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The importance of international collaboration
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The importance of international collaboration

8 June 2021

Internationalization has been a key objective of the Creative Industries Fund NL since its inception in 2013. By means of the Grant Programme Internationalization and its replacement in COVID-19 time, the Temporary Procedure for International Collaboration (TPIS), the Fund offers support opportunities to makers and designers to enable and continue collaboration with international partners. Commissioned by the Fund, Joanna van der Zanden, curator en advisor, has conducted a study under applicants to the Grant Programme Internationalization into the effects in recent years on the design sector. She has also investigated the need in the field and the effect of COVID-19 for international cooperation.
what is the importance of internationalization for the design field?
Joanna van der Zanden: 'First of all, I would like to mention that all the interviewees and respondents were extremely positive about the Internationalization programme. In general, you can say that it is good to be able to question the culture that has built you, and that is achieved better by operating internationally. In order to stay sharp, the entire field – makers, researchers, producers and intermediaries – needs this international context. Dealing with and learning from cultural differences and working on a different scale and within other locales provide new insights that strengthen the field artistically and feed its innovative power. Sometimes these insights lead to a transformational change of direction in one's own practice, and sometimes to a surprising collaboration or new assignments. What most interviewees and respondents agree on is that they could not have developed their design practice as successfully without the international experience. We need international exchange to continue nurturing the artistic and innovative power of the Dutch design field. In addition, international investment of time and resources also pays off in our own country. Anyone who stands out internationally enjoys greater prestige, media attention and opportunities in the Netherlands: ranging from a purchase of work by a museum to a chair at the university.'

'Recognizing the differences opens up equality in collaboration. This is where the challenge lies.'


were any differences observed per discipline?
Joanna: 'The need for internationalization is partly felt because the Netherlands for many designers is too small a country to build up a flourishing practice. For example, the assignment market is too small for designers. Starting designers and younger brands in particular benefit greatly from the support of a presentation at a fair or festival abroad. Mediating parties are often mentioned as indispensable because their knowledge of the international or local market and their network are of great importance for successful follow-up steps. Architects, researchers and landscape architects often indicate that the experimental scale in the Netherlands is too small. There is a need for research and pilot projects that explore themes such as circular energy, sustainable water supply, self-sufficiency and housing issues, and that is not always possible in the Netherlands. The field is too small for makers within digital culture. Digital culture is an international network, people seek each other out and stimulate and develop the discipline jointly. Without presentations and collaboration abroad, you can't build a career as a maker.'

where do the challenges lie?
Joanna: 'The criticisms about the objective of internationalization stem from the observation that an overly convinced and complacent attitude about one's own qualities can get in the way of exchange and undermine local sensitivity. A deep awareness of one's own background and privileges are important for a good relationship. Although Dutch design is still highly regarded internationally and opens many doors, it would be good if people were to name what they are less good at. What makes you curious? What do you want to learn? The challenges that designers can contribute to are the same worldwide, but the contexts differ, however subtly. It is from these differences that the field can learn. Recognizing the differences opens up equality in collaboration. This is where the challenge lies. Because really getting to understand each other takes time. Support is needed for projects and programmes that span longer periods of time or are allowed to go through different phases. There is also a need for more residencies abroad. These are plentiful for visual artists but scarce for the design field.'

'Support is needed for projects and programmes that span longer periods of time or are allowed to go through different phases.'


