Building talent – 18 collaborations selected

From the 103 submissions received by the Creative Industries Fund NL in response to the second Open Call Building Talent 2023, 18 starting makers and designers have been selected. They will work together with previously selected design agencies on current issues and design tasks.

23 January 2024

By means of Building Talent, the Fund aims to strengthen the connection of starting makers and designers with the professional field and to support the work field by creating extra room for in-depth research and experimentation. In this way, the Fund aims to contribute to strengthening the knowledge, experience and network of starters.

Chaired by Joris van Ballegooijen (head of grant programmes), the applications were submitted to an advisory committee consisting of Daan Petri (architect), Beer van Geer (designer interactive media), Suzanne Rastovac (historian, curator and co-founder Beyond Walls) and Amanda Pinatih (design curator Stedelijk Museum). They assessed the applications on the following criteria:
- approach to the design task;
- quality of the designer’s work;
- professionalization and alignment of the task with the applicant’s own development potential

All collaborations are supported with € 21,000 (€ 10,500 for the design agency and € 10,500 for the starting maker/designer). In addition, each collaboration can request an extra budget of up to € 4,000 for materials, travel costs or extending the grant period.

Aleksandra Bokova


The following 18 collaborations were selected:

  • Sonia Górecka will work with design studio Kukka to develop a design method to visualize woven textiles in 3D, using existing 3D effects and programmes, open-source tools and AI.
  • Leire Alvarez joins with Fillip Studios to explore the architectural potential of the Aera Fabrica and Adaptable Auxetic techniques, in which 3D-printed objects are distorted using heat and auxetic structures are created.
  • Bas de Jong will work with Summum Engineering on a design and research task for Dutch housing construction using live data for circular elements.
  • Samar Khan, together with artist collective The Weedsman, will explore how to design a regenerative system for thriving heat-resistant urban nature.
  • Linda Huijbers, together with design agency Cocosmos, will delve deeper into the area at the intersection of social design, urban design and policymaking, with the aim of making participation more inclusive.
  • Nienke Veenhuis, together with Maatschap Observatorium, will study the area on and around the Dampsterdiep in Groningen. The task is to develop an ‘artistic area biography’ with different perspectives that link society, ecology and culture.
  • Janine Zielman will explore together with graphic design studio Team Thursday how variable fonts can be applied in physical and digital spaces. Using letters designed by the studio, Zielman is embarking on form experiments that push the boundaries of what is possible.
  • Gokay Atabek is collaborating on an interactive image experiment for animation studio Prinsen.Studio and will carry out interviews with conductors of major orchestras and smaller ensembles. The aim is to find an answer to the question of what an interactive stage product looks like that optimally contributes to the experience of a piece of music, linking music, design and education.
  • Ian Zhang will map out the Dutch maker industry with House of Thol and explore the extent to which collaboration between this industry and Dutch designers is possible. Together, they are developing starting points for products that are actually Made in Holland.
  • Aleksandra Bokova will work with Bas Kosters Studio to explore how the studio’s work would translate into digital expressions and how the digital work could be designed as an experience in space.
  • Yuanpu Wang will work with independent artist and designer Sanne van de Goor to research the relationship between architectural elements and the emotional experience of patterns that trigger a memory.
  • Eileen Stornebrink (Studio Inscape) will explore building with ecological materials on a larger scale with lab03 architecture and spatial design. Based on analyses of medium-sized projects in neighbouring countries, where biobased materials are already widely used, the search will be made for sustainable, affordable and usable construction techniques.
  • Jan Christian Schulz is teaming up with Kairos Furniture to develop a new type of packaging that aligns with the company’s circular principles.
  • Yufei Gao will work with Simon van der Linden (Monobanda) to develop an interactive art-education installation that allows anyone, regardless of background or skills, to playfully learn how to make a song.
  • Karma Hamed is joining design studio buroBELÉN to research the nomadic home through the ages, all over the world. This involves exploring the potential of soft walls in the area of insulation, acoustics/privacy, usability/reusability, natural light/transparency and tactility.
  • Teun Strikkers, together with designer collective Envisions, will explore how we can and want to design our living space and workplace in tomorrow’s world. The project aims to convince the furniture industry and manufacturers that innovative applications can be developed with experimental research.
  • Bianca Schick, together with design agency Coded Club, will research the use of serious games to put social issues on the agenda in education. These games aim to make players aware of important social issues and involve them in finding solutions.


This was the final round of the Open Call Building Talent. In autumn 2024, the Fund will present the results of the impact study that took place on the basis of the past editions.