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Interview Marjan van Aubel | Future work
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Interview Marjan van Aubel | Future work

6 February 2019

Marjan van Aubel trained as a product designer at the Amsterdam Rietveld Academy and the Royal College of Art in London. For a number of years now, she has been profiling herself as a solar designer and is focusing on the smarter application of solar cells, in the hope of accelerating the sustainability of our society and creating awareness about our energy consumption. This did not go unnoticed, because in recent years she received a WIRED's Innovation Award, was voted Radical Innovator and Swarovski named her Designer of the Future.
Material experimentation, knowledge development and the achievement of social change are central to the work of Marjan van Aubel. To this end, she collaborates extensively with scientists, technicians and institutions, such as ECN.TNO (Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands) currently. She was able to bring the focus to her work thanks to a talent development grant from the Creative Industries Fund NL. “With a practice that you have to keep running every day, there is little room left for reflection and experimentation.The working grant gave me time to determine my direction and allowed me to invest a great deal specifically in materials research”, explains Marjan.

experiment
In her first designs as a solar designer, Marjan van Aubel investigated ways to incorporate solar cells into existing objects that are common in our daily lives in an aesthetically pleasing and natural way. One of the results was the Current Table, the first piece of furniture that is able to generate energy indoors thanks to a glass top which incorporates solar cells. This table is no longer just a table, but also a small power plant. She also developed a window that, in a similar way to the table, generates its own electricity from daylight and colour. Thanks to these types of designs, solar cells can be integrated into our daily lives in more and more ways, on a small but also much larger scale, for instance in greenhouse horticulture.
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'Current Table' Photos: Mitch Payne

“During the first phase, I experimented with as many applications of the solar cells as possible. My starting point is always: what resources are available and how can you use them? In addition, I try to think about how we will deal with energy in the future,” says Marjan. “With Swarovski I have developed an installation that increases the efficiency of solar cells thanks to the use of crystals. And now I am working with ECN.TNO to develop the aesthetic quality of solar cells. The first solar cell was built in 1883. Over the years they have become much more efficient and cheaper while their appearance has hardly changed at all. But if you want to accelerate the energy transition and make solar panels a success, they have to be much more desirable and better integrated into our environment.”

collaboration
She has someone who supports her in her business and works a lot with interns, but otherwise most of the collaborations she enters into are outside the design world. Marjan does not have any difficulty achieving these partnerships. “You can't do these kinds of research projects on your own, especially if you want them to have an impact. At ECN.TNO I work together with a team of product developers that includes physicists. I get plenty of explanation about the technical aspects and learn how the industry works. At the same time I bring my own knowledge and, in particular, an alternative approach. In industry, they work towards a final goal via a preconceived step-by-step plan. But that leaves little room for taking new paths when appropriate. My approach is rather unfamiliar to them, but they do see that it achieves results.”

In addition to the questions she herself lays at the door of other parties, Marjan van Aubel is increasingly being approached by companies. They are keen to work with her and if it fits in with her projects, she does. “To begin with, I sometimes received sceptical reactions to my work from the scientific community; it takes a while before people start taking you seriously. So it's a real pleasure when a glass manufacturer approaches you and asks you to jointly develop glass based on solar cells.”

'The grant gave me space for experimentation and research, I was able to expand my network and I could engage a coach. '


professionalization
Collaborating with other parties also means concluding contracts, and that is not always easy. With large parties such as ECN.TNO, these are extensive documents that don't simply get signed. You have to deal with legal departments and make sure that you are well covered yourself. So Marjan became a member of the BNO. “It's a good feeling when a lawyer reads a contract with you, especially when there's a lot at stake. The legal advice you receive also helps you to assess the consequences better. It is also good that the BNO has many model contracts such as General Terms and Conditions. I use these regularly.”

At the moment Marjan van Aubel is also supported by the Fund. For her collaboration with ECN.TNO, she submitted an application for the Open Call Fresh Perspectives, which is aimed at supporting collaborations with knowledge centres. “The Fund really has been very important for my development, and still is. When I applied for the talent development grant, I had to decide what I wanted to do with my work. The grant gave me space for experimentation and research, I was able to expand my network enormously because I could attend lectures and seminars and I could engage a coach who helped me determine my focus. I can only advise others to consider carefully what they want to achieve with their work when applying for a grant. And realize that self-reflection takes time; you have to take that time as well.

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'Cyanometer' in collaboration with Swarovski

If you would like to know more about the Creative Industries Fund NL's Talent Development working grant, click here. The deadline for applying for talent development grants for 2020 is 6 March 2019. Are you curious to know who received support in recent years through the Talent Development grant programme? Platform Talent provides an overview of all the supported designers and makers.

This interview is part of a series of three. In the upcoming weeks there will follow more interviews via our newsletter.

more news

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CityLab: local action or international movement?