what have been the most startling effects of COVID-19 on international collaboration according to the respondents?
The study took place partly in the middle of the pandemic. When asked whether they thought international collaboration would be permanently changed by COVID-19, 96% of respondents answered in the affirmative.
Joanna: 'In addition to the direct negative economic effects of COVID-19 due to the disappearance of festivals, fairs and presentations, the lack of physical contact was often mentioned. This is precisely what is so important for a good exchange and understanding. It is also more difficult to build relationships and networks during this period. Many contacts made during fairs and festivals arise spontaneously, by chance. That is missing now. However, positive effects of this situation were also mentioned. The process is quicker and solutions can be found more quickly with the foreign partner. Explorations in collaboration also turn out to be perfectly possible online. And with the help of more local people, building presentations can also be done remotely. In economic terms, a number of respondents have seen growth in online sales and new sales markets as a result. Furthermore, the past year has proved to be a period of innovation, for instance looking for other presentation possibilities and setting up fairs. This is quite a challenge, and for a number of respondents it will mean the end of an existing business model for now, but the questions will stimulate the development of new possibilities. How do you convey the physical well virtually? What can the constructive utilization of Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality mean for international exchange? And how do you interact with the audience from a distance?'

The study asked about choices related to sustainability and internationalization – what were the responses?
Joanna: 'More than 90% of the respondents are open to making sustainable choices, or are already doing so. People want to fly less and travel by train more, including outside Europe, and when they are abroad, they want to stay there longer or combine several trips. We're moving to 'digital first', 'travel light' and 'stay longer'.'

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29 projects selected in Design round 2 – 2021

15 July 2021

In the second Design round of 2021, 29 proposals have been selected. Coordinator Eva Roolker reflects on the round.
general impression
All the positively assessed applications received grants in this round. Almost half the applications concerned a starting grant. The selection was made from a wide range of projects: ranging from physical and online exhibitions to publications, films and documentaries, objects and dishes. The projects often focus on current themes.

diversity and inclusion
A current theme that plays a role in many applications is diversity and inclusion. Three projects in which the theme is approached differently are '100 Opheto', 'Beeldbank' and 'De ambassade van de Noordzee bouwt het Audement'.

100 Opheto – Wintertuin Curaçao
'100 Opheto' tells the story of Curaçao's history through the narrative of 100 evocative objects, with the aim of bringing cultural heritage to life and providing connection in a time of division, inequality and uncertainty. Central to this project is the question of how the connecting power of design, storytelling and heritage can be utilized to look with confidence to the collective future of Curaçaoans. The objects and their underlying stories will be presented in the form of a podcast, a digital collection and a book, and possibly at a physical location during Dutch Design Week 2021.

Beeldkracht – DRIFT
In this project, illustrator and researcher at DRIFT Maria Fraaije focuses on the visual discourse concerning the energy transition. She describes the visual language used as exclusionary with optimistic, stylized photos and infographics of technology and often only white, male figures. According to Maria Fraaije, this is at odds with the inclusive goals of the transition: everyone must participate to save us from climate change. With an online image bank of open-access illustrations, she aims to paint a more human and inclusive picture of the energy transition, to allow more people to feel involved in this task.

De Ambassade van de Noordzee bouwt het Audement – Stichting Partizan Publik
The Ambassade van de Noordzee's mission is to listen to the sea and to recognize the North Sea as a political player in its own right. Together with a scenographer, architects, an anthropologist and a lawyer, De Ambassade is building 'Het Audement', a new political space where listening is central and where non-people are heard.
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Beeldkracht – DRIFT

Other notable projects in this round include:

Adaptable Auxetics – Fillip Studios
Fillip Studios researches and develops unique randomly generated 2D virtual auxetic structures by using 3D printing to physically make and deform them in a spatial installation. With the help of a starting grant, an exploratory feasibility study was carried out into the possibilities, design potential and technical feasibility of these structures, which do not shrink over the width when stretched lengthwise, but in fact also stretch in the width. The envisaged installation will be exhibited at various locations, combined with meetings with professionals in order to further develop the application possibilities of the technology.

Stitch Your Brain – Jap Sam Books
Publisher Jap Sam Books is working with designer/visual artist Monika Auch and graphic design studio Joost Grootens on an English-language publication resulting from the 'Stitch Your Brain Project', a long-term, international, empirical and visual research project at the interface of textile design and science. The project interweaves the workings of the brain with the workings of the hands and the craft of making. How does using digital tools instead of making by hand and having contact with materials affect our creativity, well-being, health and self-esteem?

