creative industries fund nl
Selection Open Calls Internationalization: Turkey, Russia, Egypt and Morocco #1

Selection Open Calls Internationalization: Turkey, Russia, Egypt and Morocco #1

4 May 2018

Last December, the Fund issued four different open calls where Dutch designers and cultural organizations were invited to submit a project plan for a project, intervention or process that deploys design for sustainable and inclusive urbanization in Turkey, Morocco, Egypt or Russia. An interdisciplinary committee with expertise in the countries concerned made a selection from 56 proposals.
The 16 selected projects offer opportunities that include improving living conditions and social cohesion, working together with different target groups, utilizing technology for social innovation and exploring new meanings of cultural heritage. This selection provides an initial impulse for setting up and reinforcing collaborations between makers in the four countries and the Netherlands. Where knowledge is developed and shared for the challenges associated with urbanization.

The number of submissions for this first series of open calls was high and almost evenly distributed over the four countries, with Russia standing out with 20 applications. There were also 13 applications for Morocco, 12 for Egypt and 11 for Turkey. Per country, 4 projects were selected for the first phase, with the option for submitting a follow-up application for the second phase.

The following stood out in the submissions per country:

The submissions for Turkey related to both large and small cities, instead of a mono-focus on Istanbul. This distribution of projects over the country makes the proposals interesting and sometimes surprising. A total of 11 applications is a modest harvest of entries, considering the long-standing relationships between the Netherlands and Turkey in the cultural sphere, and the challenges associated with urbanization in Turkey. One possible explanation is that the aim is to achieve collaborations with the local authorities and that is particularly challenging. The composition of the teams and expertise turned out to match only in varying degrees the themes and objectives of the projects, on both the Dutch and Turkish sides. The balance in reciprocity, the relevance of the issue and the approach was good in the selected projects. How collaboration and reciprocity are to be safeguarded and organized in the subsequent course of the projects requires further development for the second phase. The partnerships were the deciding factor for the selection of projects in Turkey.

selected projects Turkey:
Lüleburgaz Bisiklette Biniyor, cycling for a better city
Artgineering/ Novusens/ Sustainable Solutions
Toroslar Interactive CityLab
Ekim Tan, Play the City
Turkish and Dutch Farming Practices
IND International
Izmir Metabolic Cycling Network (IMCN)

Izmir Metabolic Cycling Network (MCN), FABRICations and WRI Turkey

Geographically, the applications were very widespread, from Moscow to Siberia and even Svobodny, towards the borders with China and Japan. This is an interesting and positive yield. The level and quality of the applications varied significantly in the 20 submissions for the open call Russia. Several applications focused on 'mono-towns'. This is the phenomenon of mono-functional cities that in their development – composition of services, economy and inhabitants – specifically focus on a particular industry. In terms of themes, these applications were similar to each other. The differences in approach and method therefore weighed more heavily. Many applications were focused on improving or developing the public space – a development that has recently been utilized in Russian cities. Only a few applications had a distinctive approach to this. One of the reasons for this could be that the same Russian partner, an important player in the development of public space, was often included in the project teams. On the whole, it was noticeable that 2 to 3 Russian partners were frequently mentioned in the applications. A few projects had an extremely good approach with regard to accessing local partners, particularly users, which is one of the greatest challenges in Russia in the area of spatial issues. In general, something that stood out in the budgets was that the hourly rates in Russia are lower in comparison with the rates in the Netherlands. This is a realistic representation and, according to the advisers, it is all the more important to be clear about how the reciprocity has been organized in the collaborative relationship. The approach chosen was decisive when selecting the projects in Russia.

selected projects Russia:
Prototyping Future Energy with HSE
Yin Aiwen
LL Tomsk One - Living Laboratory
LEVS Architecten
The 'Samarsky Yard' - Housing Heritage in the Post-Socialist City
Schiemann Weyers
New Urban Media Centre in Yekaterinburg
SVESMI Holding

