Design – 23 projects selected

In the first Design round of 2023, 23 proposals have been selected. The available budget was not sufficient to award a grant to all positively assessed applications. Annique Deneer, Design Grant Scheme coordinator, reflects on the round.

general impression
The Design Grant Scheme covers a wide range of sub-disciplines. As a result, the diversity of the proposals assessed each round is high and is even increasing as the boundaries of the field are explored, including with hybrid projects and practices. This trend makes it extra important for applicants to position themselves and their project clearly. We are also seeing the approach to disciplines changing. For instance, influenced by sustainability, fewer collections and products are being made and applicants are focusing more often on aspects such as system change through design research, material and knowledge development or speculative design.

The available budget of € 350,000 was not sufficient to award a grant to all 28 positively assessed applications. This meant that prioritization took place. The procedure used is described in the Design Grant Scheme. After prioritization, 5 projects were eliminated from the selection. A few notable projects selected in this round include:

Programmering Françoise van den Bosch Prijs – Stichting Françoise van den Bosch
To mark the presentation of the biennial Françoise van den Bosch Prize, the Françoise van den Bosch Foundation is organizing in 2023 a symposium and exhibition about the work of prize-winning jewellery designer Chequita Nahar. The prize is a mid-career award – an evolving oeuvre award – to support makers with an impressive track record in the continuation of their artistic practice. Taking place at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the symposium will focus on themes such as diaspora, intercultural exchange, migration, design and craft. The themes will be discussed by speakers including Professor Kerstin Pinther, designer and curator Emefa Cole and design curator Amanda Pinatih. In addition, the foundation is organizing a solo exhibition of Nahar’s work at Museum Arnhem featuring existing and especially new work. By addressing topics that are current and relevant to both the jewellery field and beyond, the foundation aims to connect jewellery to different disciplines and audiences through this programme.

InterWoven – Diana Scherer
For the past six years, Diana Scherer has been studying root systems to direct their natural growth processes and develop them into a growing textile. The desire is to compile the craft-related and biotechnological knowledge gained about this material into a book and share this knowledge with the textile, design and art worlds alike. Besides the final results, the publication will also discuss research, biotechnological knowledge, new crafts and the relevance of the ‘root textile’ for the textile industry. The book will feature four authors who highlight the different elements of the project from their own perspective and the disciplines of art, textiles and botany. One of the reasons for the publication is a major solo exhibition by Scherer at the Museum Kranenburgh in Bergen planned for autumn 2023. The book will be published by Jap Sam Books in the same period. Scherer is working closely with Jap Sam Books and designer Edwin van Gelder of Mainstudio to realize this book concept.

Hack the Heritage – Jos Klarenbeek
Hack the Heritage is a research project by designer Jos Klarenbeek that focuses on the relationship between maker and weaving machine. The project stems from a fascination with this oldest computer, and at the same time a concern about the narrow field that has emerged between the basis of the craft and the further-developed textile industry. Klarenbeek is therefore launching a study into reuse, modernization and digitalization of industrial heritage. Is there a way to use relatively simple, open-source robotics to develop a module that allows old weaving machines from the depots of the Dutch textile heritage to be ‘hacked’ and made relevant again for the future? Klarenbeek wants to develop a proof of concept on his Vinkse Dobby, a 1920s loom. Klarenbeek is also looking for a suitable partner from the Dutch textile-heritage domain. In addition, the starting-grant phase will be used to set up a communication plan and secure co-financing.

Down in the Dumps – Family Affair Films
Down in the Dumps is a 20-minute animated children’s film about the dark insect world of Cinelli and Peri, written by Britt Snel and directed by Vera van Wolveren. The film about a perfectionist ladybird shows the consequences of suppressing feelings of depression. Cinelli focuses so much on perfection that she loses sight of all the beauty that life has to offer her. Down in the Dumps will be a children’s film with a message, aiming to open the conversation around weighty themes such as depression and loneliness among small (and large) audiences. The film uses a hybrid animation form that combines Vera van Wolveren’s unique paper-animation techniques with frame-by-frame and stop-motion animation.

Click here for all the projects selected in Design in 2023.

Of the 83 subsidy applications taken into consideration, 23 are receiving grants. This brings the percentage of applications receiving grants to 28%. The closing date for the next Design round is 16 August 2023.

Photo at the top of the page: Studio Ku