Talent Development – 52 grants awarded 

Every year, the Creative Industries Fund NL offers emerging design talent the free space to focus on artistic and professional growth. The 2024 group was recently determined by the selection committee. There were 52 grants available. Read more about the 52 makers and designers and the kick-off day which took place in Maastricht.

21 September 2023 

After a pre-selection from 257 portfolios in the first round of the Talent Development Grant Programme, and five scout nights during which 59 young makers presented themselves to a jury, the selection committee assessed 95 development plans in the second round. The committee, consisting of Paulien Bremmer, Hellen van Rees, Joris Landman, Siuli Ko, Daphne Bakker, Giorgio Toppin and Harriët Mbonjani, selected 52 plans from these. Each applicant selected will receive € 25,000, which gives them the opportunity to develop their artistic practice further in the coming year, both artistically and professionally.

In the assessment, the committee paid attention to the quality of the objective and structure of the development plan, environmental awareness and positioning of the practice within the discipline and in the social context, development capacity and, finally, the degree to which the development plan and proposed activities contribute to the development of a distinctive and meaningful practice within the creative industry.

Grouphoto Talentdevelopment 2024

general impression

Applicants to the Talent Development Grant Scheme come from the full spectrum of the creative industries. The quality of the applications within the round was very high. During the selection, the committee looked for applicants with a clear desire for development, where the long-term goals were clearly formulated. The applicants know how to relate both within their personal and social contexts and to the issues raised. Common themes include environmental awareness, climate change, sustainability, neoliberalism, inequality, gentrification, mental health, self-care, mindfulness and spirituality. Many applicants question their own field or discipline and are actively looking for new methodologies (including in design) and forms of expression, in which participation and/or the collective play a role, such as LARP, walking and workshops. There is also a strong focus on the queer and the ‘more-than-human’ perspective. The starting makers and designers take different positions here, ranging from contemplative to activist.

At Limsetone Bookshop. Photo Clara Gus.

In the design discipline, there is considerable focus on reusing existing materials. A striking aspect is that there are more applications in the discipline of architecture this year. Despite the current major transition issues, there were almost no applications within urban design and landscape. Recurring themes are sustainability, circularity and materials research. Practices within architecture are formulated in a more activist way and are often investigative. Applications within the discipline of digital culture often fall under the sub-discipline of ‘artscience’. Striking recurring themes concern the relationship between humans and nature, object-oriented ontology, or non-human agency and symbiotic relationships. Within digital culture, installation works remain by far the most popular.

Limsetone Bookshop workshop

diversity and inclusion

There is great diversity and inclusion in the Talent Development Grant Scheme applications. This manifests itself in various ways including level of education, academies where makers graduate, cultural background, gender, non-visible disabilities, neurodiversity, perceptions, location and the themes they relate to. The themes that applicants are working on are largely for the benefit of marginalized or disadvantaged groups in society.


The following 52 designers and makers have been selected:

Key-note presentation of Patricia Kaersenhout in the Bonnefantenmuseum. Photo Clara Gus.


Because the Fund attaches great value to the exchange of knowledge and also wishes to connect individual makers with each other, we organized a kick-off for all the makers and designers mentioned above on 14 September 2023. The programme included visits to architecture and design platform Bureau Europa, Jan van Eyck Academie and the Bonnefanten museum, where Patricia Kaersenhout gave a keynote presentation on her artistic practice and guiding principles. In addition, Limestone Bookshop organized a workshop in creating a ‘zine’, which the makers could take home at the end of the day.