Experiment – 38 projects selected
In the first period this year of the Experiment Grant Scheme, 38 projects were selected. Coordinator Gabriella Fiorentini reflects on the selection.
25 August 2022
The Experiment Grant Scheme is open to small-scale, experiment-driven projects in the field of design, architecture or digital culture, and crossovers between these disciplines. Many applications were submitted in the first period of 2022, mainly from the fields of design and digital culture and their subdisciplines.
It is noteworthy that the number of applications in the field of architecture and related subdisciplines lags behind, while the Fund wants to encourage experimentation in this field as well. We see opportunities, for example, in the area of research into climate-adaptive building or circular material developments. Small-scale research projects that explore sub-issues of complex transition challenges such as the energy transition and housing construction are also suitable for the Experiment Grant Scheme. Good examples of supported experiments in the field of architecture are the projects by Hester van Gent, Studio Verter, Honey Jones-Hughes and Studio Method mentioned below, or the project by landscape designer and researcher Pierre Oskam and architect and computational designer Max Latour, about which we wrote an article.
As in the two periods that were open in 2021, the Fund sees that the Experiment Grant Scheme appeals primarily to new applicants. More than half the positively assessed applications were submitted by a designer or maker who had not previously received a grant from the Fund. In addition, an increasing number of projects focus on interdisciplinary projects within the creative industry.
In terms of content, it is noticeable that research questions that were in the spotlight due to the Covid pandemic, such as new forms of virtual and physical interaction, are less represented than in 2021. The number of international activities, on the other hand, has increased sharply since it became possible to travel without restrictions again.
Several projects are aimed at interesting crossovers with other disciplines and new fields of activity. For instance, designer Lisa Mandemaker, together with political scientist Marijn Hoijtink, is investigating possible alternatives to current forms of technology and defence in the project Prototype Warfare. With the experiment Call of the Void, Stichting Monobanda PLAY is focusing on an experimental multiplayer meditation experience as a poetic reflection on depression. With the experiment Of Colonnades and Promenades, Hester van Gent is investigating the meaning of the concept of ‘human scale’ by relating size and humans, design and society in associative essays.
climate and sustainability
The attention being paid to issues relating to climate and sustainability was undiminished in the first period of 2022, with applications coming from all the disciplines. With CommuniPecuni – EXPERIMENTAL JOURNEY, Communi Pecuni wants to develop a sustainable alternative to the NFT-extraction culture. Honey Jones-Hughes and Antonio de la Hera are investigating the potential of seaweed cultivation for urban agriculture with the experiment Urban Algaculture? And Studio Method explores decay, ageing and the use of materials in infrastructure design with Deep Time Decay.
There is also undiminished attention being paid to the social aspects of public space and new forms of collaboration. The experiment Minor Architecture – Fundamental Spaces involves a study into alternatives to market-driven urban development, inspired by the idea of ‘minor architecture’ as defined by Jill Stoner. Ruben van de Ven and Ward Goes are examining with This Space Does Exist the sociocultural role of images in public space.
The fact that the Experiment Grant Scheme with the second assessment criterion is open to the development of people’s own practice has also led in this period to a series of experiments focusing on individual developments. In addition to personal projects such as the experiment Chainsaw the hero of hell by Those who act as ghosts, a number of proposals focus on collaborations with workplaces, with the aim of acquiring knowledge about crafts and production processes. Cream on Chrome, for example, is investigating in The Washi Exploratory the potential of the Japanese craft of papermaking in a European context, together with Sekishu Washi studios in Japan.
diversity and inclusion
Several projects, in particular international ones, focus on research questions related to the colonial past and a nuanced and respectful account of it. Examples include the research Xunaxhidó’. Worlds within Worlds by Elena Perez Guembe, Klankkleur Soundsystem by Robbie Doorman, and Performing Data Otherwise by Julien McHardy.
Design issues concerning inclusion are also regularly seen. For example, during the Regenboogfestival in Zwolle, Designing for a safe, open and attractive city will be the focus of a ‘pressure-cooker’ study by gooitz. With the experiment Young Queer Television, Mika Schalks is investigating, together with Wobby.club, alternative role models for children on youth television. And with the experiment Braillant, Thomas van der Sman wants to explore the tactility of inclusive wrapping paper.
You can see all the projects selected in Experiment in 2022 here.
Of the 61 subsidy applications taken into consideration in period one, 38 are receiving grants. This brings the percentage of applications receiving grants to 62%. The budget available was € 350,000. The first period of 2022 ran from 15 February to 30 May 2022. With the positive assessment of an application submitted on 13 May, the grant ceiling of € 350,000 was reached. Applications submitted later than this one were not taken into consideration.
The second period of 2022 opens on 1 September and runs until 15 November. The budget available is € 250,000. If this subsidy ceiling is reached before the end of the period, applications can no longer be processed and the grant scheme will close early. So, do not wait until the last day of the period to submit your application.
You can find more information about preparing your application to the Experiment Grant Scheme in the Experiment grant application guide.
If you have any questions, please contact Carlijn Limburg, the new coordinator of the Experiment Grant Scheme from 1 September at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo above: The Washi Exploratory, Cream on Chrome en Sekishu Washi