New Urban Media Centre in Yekaterinburg, SVESMI HOLDING BV

The submissions for Egypt varied in their approach and the issue chosen. Many projects focused on Cairo, despite the fact that Egypt is a large country. It is, after all, the city where many things are centralized, including art and culture. Cairo is certainly the perfect place to start working in Egypt and to build up relationships from there. The strongest applications were to be found on the interface between art, culture and heritage. They are small in terms of set-up and implementation, but great in potential impact and for knowledge development and sharing. There are still opportunities and scope for small-scale projects in Egypt. Large-scale, urban design projects require collaboration with the authorities at national or local level and that is extremely difficult, perhaps even unrealistic, considering the time frame of the projects. However, the committee noted that heritage as a main theme was conspicuously absent in the applications. This is however a very relevant topic in the Egyptian context, for both material and immaterial heritage. A positive aspect is that a few projects made this connection and took up a position towards approaching heritage from a designer's perspective. It was noticeable that one particular local partner appeared several times in different applications. Building up relationships between various Dutch and Egyptian parties appears to be necessary. On the Dutch side, the main applicant or other parties involved appeared to be less well-matched with the theme or approach. From the applications, it emerged that the necessary cultural sensitivity (from the Dutch perspective) of the social context was not always present. This is crucial when working together on the basis of reciprocity. Deciding factors for the selection of projects in Egypt were the relevance of the themes and the partnerships entered into for the purpose.

selected projects Egypt:
Grounded Urban Practices
Non Fiction & Cluster
Darb el Labana Lab
Bureau LADA & LALA Studio
Hope for Embaba
Connecting Deltas
Shift Works

Darb el Labana Lab, Bureau LADA and LALA Studio

Inspiring approaches to themes and collaborations – ranging from establishment to grassroots – characterized the applications focused on Morocco. There was a good geographical spread: Meknes, Casablanca, Rabat, Tanger in the north and Tiznit in the south. Remarkably enough, no projects focused on Marrakech. In terms of themes, various projects differed significantly in their degree of development. A few projects resembled 'classic' architectural projects that lay close to project development. In addition, the social or cultural significance and aim of the project were not always very clear. A balanced distribution of the budgets between the Dutch and Moroccan parties was not the case in all of the applications. In many projects, the requested amount for the first phase was intended in its entirety for the Dutch party, without clear insight into the contribution from the Moroccan side. Either in kind or financially. How the reciprocity is organized in the collaboration was already described in some project proposals, but attention is required for further development. In a number of applications, a Dutch team member with Moroccan roots is involved. The Moroccan diaspora is a valuable connection in building relationships and understanding between the Netherlands and Morocco, but also in creating together and sharing knowledge. Deciding factors for the selection of projects in Morocco were the approach to the collaboration and the type of projects (study + pilot).

selected projects Morocco:
Affordable Housing Casablanca
Bureau SLA
Network of Research & Architecture BV and MB Paysage
Learning from Tiznit
Slow Research Lab
Sara Frikech

PLAYCITY, Network of Research and Architecture BV & MB Paysage
Composition of the committee

Every open call specifically focused on one of the four countries, but they are all part of a single programme. For this reason the choice was made to put together a special committee, which includes experts per country, who are working in one of the fields of the creative industry and are able to think in an interdisciplinary way. The members of the committee are:

Committee chair: Saskia Ruijsink – senior expert Urban Policy and Planning Institute for Housing and urban development studies (IHS).
Advisor Egypt: Nat Muller – curator, writer and art critic specialized in the Arab world.
Advisor Morocco: Hicham Khalidi – curator Rotterdam Triennale 2020, Lafayette Anticipations - Fondation d'entreprise Galerie Lafayette in Paris, former guest curator Marrakech Biennale.
Advisor Russia: Eva Radionova – landscape architect bureau Novascape, curator and project leader Russian-Dutch projects, guest lecturer at the Academy of Architecture Amsterdam.
Advisor Turkey: Aslı Çiçek – architect and guest professor KU Leuven, works in Brussels and Istanbul.
Generalist advisor: Paula Zijp – project funding coordinator at Triodos Foundation, MSc Cultural Anthropology (Sociocultural Transformation).


The Creative Industries Fund NL is conducting a four-year programme within the policy framework of the International Culture Policy 2017-2020 (objective 2) with funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, entitled 'Inclusive Cities & Societies through Design'. Central to the programme is the role and deployment of design and design thinking to question and provide solutions for rapid urbanization and the corresponding social themes. Cross-disciplinary working with relevant stakeholders in Turkey is encouraged, both within and beyond the design disciplines, where it revolves around providing opportunities for collaboration between Turkey and the Netherlands on an equal footing and strengthening the trust and understanding between the two countries.

Photo above: Grounded Urban Practices, Non Fiction and Cluster

more news


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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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?
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

the fund



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 >
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 >
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 >