Design – 25 projects selected

In the fourth Design round of 2022, 25 proposals have been selected. The available budget was unfortunately not sufficient to award a grant to all positively assessed applications. Annique Deneer, Design Grant Scheme coordinator, reflects on the round.

26 januari 2023

general impression
Several submitted proposals focus on accessibility, inclusion and representation. For example, proposals were submitted for an online index of ‘supported studios’ where artists and makers with cognitive and learning challenges can go, the scenography of a festival for hearing, hearing-impaired and deaf people alike, and a project questioning (hetero)normative body images by means of a fashion collection for seven non-normative bodies. A number of proposals also focused on the relationship of humans with nature. For instance, artificial intelligence is being utilized to visualize the possible impact of the ecological crisis on life in our seas and oceans, and an interactive installation should help us connect with the world we live in and make us realize that humans are part of nature. The selection further includes several educational projects, publications, animation films, material research and exhibitions. Here, several themes are highlighted.

The available budget of € 350,000 was not sufficient to award a grant to all 27 positively assessed applications. As a result, prioritization has taken place. The procedure used is described in the Design Grant Scheme. After prioritization, 2 projects were eliminated from the selection. A few notable projects from this round’s selection are:

Geluidsontwerp voor wayfinding – MijksWise
The inclusiveness of public buildings depends partly on how well people can get ther bearings and find their way around. For blind and visually impaired people, such spaces are often difficult to ‘read’. With the project Geluidsontwerp voor wayfinding, knowledge institute MijksWise aims to develop sound designs that can be integrated into buildings, improving spatial legibility for visually impaired people. The aim of the preliminary research is to learn how blind and visually impaired people build spatial understanding, and to develop ideas about how sound design can support this. Collaboration partners include Koninklijke Visio, the Oogvereniging, HKU Muziek & Technologie and wayfinding agency Mijksenaar.

Transgression – Smarthouse Films Productie BV
Transgression is a short animated film by director Kim de Ruyter that addresses the experience of a trans person in a heteronormative society. The protagonist in the story tries to find a sense of contentment and happiness in the uncomfortable and unsettling process of gender reassignment. In the story, De Ruyter focuses on the consequences of being ‘watched’ and the struggle with gender and self-acceptance – themes that are current in her own life and stem from her personal vision as a trans woman.

Collapsed Mythologies: A Geofinancial Atlas – Dayna Casey
Dayna Casey and Eline Benjaminsen are developing a publication that explores the obscurity of financial jargon with the project Collapsed Mythologies: A Geofinancial Atlas. Financial terms referring to ecology are used by traders and financial professionals in a context where they take on a very different meaning. Between what these terms mean and the ecological world they refer to, Benjaminsen and Casey detect a rich mythological history. The content consists of both visual and textual essays. The publication will be published by Archive Books in Berlin.

Rembrandt en Lucia – Mylo Nieuwenhuis/Freeman
With Rembrandt en Lucia, illustrator Mylo Freeman is creating a picture book about Rembrandt and the black community that lived around the Sint Antoniespoort in Amsterdam and inspired the painter. The book tells of a black girl who asks her neighbour Rembrandt if he would paint a picture of her father. Through this picture book, Freeman aims to show children aged 5 to 8 the diversity of the 17th-century city, while telling them about Rembrandt and his work. The publication, published by Rubinstein, will be accompanied by an exhibition and educational programme at the Rembrandthuis and educational materials for schools and libraries.

Click here for all the projects selected in Design in 2022.

Of the 52 subsidy applications taken into consideration, 25 are receiving grants. This brings the percentage of applications receiving grants to 48%. The next closing date of the Design Grant Scheme is 5 April 2023.

Photo above: Mariette Wolbert