature.
Bureau LADA with Fisheye. Fisheye - Return of the Eel is a speculative research project into water biodiversity as a model for a 'water-related society' in which humans play a secondary role.
Studio Wild with The Forbidden Garden of Europe. The Forbidden Garden of Europe examines to what extent spatial and social factors influence inclusive ways of living together.

main locations of La Biennale Architettura 2020 - How will we live together?
In addition to the joint call, the Creative Industries Fund NL issued an open call for projects at the main locations of La Biennale, responding to the theme 'How will we live together?'. Within this theme, Sarkis focuses on the five major social themes of today - 'individuals', 'new households', 'emerging communities', 'across borders', and 'one planet'. He invited six groups with Dutch backgrounds to apply to exhibit in one of the main locations, of which three design teams have been selected.

selection development budget main locations
Studio L A with City of Ceramics. City of Ceramics is an installation consisting of a map of Venice on a floor of fragile terrazzo tiles. With each step, cracks appear until, at the end of the Biennale, the map is smashed to pieces, allowing visitors to reflect on their own presence in the city.
Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory (FAST) with Watermelons, Sardines, Crabs, Sands, and other Sediments. This project examines the ecological problems in the Gaza Strip. In an installation consisting of a long dinner table with various objects, the results of the relationship between ecology, culture and politics in Gaza are presented.
Alessandra Covini and Giovanni Bellotti with Variations on a Birdcage. Variations on a Birdcage is an investigation into objects that provide a direct encounter between humans and animals. This results in a playful installation that both people and birds can influence by playing, transforming, cultivating and feeding.

The selection committee consisted of André de Baerdemaeker (ecologist Bureau Stadsnatuur and Natural History Museum Rotterdam), prof. dr. Caroline Nevejan (chief science officer for the city of Amsterdam) and Marieke Berkers (architecture historian and member External Advisory Committee Landscape Architecture & Planning (WUR)).

Het Nieuwe Instituut and the Creative Industries Fund NL join forces to make optimal use of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia as an international platform for current spatial and social issues, acting as a catalyst for an ongoing discussion on the significance of architecture for our way of living together. The aim is to represent a wide range of voices from the Dutch design field in Venice.

Lisa Konno and Simone Post selected for Arita residency

4 December 2019

Lisa Konno and Simone Post have been selected for a residency in the Arita ceramics region. The Creative Industries Fund NL received 20 applications for this residency as a result of the Open Call Residency in Arita, Japan 2020.
Lisa Konno would like to investigate the ritual function of tableware and link it to clothing. Traditions and customs create a sense of purpose, a sense of belonging and familiarity. Lisa Konno is inspired by rituals that create a dialogue between clothing, porcelain and food, such as a tea ceremony or Christmas dinner. Based on this, she will design a modern, personal ritual. The focus is on craftsmanship and revaluation.

At Cor Unum, Simone Post is currently working on a study into tactility in ceramics. She utilizes the fluidity of clay. The material is formed in a wet state as if it were a textile, stretching its static boundaries. She will use the resulting language of form as a starting point for her research in Arita, which is based on colour and glaze and the way in which these two react to each other and mix together.

The applications received in response to the open call ranged from highly technical to more Japan-oriented, such as Lisa Konno's project. In her proposal, she clearly explains the differences and similarities between the Dutch and Japanese practices and expresses her curiosity about the Japanese way of working. She is well aware of her own position. Although the intended results have not yet been specifically stated, the committee believes that the starting points and portfolio are well-aligned with each other.
Simone Post's proposal looks at working with shapes, textures, colours and glazes and makes connections with working with textiles, with which she is already familiar. In view of her specific approach and professional perspective, the committee is positive about the significance of her project not only for her own practice but also for Arita. The advisers state that in general they consider exchange to be very important. They like to see proposals that will also benefit Arita and that address experimentation and research within the knowledge and context that Arita offers.

The proposals submitted were assessed on the basis of portfolio, CV and motivation. The advisers evaluated the proposals to gauge how consistently they were conceived and the extent to which they met the criteria of the Subsidy Regulations and this open call. The evaluation took the form of a tender: two proposals were preferred to the other submissions.

about the residency
In July 2019, the Creative Industries Fund NL, together with the Mondriaan Fund, issued the fifth Open Call Residency in Arita, Japan 2020. Arita offers a living and working space for two periods per year, where one designer and one artist can stay at the same time. The aim is to create a valuable exchange between Japanese porcelain producers and Dutch designers and artists. The Open Call Residency in Arita, Japan will be repeated next year.

Selection Open Call Talent Development in International Context

4 December 2019

Giuditta Vendrame, Studio Legrand Jäger, Studio Agne and Sophie Hardeman will be collaborating with international partners in the coming period. These four designers were selected from 16 proposals from Dutch designers and makers who responded to the Open Call for Talent Development in International Context. By means of this open call, the Fund is giving designers and makers the opportunity to deepen their practice internationally and to develop it artistically and professionally by collaborating with a foreign partner. The selected projects fulfil an exemplary function for the Dutch creative industry and at the same time enrich our sector with new knowledge.
In her project 'Humid World', Giuditta Vendrame is investigating the notion of borders in water as a designer in residency within the 'At the Border' research programme at A/D/O in New York, USA. Studio Legrand Jäger (photo above) is developing new performative work in collaboration with the Victoria & Albert Museum in the project 'Internet of Ears: AI-Generated Policy Play'. Sophie Hardeman - Love Harder is researching group behaviour, tolerance, prejudices and stereotypes and brings politically and/or socially ignored topics to the attention during a residency at NAVEL.LA in Los Angeles. Studio Agne is carrying out theoretical and material research into amber waste during a residency at Neuni in Shanghai.

