Platforms for design-based learning – 14 projects selected

A total of 14 projects were selected in the first edition of the Open Call Platforms for design-based learning. A reflection on the selection.

17 November 2022

background and general impression

Within the Netherlands, but also internationally, there is a growing focus on young people developing technical, artistic, practical and other professional design skills. In recent years, the Fund has seen alternative, informal platforms emerge in several cities, which tie in with this phenomenon. These platforms connect young people and starting designers with today’s maker and design culture. Because it contributes to connecting design practice with the fascinations of young people, the Fund sees this as an important positive development, and aims to give an impetus to these initiatives with the Open Call Platforms for design-based learning.

sQuare – New Creatives 2.0

The Fund received a wide variety of proposals. Some start from a discipline, while others take a broader approach that focuses on talent development. The number of proposals submitted and the spread across the design disciplines show that there is a broad and growing focus on design-based learning within the creative industries. The committee had this to say: ‘When reading the proposals, you can see, hear and feel that there is a perceived gap between the educational provision within mainstream education and the demand from young talent to be able to learn specific design skills. It is positive that so many parties are making efforts to fill this gap. However, the question is whether the responsibility for this area should not be structurally assigned.’

Interestingly, the majority of the applications were aimed at young people aged 16 to 28, while the call was open to proposals aimed at children from primary-school age to young people up to 28 who would like to make the step into professional practice. Most of the submitted programmes are therefore committed to connecting the group, mostly self-taught makers, with the professional field.


The following 14 projects have been selected:

Afdeling Buitengewone Zaken – The SEED Programme
AIR – Leren in de Metropo(o)lder (photo at the top)
Crafts Council Nederland – Crafts Academy
Creative Coding Utrecht – CCU Living Lab
Maurer United Architects – International Learning Lab
Metro54 – Breathing Labs: Een wereld zonder politie? & (Un)Learning Babylon
New Order of Fashion – Materializing the Future of Fashion
Rambler Amsterdam – Unlock Your Talent’ PRO programma 2023
STORE – STORE Schools 2023
Story Academy – Visual Storytellers
Studio Kitsunya – A House for Home
sQuare – New Creatives 2.0
TETEM kunstruimte – Maakroute Twente
The Hmm – The Hmm FYI

STORE – STORE Schools 2023


To arrive at a selection, the proposals were assessed according to the following criteria:
- The set-up of the programme;
- The role and quality of the designers involved;
- The accessibility of the programme;
- The sustainability of the programme and positioning of the organization;
- Addition to the existing infrastructure.

The assessment took the form of a tender: a number of proposals were preferred to the other submissions. The advisory committee, chaired by Marjolein van Breemen (deputy director NEMO), consisted of: Branko Popovic (artistic director FASHIONCLASH), Marwan Magroun (photographer and director) and Shirley Hendrikse (head of education STRP).


From the 30 proposals assessed, 14 were selected, bringing the percentage of applications being awarded grants to 47%. A budget of € 1,050,000 was available for this open call. The maximum contribution per project was € 100,000.


In 2023, the Fund will launch another Open Call Platforms for design-based learning. Keep an eye on our newsletter for the date.