5 June 2019

In the context of the WeMakeThe.City festival, Creative Industries Fund NL and Play the City are organizing 'CityLab: local action or international movement' in Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam. This session takes place during the Urban conference Common Ground on Wednesday 19 June 2019, from 14.30 – 16.30. Experts from the Netherlands and Turkey share their experiences of new forms of co-creation and the impact of CityLabs on the future development of our built environment.
About 50 CityLabs (Stadslabs) have been mobilized since 2014 in Dutch cities by the Creative Industries Fund NL. Bringing design and co-creation to the formulation of socially and environmentally inclusive strategies, Dutch cities will continue the movement under the programme: 'Anders Werken aan de Stad, Dorp en Land' (a different approach to the city, village and country). This programme focuses on local governments and concentrates on the co-creative approach to 'city-making'. Local governments build up a CityLab together with designers, all the possible stakeholders and the residents, and work in a co-creative process to address current spatial and social issues in their own municipality.

While CityLabs are maturing and developing new forms of co-creation processes, similar spaces for local action are developing worldwide. They are becoming an integral part of the official unilateral planning we know from last century.

What could the impact of CityLabs be in the future? Could they become a worldwide movement? What is the position of CityLabs within the international context? What are potential roles for a CityLab in diverse political regimes? With guests from Turkey, we focus on the case of the Mersin CityLab currently being established, while looking into the future of CityLabs in the second decade of the 21st century.

Photo above: Ekim Tan
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New temporary Digital Heritage x Public grant programme

3 June 2019

The Netherlands is rich in digital heritage. The Cabinet is making extra funds available in 2019 and 2020 to stimulate the visibility and use of this heritage. The Creative Industries Fund NL, the Mondriaan Fund and the Cultural Participation Fund have joined forces and developed three complementary grant programmes. Makers and cultural institutions are being encouraged to work together to develop new uses and increase the visibility of digital heritage to a broad public.
Our history and culture are recorded in detail in the digital or digitized collections and archives of various museums, libraries and specialized institutions. These databases and archives are a rich source for new stories, but all too often they are unintentionally hidden from a large group of people.

additional resources
By now, the Digital Heritage Network (NDE) has laid the foundations for sustainable digital availability of heritage. The additional resources released by the government in 2019 and 2020 are specifically intended to increase the visibility and use of digital archives and collections. The common objective of the three funds' programmes is to give a broad public a new perspective on the value of our digital heritage. In this way, special and inspirational experiences are created, which tie in with current developments.

impulse from cultural funds
The Creative Industries Fund NL, Mondriaan Fund and Cultural Participation Fund are each designing a stimulus measure from their own perspective. In so doing, we are opting for a broad impulse to encourage the use and visibility of digital heritage. The Cultural Participation Fund focuses on the creative use of the collections by young people, the Mondriaan Fund contributes to making digitized heritage collections more accessible to the public and the Creative Industries Fund NL invests in new stories created by consortia of makers from the creative industry. The funds will share the proceeds of the grant programmes with the field in coordination with DEN (the knowledge institute for culture and digitization) and the NDE.

temporary digital heritage x public grant programme
As a designer, maker or design bureau, how do you make heritage visible to a broad public and which perspective, innovative application or intervention do you choose to shed new light on the heritage? With two selection rounds that focus on this question, the Fund aims to improve the visibility and utilization of digital collections in an innovative way, through the joint efforts of designers and heritage institutions. The first deadline is Thursday 5 September 2019.

Click here for more information about applying for the temporary Digital Heritage x Public grant programme.

Mondriaan Fund programme
Cultural Participation Fund programme

funding
The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has made € 3.5 million available for the period 2019-2020. These resources are divided equally between the three participating funds.
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11 June: Get a Grant Architect

3 June 2019

When can you, as an architect, apply for a subsidy from the Creative Industries Fund NL, how does it work and what do you need to be aware of? On 11 June 2019, we are organizing an information session for architects who have already graduated or are close to graduation. Curious? Sign up and come along to Get a Grant Architect in POST Rotterdam.
During the Get a Grant Architect event, Architecture coordinator Maarten Tas will provide an overview of the grant possibilities that the Fund can offer young architects. Arna Mačkić (Studio L A) and Christopher de Vries (Rademacher de Vries) will then use their own work to explain what the support they received from the Fund has given them, and how they approached applying for subsidy. At the end, there is an opportunity to ask questions and for individual discussions. Marieke Berkers, architectural historian and former advisor to the Fund, is the moderator of the evening. The language is Dutch.

Fund
The Creative Industries Fund NL is the cultural fund for architecture, design, digital culture and all possible crossovers. In addition to providing project subsidies from the various grant programmes such as Architecture, Design and Digital culture, the Fund makes a working grant available annually within the Talent development grant programme to some 25 talented young designers/makers for their artistic and professional development.

