creative industries fund nl
Looking back at the Design rounds: what gives a project added value?

Looking back at the Design rounds: what gives a project added value?

13 March 2019

What do the advisors pay attention to and what do they find important in a proposal? We are using this review of the latest Design rounds to highlight a number of aspects of project applications that the committee considers important in a project plan. What were the strengths of the projects that received grants in the latest Design rounds? And what can you learn from them if you want to write an application yourself?
Here are 8 examples with the findings of the committee.

what does the project mean for your practice?
Jef Montes applied for a material and technical study, as part of the development of his new Marinero fashion collection with innovative materials and applications. In the proposal he described very precisely what he was going to do, which partners and knowledge he would utilize, and what this step in the process would mean in concrete terms for the further development of the collection. This specific and well-thought-out design gave the Committee insight into the intended result. The grant gives Montes space to carry out a special research project, the results of which will enrich his collection. The committee expects that a grant for this part will allow Jef Montes to take a new step in his practice.

what special contribution do you make to your field of expertise?
The committee considers it a daring proposal by fashion collective modecollectief Das Leben am Haverkamp to investigate new definitions and the positioning of fashion practices, such as their own practice, which is not aimed at selling clothing. As an example, to gather knowledge the collective invites several experts to visit its studio. The results of these discussions are translated into a methodology for other fashion practices. The committee believes that the collective knows how to position their own practice well within the design field and that they reflect seriously on the meaning of fashion. The committee expects that their sharp analysis and research can contribute greatly to the further development of the collective's own practice and that of others.

what new step are you taking in your practice?
Scenographer and costume designer Joost van Wijmen wants to make his observations about body awareness visible with the project 'ENCOUNTER'. This practice-oriented research project is about experiencing physical contact through performative work. For this, he uses elements from his practice as a costume designer and working method as a scenographer, such as visual language. Van Wijmen is trying to allow 'ENCOUNTER' to grow further and would like to use design research in other domains, such as the care sector, where the body is central. He is using the starting grant to analyze the project and share the results with partners and other stakeholders. In this proposal, the committee sees a special step from a designer who, from a very personal approach, is achieving a more broadly applicable method within a topical theme. The grant will help him to strengthen his position in relation to the partners from other domains and, in so doing, pave the way for other designers as well.
Joost van Wijmen, ENCOUNTER

what is your special position?
The committee describes the portfolio of social designer, communication designer and dentist Kuang-Yi Ku (Studio Ku) as special and idiosyncratic. It is also intrigued by the proposal for 'Millennium Ginseng Project'. Kuang-Yi Ku is developing a futuristic agricultural system to cultivate ginseng under extreme conditions. The project aims to protect endangered plant species and preserve traditional Asian medicine as heritage. The committee appreciates how Kuang-Yi Ku is developing new interdisciplinary research methods that link design and science. In this proposal, it saw Kuang-Yi Ku's various qualities come together.

what makes your project urgent?
Commonplace Studio is working with the Kunstgewerbemuseum in Dresden on a study of ways to utilize design for a new, more social role for museums and a new, relevant narrative about the history of applied art. For this purpose, they are designing new digital media that can be used flexibly and sensitively to tell a more topical and agenda-setting story about the museum's permanent collection. The committee sees finding new forms for telling stories about design and applied art as an urgent task. It expects the research to generate important information for this task.

for museums and institutions
The projects by institutions and museums that are receiving grants show how designers are deployed to add value to an exhibition where design plays a central role.

For the 'Family' exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, designer Manon van Hoeckel was asked to carry out research and to set up a project to bring various families in Schiedam in contact with each other. The research eventually led to the establishment of a hairdresser's in the museum, where visitors could get a free haircut and enter into conversation with other visitors. Hairdressers play an important social role in society; they provide a listening ear and give space for conversation and encounters with 'the other'. The committee sees the role of Manon van Hoeckel as a distinctive contribution to the public reach of the exhibition.

In the Amsterdam Museum's application for 'Fashion Statements', an exhibition with a peripheral programme on fashion, identity and statements from past and present, the committee appreciated the involvement of the curator and designers in the composition of the exhibition programme. Eight contemporary fashion designers were invited to respond to fashion statements from the past and show how these expressions play a role in their own design practice. The committee was positive about the way in which the designers draw on their own experiences to reflect on themes such as identity and diversity. On display in the Amsterdam Museum from 18 April.