The committee's response to the quality of the proposals submitted was predominantly positive. The proposals in which the exceptional artistic vision, professional development and interaction with the international partner strengthened each other were preferred by the advisers. The social and cultural relevance of the proposals was also taken into account. This open call must involve the exchange of knowledge and the collaboration must not be a commissioned project. All the proposals were evaluated by representatives from digital culture, design and architecture. The committee consisted of maker and KABK teacher Pawel Pokutycki, freelance art and design historian Victoria Anastasyadis and AMO associate Stephan Petermann.
Studio Agne

The committee evaluated the proposals on the basis of six criteria:

the extent to which the designers, makers, critics and/or curators from the creative industry (digital culture, design, architecture) occupy an exemplary and/or distinctive position;
the extent to which the proposed plan contributes to the further artistic and professional development of the maker concerned;
the quality and form of the collaboration;
the extent to which the foreign institution, organization or company concerned has an excellent reputation;
the degree and manner of co-financing by the foreign partner concerned;
the consistency of the proposal in terms of purpose, structure, relevant expertise and audience reach;
the extent to which there are Dutch interests.

The proposals were of varying, but generally good quality, and some were particularly good. The supported designers show that they are aware of the local (international) context in which they are operating. For the selected proposals, there is a good match between the project, the objective and the partner involved. The selection as a whole provides a diverse picture of the possibilities of talent development in an international context.

rejected proposals
The proposals that were not selected fell short on one or more of the criteria. In a number of proposals, the advisers saw that the partners had an excellent reputation, but that the collaboration was not aimed at reciprocity and/or did not contribute to the professional and artistic development of the talent. In some proposals, the makers did not provide sufficient insight, in the details of the plan, into the approach and structure of the project. In a number of cases, the relevance to the discipline within the Dutch creative industry was insufficiently demonstrated or there was sometimes a lack of insight into how knowledge flows back to the Netherlands. In a few cases, the committee assessed the degree of critical reflection or awareness of the local context to be insufficient.


Four-year Institutional Grant Programme for Creative Industries 2021-2024

2 December 2019

The Creative Industries Fund NL is providing a new subsidy option for the policy period 2021-2024. Leading Dutch institutions that contribute to the promotion of high quality, development and professionalization of contemporary digital culture, design and architecture and all possible crossovers can apply for a four-year institutional grant. This grant programme will be published on our website in January 2020. You can submit your application from 1 March 2020. The deadline is 7 May 2020. The amount of grant requested is a minimum of € 200,000 per calendar year and a maximum of € 550,000 per calendar year.
design infrastructure
In addition to the Fund's existing grant programmes for cultural institutions, such as the Activities Programmes for one or two years of support, this new four-year institutional grant programme creates an increasing chain of support possibilities for institutions within the creative industries. In this way, the Fund aims to make a resilient and dynamic design infrastructure possible.

From 1 March 2020, the Four-year Institutional Grant Programme for Creative Industries 2021-2024 will be available and you can submit your application using the application form. The subsidy ceiling for this grant programme will also be announced in the spring.

If you prefer to submit an application to the Activities Programme Grant Programme, it is good to know that this grant programme will have one round in 2020 with a deadline of 30 September 2020.

January 2020: Four-year Institutional Grant Programme for Creative Industries published
Between 1 March 2020 and 7 May 2020: Application period for Four-year Institutional Grant Programme for Creative Industries
4 June 2020: On the day that the Council for Culture presents the recommendations for the Basic Cultural Infrastructure, the Fund will inform applicants of the decision within this grant programme.
30 September 2020: Deadline Activities programme Grant Programme

useful to know
If you are considering applying for a four-year institutional grant, please take a look at these frequently asked questions.

'Can you submit an application to both the BIS of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Fund?
Yes, you can, but it cannot be awarded twice. In the event of a positive decision from the Council for Culture within the BIS, this means that the procedure and the advisory process with the Creative Industries Fund NL will be discontinued, even if it concerns two applications for different core activities. Conversely, in the event of a negative decision from the Council for Culture, this advice has no influence on the advisory process with the Fund.

'How does the Fund deal with the different codes?'
We expect all applicants to subscribe to the codes. In addition, with regard to the Fair Practice Code, the Diversity & Inclusion Code and the Culture Governance Code, you also clearly indicate where you stand now, what steps you intend to take between 2021 and 2024 and where you would like to be at the end of that period. You can explain how you deal with the codes in your organization, your programme and with regard to audience reach and communication.

'Can I qualify for the four-year institutional grant and additionally submit an application to another of the Fund's grant programmes?
Institutions receiving a subsidy on the basis of this grant programme are not entitled during the implementation period to any subsidies from the Architecture, Design, Digital Culture, Activities Programme and Festivals grant programmes of the Creative Industries Fund NL.

For more information and advice about which grant programme is best suited to your institution, please contact Anouk Laverge.

the fund



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