Inclusive Cities and Societies through Design

The Fund is dedicated to stimulating international sharing and collaborations with the Dutch creative industry. Within the Inclusive Cities & Societies through Design grant scheme, we do this with a specific goal, namely to contribute to a safe, just and future-proof world through culture.

The Fund stimulates international sharing and collaborations with the Dutch creative industry by means of various grant schemes and open calls in the Internationalization programme. One specific part of this is the international Inclusive Cities & Societies through Design grant scheme, through which the Fund stimulates the power of design in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (11 and 16).

The programme Inclusive Cities & Societies through Design was started within the International Culture Policy 2017-2020 policy framework and with financing from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the policy period 2017-2020, this part of the programme focussed on the geographical denominator TREM, referring to the countries Turkey, Russia, Egypt and Morocco, which lie on the periphery of Europe. In the policy period 2021-2024, collaborations and the exchange of knowledge with various countries in Africa and the Middle East are central and the Fund will mainly focus on supporting local research and experiments. The Building Beyond programme is one of the means of achieving this.


The role and deployment of design/design thinking in the challenges that are involved in the rapid urbanization in Turkey, Russia, Egypt and Morocco are central to the TREM programme. Designing inclusive public spaces, developing good, affordable housing and new forms of circular design are a few examples of these challenges. The open calls that were set up led to 94 proposals for collaborative projects, 26 of which were supported in the initial and implementation phase. In the course of the programme, participants were encouraged to exchange knowledge and expertise, strengthen their networks and organize new collaborations with relevant stakeholders, both within and outside the design disciplines. The results of the programme were recorded in the publication Tales of the TREM.

Building Beyond
With Building Beyond, Inclusive Cities & Societies through Design has been given a follow-up in the new policy period. In this programme’s first phase, the focus lies on collaborations and the exchange of knowledge with Africa. Nowhere else in the world is the growth of urban centres and young populations as steep as on the African continent. To implement Building Beyond, the Fund is working closely with the Prince Claus Fund and the Pan-African network African Crossroads, which operates from Hivos’s regional office in Zimbabwe. In 2021, the Fund and the Prince Claus Fund set up the Open Call Mentorship Building Beyond #1. In this call, African makers were invited to think about the future of the public space, community and functionality of a growing continent. In 2022 we launched the second Open Call Mentorship Building Beyond #2.

open calls


The following projects were selected in four open calls in early 2018:

Open Call Turkey #1
- Lüleburgaz Bisiklete Biniyor, cycling for a better city, Artgineering, Novusens and Sustainable Solutions
- Mersin CityLab, Play the City and Mersin University
- Closing the Circle, IND [Inter.National.Design]
- Izmir Metabolic Cycling Network (IMCN), FABRICations

Open Call Russia #1
- Prototyping Future Energy with HSE, Yin Aiwen
- Tomsk One – Living Laboratory, LEVS Architecten
- The Samarsky Yard, Schiemann Weyers and Samara State University
- New Urban Media Centre in Yekaterinburg, SVESMI, Municipal Association of Libraries and The July 16 Agency

Open Call Egypt #1
- Grounded Urban Practices, Non Fiction and Cluster
- From El Labana to Bustan, Bureau LADA, CILAS and Beit Yakan
- Hope for Embaba, MAATworks
- Connecting Deltas, Shift Works and Abdalla Daif

Open Call Morocco #1
- Affordable Housing Casablanca, BureauSLA and Idmaj Sakan
- Learning from Tiznit | Designing softscapes of Care and Resilience, Slow Research Lab
- Sahrij, Sara Frikech


Early 2019 the following projects were selected in the Open Call Turkey, Russia, Egypt, Morocco #2.

Selected projects Turkey:
- Tradition as a Making Tool, Space Crafters and Cross Change
- Inclusive Regenerative Fashion in Turkey, Knitwear Lab and Bersa Triko
- No Seat at the Table, Minem Sezgin, Jasmijn de Nood, Rajab Eryiğit, Bob Mollema and Erhan Muratoğlu
- Pomace: Learning Circularity from Olive, Random Works and Olive Academy Karaburun

Selected projects Russia:
- Murmansk Prospekt, Stichting Sonic Acts and Friday Milk
- The Sea of Orange, Maatschap Observatorium and Street Art Research Institute St. Petersburg
- What do landscapes say? Speculating the Diversity of Landscapes and Identities, Nomaos
- Identity in Typical, Daria Naugolnova, Alexey Boev

Selected projects Egypt:
- We Are Data, IMPAKT and Cairotronica
- Papyrus and New Media, Ba7r, Khatt Foundation and Megawra
- Asil – Arabic Typographic Experiments in Egypt, Tarek Atrissi Design, Studio DecoType and Al-Qalam Foundation
- Taking Stock, Elke Uitentuis, Wouter Osterholt, Mariam Elnozahy

Selected projects Morocco:
- One Square Meter Berber, Mina Abouzahra and Nina Mohammed-Galbert
- QANAT: a training for the not yet, Jeanne van Heeswijk and Le 18
- Out.of.the.blue.map, Manon Bachelier, Justine Daquin and Zoé Le Voyer
- Tanger: Facets of a Mediterranean Intersection, Amsterdams Andalusisch Orkest, Mahal Art Space, Ecole Nationale d’Architecture and Think Tanger

Mentorship Building Beyond #1

In the mentorship programme Building Beyond 12 designers and artists were selected in early 2022:

- Flavia Gwiza
- Hana Tefrati
- Russel Hlongwane
- Ikram Hamdi Mansour
- Inam Kula
- Katesi Jacqueline Kalange
- Kwasi Darko
- Nifemi Marcus-Bello
- Salma Belal
- Youssef El Idrissi
- Mohamed Sirra
- Yishak Teklegiorgis

Mentorship Building Beyond #2

In the second edition of the mentorship programme Building Beyond 12 designers and artists were selected in early 2023:

- Wezile Harmans
- Uzoma Orji
- Sara Fakhry Ismail
- Rania Atef
- Olufèmi Hinson Yovo
- Neec Nonso
- Mika’il, the Muezzin
- Jepkorir Rose
- Helen Zeru
- Blqees Zuhair
- Arafa C. Hamadi
- Ana Raquel Machava

Climate Action x Design

In summer 2022, the Creative Industries Fund and What Design Can Do jointly launched an open call for the presentation of a project that focuses on climate change and participation in a Creative Climate Coalition at the UN Climate Change Conference 2022 (COP27). The following eight makers and designers were selected through the Open Call Climate Action x Design:

Studio Sway – Aquatecture Water Harvesting System
Dirk-Jan Visser – New Horizons
Studio Makkink & Bey – Waterschool United Nations
Hannah Bosland – ComposTerra
Abla el-Bahrway (Ba7r) – Papayrus and New media
Olivier de Gruijter – The Jerrycan Water Filter
Arthur Guilleminot – Piss Soap
Taller Architects – Social and ecosystemic connectivity in Montes de Maria