The Miracle – Keplerfilm
The short animated film 'The Miracle' by Nina Deutz is about a woman with an unfulfilled desire for children. The film tells the story of Irma, a 40-year-old woman who spends her holiday at an all-inclusive resort that turns out to be aimed mainly at young families. Surrounded by pregnant women and couples with children, unexpected and double feelings about motherhood intrude. The Miracle is realized in the unique combination of 2D and stop-motion animation techniques used by Deutz.

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Stitch Your Brain – Jap Sam Books

Click here for all the projects selected in Design round 2 – 2021

numbers
Of the 69 subsidy applications taken into consideration, 29 are receiving grants. This brings the percentage of applications receiving grants to 42%. The deadline for the third Design round in 2021 is 11 August. The next deadline after that is 29 September 2021.
Please note: in the week commencing 26 July, the online application environment will not be available due to maintenance work.

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Open Call Professionalization and deepening of the practice (during and after COVID-19) #8

15 July 2021

COVID-19 has created new challenges in many practices. With an extra impulse, the Creative Industries Fund NL is now offering professionals within the fields of design, architecture and digital culture the opportunity to develop a distinctive strategy to achieve a future-proof practice. Proposals may be submitted until Wednesday 8 September 2021.
The COVID-19 crisis has greatly increased the urgency to professionalize and think strategically about the future. More than ever, we have experienced that ongoing assignments can suddenly grind to a halt, and that acquiring new assignments has become a lot more challenging due to the disappearance of informal encounters. How can you achieve new forms of acquisition? How do you ensure that you remain visible and distinctive to others? And what is the best way to innovate your practice? A long-term vision and strategy, both in artistic and entrepreneurial terms, are therefore of great importance. But how do you find a good balance between the two?

This open call provides an opportunity to conduct research in the areas of professionalization, reflection and deepening of the practice. We expect applicants to provide insight in particular into a vision for the future and problem definition in their proposal, and to set out a long-term development plan, involving at least two partners or advisers. In this way, the Fund aims to strengthen the design field and boost connections between culture, entrepreneurship and society. The open call is being issued for the eighth time and it focuses on the fields of design, architecture and digital culture and every possible crossover between these disciplines.

submission
Proposals can be submitted until Wednesday 8 September 2021.
Read more about the Open Call and procedure here.
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31 experienced agencies selected in Open Call Building Talent

15 July 2021

In the first part of the Open Call Building Talent, 31 experienced design agencies were selected. In the second part of the open call, they will be paired with talented, starting makers or designers to work together for three months on a topical design task. If you are interested, check here which conditions you must meet.
In response to the Open Call Building Talent for experienced design agencies, the Fund received 55 diverse proposals from across the creative industry. The applications were submitted for advice to an independent selection committee consisting of Jeroen van Erp (founder of Fabrique, Professor of Concept Design at TU Delft), Esther Muñoz Grootveld (head of programme State of Fashion, co-initiator of Taskforce Fashion), Ella Buzo (programme developer digital culture at Tetem) and Joost Emmerik (urban designer, landscape architect). They selected 31 solid proposals, with relevant tasks that both align well with their own expertise and are important for the design field. It is striking that a large proportion of the applications focus on social innovation. The selected design agencies offer starting designers and makers a place where they can gain knowledge and experience and expand their network, where they receive adequate guidance, and where there is also room for their own input and a different sound from a new generation.

selection
The following design agencies were selected:

Fillip Studios
Circus Andersom
VRP architecten
Kode21
MAISON the FAUX
Siba Sahabi
Redrum Bureau B.V.
Play the City
Het Huis van Betekenis
Summum (photo above)
Studio Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters
radartoren architectuur
Frits van Dongen architecten en planners
Maatschap Observatorium
Beyond Space
Real Comics
Gerjanne van Gink
Lucas Maassen
Mooves
Matthias Kreuitzer
Cityförster Rotterdam
LABELEDBY.
Stichting Creative Coding Utrecht
roomforthoughts
Vandejong
Hozan Zangana studio
Mauroparravicini Architects
Officina Corpuscoli
XML
Studio Harris Blondman
Afdeling Buitengewone Zaken
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Mooves

