Room for design critique, reflection and debate – 6 projects selected

In the third edition of the Open Call Room for design critique, reflection and debate, a total of six projects were selected. A reflection on the selection.

25 August 2022

background and general impression
In the run-up to the open call, the Fund invited Saskia van Stein to conduct research into the state of design critique in the Netherlands. The article ‘Critique, reflection and debate within the design disciplines of architecture, design and digital culture in the Netherlands’ (in Dutch only) reports on the results and includes some recommendations. In the piece, Van Stein reflects on the changing culture and society from the position of the origins and development of the creative industries, and shows the role that design critique plays in this. In response to this research, this third edition of the Open Call Room for design critique, reflection and debate was also open to applications from designers and makers, unlike previous editions, which were mainly aimed at platforms and institutions.

The number of proposals submitted and the diversity of projects show that there is a strong need within the design field to practise and organize critique, reflection and debate – in various forms and from different perspectives. A striking aspect is the broad interpretation of design critique by applicants. Many of the proposals submitted sought the connection between the design disciplines. In general, the proposals were interesting in terms of artistic direction and content; in a number of cases, the applications lacked a clear translation into a planned approach or methodology to achieve tangible results. Finally, within the framework of this open call, the committee emphasized the added value it sees in sustainable practices: practices/design practices in which specific themes, topics or collaborations are explored in depth for a longer period of time, and as a result build on existing or acquired knowledge.

selection
The selection includes projects in the fields of design, digital culture, architecture and crossovers between these disciplines. In the selected proposals, the advisory committee appreciated, among other things, the urgency of the chosen topics and the concrete objectives to promote a multi-perspective and inclusive design climate.

The following six proposals have been selected:

- Chinouk Filique & Design Research – The Literacy Index - a directory for working with, through and beyond digital fashion
- Linda Valkeman – Sender - Receiver Residence
- Rana Ghavami and Rosa te Velde – Patronen, vormen van cultureel archief
- Ink. – Lancering Consortium & Debat Inclusief Design (foto bovenaan)
- Jeroen Junte – Vorm geven aan de metaverse
- Keibi Co – Museumpark: samen maken we de stad

assessment
The advisory committee that assessed the applications consisted of Katayoun Arian, Wouter Pocornie and Annelies Thoelen. The applications were assessed against the following criteria:

- The quality of the proposal in relation to the strengthening of design critique, reflection and debate within the creative industries;
- The distinctive value of the proposal with respect to design practice;
- The extent to which the proposal contributes to a multi-perspective and inclusive design climate;
- The scope of the proposal in relation to target groups and potential collaborations.

The assessment took the form of a tender: a number of proposals were preferred to the other submissions.

numbers
From the 27 proposals assessed, 6 were selected, bringing the percentage of applications being awarded grants to 22%. A budget of € 80,000 was available for this open call. The maximum contribution per project was € 15,000.

follow-up
The Fund has contacted the submitters of the selected proposals. At the moment, there is no prospect yet of a follow-up to the Open Call Room for design critique, reflection and debate. Keep an eye on the newsletter for more news.