Building Talent 2021 – 27 starting makers and designers selected

From the 150 submissions received by the Creative Industries Fund NL in response to the first Open Call Building Talent 2021, 27 starting makers and designers have been selected. They will work together with established design agencies, who were previously selected, on current issues and design tasks.

25 November 2021

By means of the Open Call 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, network and entrepreneurship of starters.

The applications were submitted to a committee chaired by Tanja Koning (independent curator and programmer), 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), Joost Emmerik (urban designer, landscape architect) and Iris Ruisch (managing director M-ODE). They assessed the applications on the following criteria:

- Approach to the design task;
- Quality of the designer’s work; and
- Professionalization and alignment of the design task with the applicant’s own development potential.

XML Architecture


The following 27 collaborations were selected:

- Summum is starting a collaboration with Jeongh Ghim. Together they will develop a prototypical form of Dutch housing based on robotically sprayed earth.
- VRP Architects and Roos Kobben are together focusing on the question of what needs to change to achieve inclusive sustainable housing outside the city without turning the countryside into even more city.
- Play the City will work together with Rik Maarsen (StudioRik) on the project Network of Games. The key question of this research is how designers can use city games to respond in a relevant way to spatial tasks that are becoming increasingly complex.
- Cityförster is starting a collaboration with Adriaan Gjalt de Groot (ADEG Studio) to bridge the gap between industrial building production and urban customization. The research focuses on how standardization can be combined with modularity and mass customization.
- XML Architecture and Saskia Lambers (SLMBRS) are starting a research project on the architecture of the night(club). Amsterdam is being taken as a case study.
- Maatschap Observatorium and Lotte Oppenhuis are working on the redesign of a remnant of a peat meadow area on the River Rotte as a monument for the painter Henk Chabot. The polder structure and the low position of -6 NAP play the most important role.
- Mauroparravicini Architects and Aina Roca are launching design research into new types of co-housing structures that can be placed in existing urban environments.
- Beyond Space will collaborate with Stijn Speksnijder (Studio Stijn Speksnijder) on an innovative design for a mobile holiday home, alias a caravan, linked to the question of what a mobile, autarchic residential object could look like.


- In the project Gewenste intimiteiten (Welcome intimacies), Circus Andersom and Denise Bernts are collaborating on the development of visual works and alternative forms of dialogue, in which knowledge and embodiment of curiosity about and appreciation for one’s own and other people’s bodies are central.
- Mooves and Iris van Hassel Animatie en Illustratie are starting a collaboration relating to the project Oranova Spiegelmaker, an experiment to create a graphic novel for Instagram with a diary-like narrative.
- Our Polite Society will work with Radek Gorniak to develop a familiy of fonts using variable-font technology.
- Siba Sahabi is going to develop a (light) artwork in collaboration with Merijn Sabee for the central waiting room in the CareXL health centre in Rotterdam. The artwork is intended to offer waiting visitors and patients a distraction, inspiration and perhaps a topic of conversation.
- MAISON the FAUX and Han Li are working together on a preliminary research project for a performance with the subject The horn of plenty’ Here, themes such as abundance, capitalism and the limits of the unlimited will be examined.
- Hozan Zangana is joining Sam Changavi to explore the stories of survivors of the 2014 genocide of Yezidis by IS fighters in Iraq. In what circumstances did they experience their collective trauma? The aim is to process the results into sculptures that give a voice to the survivors and ensure that the event is not forgotten.
- Kode21 and Stan Joosten (Stan Joosten Productions) will work together to improve and refine the Business of Climate Solutions developed by Kode21. This tool helps companies develop climate solutions and attractive, promising products and services that are also climate-positive and often have many other benefits in terms of health, waste reduction and nature conservation.
- Het Huis van Betekenis and Maria Fraaije are going to use a journalistic visual report to portray the lives of Utrecht’s homeless, to help society gain a better awareness and understanding of this vulnerable group of people.
- In Handwerk Database, Studio Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters together with Lena Winterink are investigating alternative yarns and materials derived from the excess of existing and processed materials in the world. What are the possibilities for processing in textiles using traditional techniques, including handicraft techniques? The aim of the research is to develop a database of colours, materials and possibilities that can be applied in follow-up projects.
- Studio Harris Blondman and Dongseok Min will experiment with the potential of technologies for real-time, online, collaborative creation against the backdrop of COVID-19.

Digital culture
- In order to make the practice and network of creative coding more accessible to people with different backgrounds, interests and skill levels, Stichting Creative Coding Utrecht is going to map out the fragmented field of creative coding in the Netherlands with Avital Barkai (Avital Barkai Graphic Design).
- Redrum Bureau B.V. is going to investigate, in collaboration with Sandipan Nath, whether people’s movements can interact with music in real time. The research is intended to lead to a film for a museum experience.
- In collaboration with Soyun Park (RGBdog), Studio Gerjanne van Gink will investigate the possibilities of an app for ADS-mirrors to support and prolong the self-reliance of people with early dementia.

- Fillip Studios is starting an experiment with Anne Pieterse with hybrid forms to make an exhibition that unites the qualities of the digital world with those of the physical world.
- Officina Corpuscoli and Tessa Petrusa will collaborate to investigate the potential of living materials (mycelium-based composites) for custom biofabricated structures and artefacts by applying digital algorithms, robotics and additive production.
- Afdeling Buitengewone Zaken has taken the initiative to set up De Werkplaats, a temporary research location where talented social-design researchers investigate the representation of the social-design professional field in journalism. The first research studies are being carried out in collaboration with Sander van der Zwan (Daydreamer).
- Real Comics and Ane de la Brena will be working on visual materials and a toolkit to support healthcare and social care professionals in having conversations with victims of sexual violence.
- Lucas Maassen and Dorian Kingma (Collectief SMELT) will collaborate in the project Residency of the People, which aims to give people who are not creative professionals the space and support to realize a dream or work on their own development through the artist-in-residence formula.
- LABELEDBY. is collaborating with Sara Alvarez Vinagre (Sara made) in a study into the aesthetic qualities of 3D-printed bioplastics and their applicability in wearables.

follow-up procedure

In a second Open Call Building Talent 2021, starting makers and designers will again be paired with established design agencies in the autumn to work together on current issues and design tasks. All collaborations are supported with € 12,500 (€ 6,250 for the design agency and € 6,250 for the starting maker/designer).

The budget for the Building Talent 2021 programme comes from the extra resources made available by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science to support makers in the design sector who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 situation. This year, approximately 70 collaborative programmes will be realized. The budget also provides scope for offering an additional subsidy to all parties supported within Building Talent in 2021. This allows collaborative programmes to be extended and additional costs to be covered.