Read more about the selected design agencies and research proposals here.

subsequent procedure
The selected proposals will be included in the second part of the Open Call Building Talent for starting designers. They can subscribe to one of the selected assignments from the design agencies until 31 August 2021. After selection and successful matching of the starting designers with the design agency's research proposal, both parties can begin the collaborative programme. A repeat of this open call for experienced design agencies will follow in August, and a research proposal can again be submitted for a three-month collaborative programme in the spring of 2022.

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Officina Corpuscoli
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Open Call Building Talent 2021 for starting makers and designers

15 July 2021

The Fund is looking for starting makers and designers within the disciplines of architecture, design and digital culture who would like to participate in a three-month collaborative programme with experienced design agencies. In this first round, there are 31 spots available at a range of design agencies and practices across the entire breadth of the creative industries. Starting makers and designers can now subscribe to proposals submitted by experienced design agencies. You can subscribe up until 31 August 2021.
By means of this open call, the Creative Industries Fund NL is offering starting makers and designers the opportunity to work with experienced agencies on topical issues and design tasks. The programme involves a three-month working period, during which the starter will work directly with an experienced professional to explore a specific subject in greater depth.

From 17 May until 21 June, experienced design agencies were able to submit their research proposal. This concerned a design task, research question or experiment formulated by the agency. An external advisory committee has selected 31 applications from these proposals.

Until 31 August 2021, starting makers and designers can subscribe to one of these selected proposals. Based on the motivation and the profile, an external advisory committee will make a match between an experienced design agency and the starter. The Fund will then provide a grant to both parties. Subscribing to one of the tasks is relatively easy and takes little time.

submission
Starting makers and designers can subscribe to one of the selected research proposals from the design agencies until 31 August.
Read more about the open call here.
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Extra subsidy possibility Immerse\Interact XL Grant Scheme

14 July 2021

For the 31 August 2021 application round of the Immerse\Interact Grant Scheme, there is the possibility of an additional realization contribution: Immerse\Interact XL. The subsidy possibility is aimed at projects where COVID-19 has eliminated chances for the required additional Dutch or international funding.
In addition to the existing subsidy options within the Immerse\Interact Grant Scheme, there is an extra possibility in the round of 31 August: Immerse\Interact XL. The available budget stems from the COVID-19 support measures taken by the Ministry. The Immerse\Interact XL Grant Scheme is a stimulus for projects within the interdisciplinary media landscape.

extra impulse
The aim of the Immerse\Interact XL Grant Scheme is to give makers of immersive and interactive works an extra impulse and to provide them with additional support for their projects. The XL grants of up to € 200,000 per project can be used for activities to realize the high international ambitions, add production value and provide space for groundbreaking media research in an international context.

who is this for?
For the Immerse\Interact XL Grant Scheme, we are looking for distinctive, ambitious immersive and/or interactive media projects that have the potential to appeal to an international audience. New projects, but also projects with international potential that have already received a development or realization contribution from Immerse\Interact, but where chances to receive the required additional international funding have been lost due to COVID-19, can submit an application.

Netherlands Film Fund
The Immerse\Interact XL Grant Scheme is a collaboration between the Creative Industries Fund NL and the Netherlands Film Fund. Applications can only be submitted in digital form to the Netherlands Film Fund. For more information click here, or contact Nienke Doekes, project supervisor Selective Funding Netherlands Film Fund or Sean Gilis, coordinator Immerse\Interact Grant Scheme at Creative Industries Fund NL.

Photo above: Voor Liefde: Klik op F, Maarten Groen
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Soulpaint, Monobanda
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