In [email protected]'s research project 'Ghosts', the committee appreciated the focus on makers, craftsmen and the workplace. Fifty works created in the work centre over the past fifty years were selected by design historian and critic Glenn Adamson. This selection represents different aspects of and tensions between craftsmanship, technology, experiment, failure, innovation and design quality. The white reproductions of the works, which were created using new digital techniques, are a reflection on fifty years of making, experimenting and innovating with ceramics. In the committee's opinion, this set-up provides relevant new insights into technology and developments for the discipline. The result of the project can be seen in the Design Museum Den Bosch until 19 May.

Kuang-Yi Ku (Studio Ku), Millenium Ginseng Project

deadlines 2019
The following are the closing dates for the Grant Programme for Design in 2019: 27 March, 5 June, 14 August and 16 October. The total budget available for 2019 is € 1,200,000.

Photo: Jef Montes, Marinero

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Selection Open Call Fresh Perspectives #3

17 July 2019

Of the 30 proposals received by the Fund in response to the third Fresh Perspectives Open Call, six new proposals have been selected for a development contribution. This call concerns special forms of collaboration between a designer, maker or studio and a party with a strong social or knowledge position.
The entries were submitted to an independent committee consisting of Albert Herder, architect at STUDIONINEDOTS and lecturer at the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam; René Post, researcher and entrepreneur in the field of digital culture; Yassine Salihine, designer and lecturer in design research at KABK; and Marieke Rietbergen, founder of the Design Innovation Group.

social relevance
The proposals submitted show that the social involvement and ambition of the designers is undiminished. Noticeably often, the focus is on creating awareness of a specific issue among a wider public, for instance urban drought, the lack of access to the housing market for homeless people or the functioning of food chains. But a large number of practical design solutions have also been devised. This is evident, for example, in the selected project by Echter Ontwerp, in which they develop and test a game together with Spirit Jeugdhulp. This game makes the first months of placing a child in a foster family less stressful for both parties. The proportion of projects with a 'green' theme remains high as well. Approximately half of the applications have sustainability, biodiversity and/or climate change as themes. Four of these were selected by the committee. In the field of sustainability, Anthroponix, together with Wageningen University, is developing a product that collects human urine and converts it biologically into a usable fertilizer. While Atelier NL, in collaboration with Bosgroep Zuid, is conducting research into sustainable, local wood production in the Netherlands. Two projects aim to strengthen biodiversity and, as a result, make the built environment literally and figuratively greener: Hosper BV, together with Architectuur Maken and GEP, a company specializing in the sustainable drainage and storage of rainwater, is developing a green drainpipe and Studio Natuur Inclusive and Vogelbescherming are joining forces to strengthen the biodiversity of bird species in 1970s and 1980s neighbourhoods. Finally, a project was selected that focuses on the sustainability and resilience of life without the sun: Oscar Santillan is designing and building a Greenhouse Observatory in collaboration with Leiden University. Algae are grown here using only starlight as an energy source.

The committee evaluated the applications on the basis of the relevance of the assignment, the purpose and set-up of the project, the quality of the work of the designers and the structure of the collaboration. The applications that were not selected fell short on one or more criteria in comparison with the selected projects. Unfortunately, the committee had to conclude that the quality of the entries this year was generally slightly lower than in the previous editions. According to the committee, many applications were leaning towards regular project proposals and lacked the new, surprising perspective that is specifically looked for in this call. It would like to see even more talented designers among the applicants, who are able to find the social connection with a distinctive idea and the right collaboration partner. Like last year, the committee notes that the presentation of the project results should more often take place outside the usual for the design sector, and more among potential users or relevant industries. In many of the proposals, again like last time, the committee was unable to find a positioning of the designer, especially in relation to similar initiatives. Finally, the committee notes with regret that in the area of digital culture and fashion, there were few or no applications this year.

The selected projects for this third edition of the open call show the breadth and possibilities of the creative industry, especially in the areas of methodology and application of design ideas. The advisory committee has confidence in the quality of the selected proposals. In the second phase, a maximum of four of the six selected projects will receive a follow-up grant. The committee wishes the makers a great deal of enjoyment and success with the development phase of the projects and looks forward to the presentation of the results and the pitch for the designers' follow-up project at the end of the year.