Date: Tuesday 11 June 2019
Time: 19.30 - 21.30 (doors open 19.15)
Location: POST Rotterdam, Coolsingel 42, Rotterdam
Admission: free
Register: here

Speakers: Arna Mačkić (Studio L A) and Christopher de Vries (Rademacher de Vries)
Moderator: Chris Luth (architect and curator)
Language: Dutch
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13 June: Get a Grant Arnhem

3 June 2019

When can you apply for a grant, how does it work and what do you need to be aware of? The Mondriaan Fund and the Creative Industries Fund NL are jointly organizing an information session on grant possibilities for artists and designers who have already graduated or are close to graduation. Come along to the Get a Grant Event at ArtEZ College of the Arts in Arnhem on Thursday 13 June 2019.
The Get a Grant Event gives an overview of what the Mondriaan Fund and Creative Industries Fund NL can offer young creative professionals. Are you looking for funding for your project or practice? Staff from the two funds will tell you about the subsidy possibilities: when can you apply for a grant, how does it work and what do you need to be aware of? In addition, a visual artist and a designer will talk about their experiences in submitting an application and answer questions from the public. Afterwards you can ask the speakers specific questions.

This meeting is the first in a series of three Get a Grant information sessions that the Mondriaan Fund and the Fund are organizing throughout the country this year.

Mondriaan Fund
The Mondriaan Fund is the public fund for visual arts and cultural heritage. The Fund offers, among other things, a range of contribution possibilities for artists and mediators (curators and critics) in the areas of talent development and deepening of the practice.

Creative Industries Fund
The Creative Industries Fund NL is the cultural fund for architecture, design, digital culture and every imaginable crossover. In addition to providing project subsidies from the various grant programmes such as Design and Digital Culture, the Fund makes a working grant available annually within the Talent Development grant programme to some 25 talented young designers/makers for their artistic and professional development.

Date: Thursday 13 June 2019
Time: 14.00 - 16.00 (doors open 13.30, after 15.30 possibility for individual questions to the speakers)
Location: ArtEZ College of the Arts, Onderlangs 9 (lecture hall M3.07) Arnhem
Admission: free
Registering: sign up here using the registration form

Spekers: designer Julia Janssen, artist Julius Thissen
Moderator: Peter van der West
Session language: English
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Open Call Researching Remix

9 May 2019

Do you use 'remix' as a method to achieve innovative and experimental work? And within your practice, do you reflect on themes such as balance of power, ownership, appropriation and social inequality? For the Researching Remix Open Call, Metro54 and the Creative Industries Fund NL invite makers, collectives, organizers and thinkers to submit a project proposal. The deadline is Tuesday 2 July. The results of the selected works will be presented at the Dutch Design Week in October.
collaboration between the Fund and Metro54
As a platform, Metro54 follows experimental and innovative art, design, fashion, architecture, music and digital expressions very closely. In 2019, Metro54 is organizing the travelling annual programme Re-mix and Re-search: whose cultural appropriation is this?. This programme investigates the theme of cultural appropriation within contemporary urban arts & culture and is being realized in collaboration with the Creative Industries Fund NL.

open call
Remix as a methodology and research method has a significant influence in urban arts & culture. We are interested in projects that are able to relate critically to this influence and, in so doing, reflect on themes such as the balance of power, ownership and cultural appropriation.
For this open call we are looking for new, interdisciplinary and many-voiced remix work that contributes to innovation in the fields of (graphic) productions, graphic design, fashion, architecture, visual culture and digital culture. Themes such as agency, recognition and ownership play an important role in the intended projects. We are also particularly interested in how remix as a research method or methodology plays a role in your practice proposal.

group exhibition
The selected proposals for new work will be presented during the Dutch Design Week 2019 in Eindhoven as part of the exhibition and programme This is a Take-Over: Researching Remix. In this way, curator Metro54 wants to draw attention to design, reflection and research within urban arts & culture.

meetup
If you would like to present an idea or if you have any questions about the open call, come to the in-store meetup on Thursday 6 June from 19:00 to 21:00 at Daily Paper in Amsterdam. Metro54 and Fund staff will be present.

contact
If you have any questions about the content of this open call, you can also contact Metro54. For questions about submitting your proposal, please contact Sean Gillis or Zineb Seghrouchni or by telephone at 010 436 16 00.

practical information about your application

Who can submit a proposal?
Individual makers, designers, thinkers, collectives and organizers of new, interdisciplinary and diverse work can submit a proposal.

When is the deadline?
you can submit your application here
the open call closes on 2 July 2019
the selection will be announced in the third week of July

What is the available budget?
maximum € 4,000 per proposal for making new work (including VAT, where applicable)
a minimum of four proposals will be supported

What do you need to provide?
portfolio
project plan: in text and/or images; the inclusion of web links to online material, films, etc. is permitted
proof of the applying party's registration with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KvK)

What is the evaluation of the proposal based on?
vision on remix as a research method and methodology
extent to which reflection on themes that influence urban arts & culture has been developed
boldness and inventiveness
feasibility of the proposal
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When can you, as an architect, apply for a subsidy from the Creative Industries Fund NL, how does it work and what do you need to be aware of? On 11 June 2019, we are organizing an information session... more >
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When can you apply for a grant, how does it work and what do you need to be aware of? The Mondriaan Fund and the Creative Industries Fund NL are jointly organizing an information session on grant poss... more >
opencallresearchingremix.png
Do you use 'remix' as a method to achieve innovative and experimental work? And within your practice, do you reflect on themes such as balance of power, ownership, appropriation and social inequality?... more >
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