Internationalization of the Design Sector – 15 projects selected

In the second round of Internationalization of the Design Sector 2022, 15 projects were selected. Roxanne Minten, coordinator of the Internationalization of the Design Sector Grant Scheme, reflects on the round.

25 August 2022

general impression

The Internationalization of the Design Sector Grant Scheme is open to projects from the three fields of work that the Fund represents – design, architecture and digital culture – and to projects that can also take place worldwide. As a result, the diversity of proposals is usually high. The projects are carried out in collaboration with foreign partners from countries that include Colombia, Poland, Italy, Hungary, Suriname and Norway. A notable trend is that a large number of applications focus on land transformation, decolonization and sustainability. The following projects are examples of this:

Space for Eco Urban Learning-School of contamination and collaboration – Millonaliu
Millonaliu’s project Space for Eco Urban Learning-School of contamination and collaboration is taking place within the framework of the fourteenth edition of Manifesta held in the Kosovar capital Pristina. In collaboration with raumlaborberlin – a collective of artists and designers and the communities in Pristina and Kosovo – Millonaliu is developing a site-specific intervention for one of the four central pillars of the biennale programme, the Brick Factory, a large post-industrial site. The collaborative project will run an artistic programme on the site for 100 days, focusing on eco-urban developments such as circular and regenerative economic systems, sustainable construction, and mobility and climate. In addition to presentations, the programme consists of workshops, debates, concerts and training sessions in which learning, fun and collaboration play a central role.

Compelled to be Here – Ramon Jimenez Cardenas

Compelled to be Here – Ramon Jimenez Cardenas
The project Compelled to be Here is a public programme consisting of an exhibition and a panel discussion. The exhibition takes the form of a musical presentation with a local artist from Oaxaca, Mexico. The panel discussion takes place between design researchers and experts and deals with the effects of modernity and colonial history and how these are, in part, sustained by design. The project is being carried out in collaboration with multimedia artist Dimitri Madimin. His work questions ‘colonialism without the colonies’ and opens discussions on capitalism, migration and slavery. Oaxaca, and southern Mexico in particular, are largely influenced by modernity and colonialism, according to the project partners. International trade agreements and companies have seized control of the region’s natural resources, including water, for the production of sugary soft drinks. The scarcity of potable water in some communities combined with the abundance of sugary drinks has led to chronic health problems for the region. The aim of Compelled to be Here is to critically commemorate colonial history through urgent contemporary issues. By means of critical research and international cooperation between transdisciplinary artists and designers, the parties aim to create a public programme that sheds light on the effects of this theme.

Arabidopsis Symphony Internationaal – Fillip Studios

Arabidopsis Symphony Internationaal – Fillip Studios
Arabidopsis Symphony is an interactive installation where visitors can walk through a virtual field of the plant Arabidopsis Thaliana via augmented reality. This plant grows differently in every place because its growth and development are influenced by the climate, the weather and the composition of the soil. In the installation, the plants can not only be seen, but also heard. An instrument makes sounds from each plant and together these instruments form an orchestra that plays a unique and ever-changing composition. Arabidopsis Symphony is being developed by Fillip Studios. The installation is part of a long-term project that has been carried out in collaboration with Wageningen University since 2016 and has had various manifestations. The latest manifestation will be launched in Arnhem and Eindhoven in 2022 and will then travel around the world. The project has a dual purpose. Firstly, it wants to generate wonder and start a broader conversation about sustainability, the effect of human activity on the world and the question of how unique these actions are. The second goal is to increase the visibility of Dutch design abroad. In collaboration with five international design festivals and the local Dutch embassies, various presentations and meetings are being organized around the project.


The project Rethink Softly aims to bring together cross-border knowledge in the area of furniture production. According to designer Rianne Koens, furniture production is shifting from the Far East to Turkey. At the same time, a transition from linear to circular is taking place. Koens argues that the furniture industry, however, is stuck in old habits of using harmful materials. Rethink Softly aims to make a positive contribution to the circular economy with an industrially applicable alternative. On the basis of a preliminary study, Koens’ aim with the project is to identify relevant studies on this theme, approach experts, visit partners and connect with motivated makers by means of an open call. The plan is to develop the right project form in dialogue with stakeholders from different areas. The preliminary investigation is expected to lead to a team composed of various disciplines, which will work on the theme in a subsequent project. The search for nature-friendly solutions for the ‘soft-seating’ industry is the focus of this project.

You can see the entire selection here.


Of the 32 subsidy requests taken into consideration, 15 were awarded grants. Of the selected projects, 4 are for starting grants. This brings the percentage of applications receiving grants in this round to 47%. All the positively assessed applications were awarded grants. There is underspending in this round, and this amount will be added to the budget for the next round. The closing date for this round, the last this year, is 22 September 2022.

Photo above: Baranów