The selected projects are:

WildHout-WildWood, Atelier NL
Regenerating Ecologies, Anthroponix
Greenhouse Observatory (working title), Oscar Santillan
Stilstaan, inchecken, thuiskomen | Voor het afbreken van breakdowns in de pleegzorg, Echter Ontwerp
De Groene Regenpijp, Hosper
De Stad als Toevluchtsoord, Studio Natuur Inclusief


Open Call Residency in Arita, Japan 2020

11 July 2019

In 2020, Creative Industries Fund NL and the Mondriaan Fund are once again jointly offering two residency periods in the Japanese ceramics region of Saga. The funds invite designers and artists to submit a proposal by 2 September 2019 at the latest.
The residency in Japan offers highly promising artists and designers the leeway to conduct artistic and technical research and to develop their personal work, which must also lead to intensive interaction with the relevant porcelain manufacturers in the region. An important guiding principle for this residency is to learn special techniques within Japan's oldest ceramics industry and employ them in their own work.

The highly particular Arita porcelain is renowned for its superior quality, most notably the hand-painting it involves. The porcelain industry and the tradition of porcelain painting has existed since 1616. Arita is a small town in the Saga prefecture on Kyushu, which is Japan's third largest island.

The Dutch designer duo Scholten & Baijings and Japanese designer Teruhiro Yanagihara are involved with this celebration as artistic directors of the Arita 2016 project. They have established this residency in association with the Mondriaan Fund and Creative Industries Fund NL in order to stimulate crossovers and experimentation, as well as to initiate new collaborations between Dutch artists & designers and Japanese potteries.

Designers Jan Broekstra, Floris Wubben and artists Henri Jacobs and Ruta Butkute de Roo stayed at the Arita residence in 2016. In 2017, artists Susan Kooi and Helen Frik and designers Tijmen Smeulders and Aliki van der Kruis worked there.
In the summer of 2018 designers Bas van Beek, Franciska Meijers and artists Tilmann Meyer-Faje and Isabel Ferrand will stay in Saga for three months. In 2019 designers Dinie Besems and Viktor Hachmang and artists Antye Günther and duo Heringa/Van Kalsbeek went to Japan.

for who?
The residency can be applied for only by visual artists (via the Mondriaan Fund) or designers (via Creative Industries Fund NL). For applications by duos or cooperatives, each individual involved must submit a separate application. A duo is understood as two artists or designers who produce work together on a structural basis. Duos (project-specific or longer-term) are regarded as collaborations if they submit a joint plan that leads to a single outcome for the work period. In addition, a duo must be prepared to live and work in a single, somewhat confined space.

The artists/designers are expected to possess some basic knowledge of working with ceramics. There is no need for a concrete project proposal, but a good description of plans and ideas that the applicant wants to execute during the work period.

the work period and financial support
The work periods being offered are:

1 June until 31 August 2020
1 September until 30 November 2020

Your preferred residency period should be indicated in your application. If possible, this preference will be respected.

A sum of €9,500 is available for travel, materials and transportation expenses for each period. The residents should reserve €1,500 to remunerate the potters for their guidance during the work process. The costs of the studio, the living space and support will be paid directly to Arita by the Dutch Embassy in Tokyo.

The proposal can be submitted via the Fund's online application environment. Select the round 'Open Call Residency Arita, Japan 2020'.

more information
Read more information about the open call here.


4 July: Meet-up Moscow

27 June 2019

On Thursday, 4 July, Creative Industries Fund NL and the Dutch Embassy organise a meet-up in Moscow around the projects selected from a series of open calls, issued by the Fund. Six Dutch-Russian teams run cultural projects in which design (thinking) plays a role in contributing to more inclusive cities and societies in several places in Russia. Feel welcome to join our meet-up, if you're curious about how Dutch-Russian teams work on urban issues from different perspectives.
During this meet-up the Russian team members of the six design teams will share insights on the themes they are working on related to street culture, identity, citizenship, heritage, appropriation of public space and new relationships between the city and the countryside. It is a joint learning programme to share knowledge on how design can contribute to these issues from a cultural starting point.

meet-up Moscow
The meet-up is being held from 3 to 5 PM on Thursday, 4 July 2019.

time: 3 to 5 PM (EEST), with refreshments. Doors open at 3 PM.
venue: Embassy of The Kingdom of The Netherlands, Kalashny pereulok 6
language: English
RSVP: [email protected]

Please make sure you have a valid ID with you, else you can't enter.

presentation programme
The Samarsky Yard - Samara State University, several Russian experts and Schiemann Weyers architects
In the post-socialist city of Samara, the historical centre is being demolished. Consisting of historical heritage, the 'Wooden City' and the courtyards within it have much value for the identity of the city. Only a small, select group of citizens is actively against the destruction of the historical buildings and values. In this project, the team investigates how to bridge the gap between the campaign groups, citizens, developers, and authorities.

New Urban Media Centre in Yekaterinburg - SVESMI and Municipal Association of Libraries (MAL), the culture department of the municipality of Yekaterinburg and The July 16 Agency
The project builds on the physical structure of municipal libraries remaining from the socialist welfare system that continue to have a strong social role and reputation. However, the network of libraries is in need of renewal in order to better connect with contemporary society. The team wants to transform one of these libraries into a prototype in which design, new technology and cultural programming are used to create a new public space.

The following projects will give a short pitch, since they have only recently finished a start phase and awaiting to start up the next phase.

Murmansk ProjectFriday Milk and Sonic Acts
Sonic Acts Foundation and Friday Milk are giving young, talented Russian and Dutch makers in the field of Digital Culture the opportunity to create new work that would help the locals to feel more connected to the identity of their city.

Who owns the river?Street Art Research Institute and Maatschap Observatorium
In 'Who owns the river?', Maatschap Observatorium and Street Art Research Institute St. Petersburg link the twin cities of Rotterdam and St. Petersburg on the basis of a shared interest in developing the public space along the riverbank.

What do Landscapes say?Nomaos
Nomaos is a diverse group of young Russian and Dutch researchers and designers who are investigating the diverse relationships between landscapes and identities in Russia. Starting form an exemplary case study.

Palaces of Culture in the former USSR - DVN Architect, Voronezh State Technical University, municipality of Voronezh
DVN Architect is conducting typological research for new functions and identities for Palaces of Culture in Russia. The Palaces of Culture form a network of buildings remaining from the Soviet times.

Photo above: Khalid Amakran

Open Call Talent Development in International Context 2019

19 June 2019

The Creative Industries Fund NL invites architects, designers, makers, critics and/or curators with an exemplary and/or distinctive practice in the creative industry to submit a project application for an international project. A stipulation for support is that the project involves a collaboration and presentation with an international institution, organization or company with an excellent reputation. With the Open Call for Talent Development in an International Context, the Fund is stimulating the artistic and professional development of designers who are embarking on an exceptional collaboration with a foreign partner. This is the second open call in a series of three that will be issued each autumn through to 2020.
open call set-up
For this open call, the Creative Industries Fund NL is making € 75,000 available in 2019. Depending on the project, the collaborations can take a diversity of forms, for instance a research project, presentation or residency. The Fund is making a fixed sum of € 12,500 available for a residency and € 25,000 for other forms of collaboration.

The stipulations for being eligible for a grant are:
the project should take place largely or entirely outside the Netherlands;
the designer/maker/architect must have an exemplary and/or distinctive practice;
the designer/maker/architect has Dutch nationality or a practice that is registered in the Netherlands;
the foreign partner enjoys an excellent reputation;
there needs to be a reasonable amount of co-funding, of which a substantial proportion will be contributed by the foreign partner;
a form of presentation that is relevant for the project is included at the conclusion of the process;
there is no question of a commissioner/client relationship between the two parties.

You can find an overview here and here of projects that were supported in previous rounds of the Open Call Talent Development in an International Context:

The application can be submitted until Wednesday 4 September 2019 at the latest via the Creative Industries Fund NL's online application environment.

more information
Find more information about the Open Call here.

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

the fund



In 2020, Creative Industries Fund NL and the Mondriaan Fund are once again jointly offering two residency periods in the Japanese ceramics region of Saga. The funds invite designers and artists to sub... more >