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Design – 24 projects selected

In the first Design round of 2022, 24 proposals have been selected. Annique Deneer, Design Grant Scheme coordinator, reflects on the round.

14 April 2022

general impression
The Design Grant Scheme covers a wide range of sub-disciplines, which means that the diversity of the proposals is usually high. This round, for example, included proposals for graphic novels, artist’s books, various material studies, exhibitions, and investigations into the power of visual language, among others. There are recurring themes: the usability of innovative sustainable materials, interdisciplinary collaborations with scientific and social partners, and the added value of design for an inclusive society.

starting grant
Almost half the applications concerned a starting grant in this round. However, the review of submitted applications revealed that some of the starting-grant applications focused on the implementation of a small project. That is not what this form of grant is intended for. Starting grants are expressly for the phase prior to the implementation of a major project, which could be a research project. For example, a starting grant can be used to conduct preliminary research, refine the description of the problem, and possibly to develop an initial proof of concept. A starting grant can also be used to involve expertise and partners in order to create substantive and financial support for the project. Because different conditions and assessment criteria apply to a starting grant, it is important that applications are submitted in the correct form. Read more about starting grants here.

selection
All the positively assessed applications received grants in this round. Of the 24 selected projects, 11 are for starting grants. A few notable projects in this round include:

From potentiality to continuity and maintenance? A critical inquiry into the barriers of value creation through social design projects – Shay Raviv

In recent decades, according to researcher Shay Raviv, designers have gained more credibility in their ability to address complex social challenges. In projects for the common good, there have been large collaborations that also involve designers. However, Raviv notes that not many ideas last in the long term. By means of the study, she aims to unravel the practice of implementing and maintaining social-design projects. The results will be shared with the industry through a visual essay, which will be translated into a tool that can be used at conferences and workshops. Collaboration partners include What If Lab (Dutch Design Foundation) and Social Design Showdown, while the partner for the visual translation of the study is De Anderen.

Reframing Design Collections – Museum of 21st Century Design

With the project Reframing Design Collections, Museum of 21st Century Design sheds new light on Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s collection by re-labelling objects with information about their ecological and social impact and potential. The project consists of two phases. With the help of a starting grant, the first phase involves extensive and experimental research into objects in the Boijmans collection. The results will be presented during the second phase of the project: an exhibition at Depot Boijmans in late 2022. This exhibition will reframe objects from the Boijmans collection from a future perspective using new data, speculation, provocative questions and feedback from communities that the design has touched. By doing so, the project seeks to answer a key question facing museums: how to preserve the past while providing a vision for the future?

Duurzaam doorontwikkelen; Koninklijke Tichelaar 450 jaar – Stichting Frysk Tichelwurk

Koninklijke Tichelaar is the oldest ceramic company in the Netherlands and celebrates its 450th anniversary in 2022 with a two-part presentation. From 4 June to 3 October 2022, a presentation will take place at the Nationale Keramiekmuseum Princessehof in Leeuwarden, showing important works by Koninklijke Tichelaar from the collection and new work by design firm Humade. For this purpose, Humade is conducting research in 2022 together with Koninklijke Tichelaar into the usability of dredged sea sludge for tile production. In addition, Stichting Frysk Tichelwurk is realizing three artist-in-residence places in the old Tichelaar factory. The renowned design studios Humade, Nul Zes and LAB AIR are working on innovative and sustainable products, which will be presented for three months in the historic factory in Makkum in combination with a public programme.

Kleuren met schimmels – Fabulous Fungi

The use of synthetic textile dyes is one of the biggest problems in the fashion industry: it causes serious water pollution, high water and energy consumption, and health problems. With the project Kleuren met schimmels (Colouring with fungi), Fabulous Fungi (designer Ilse Kremer) explores an alternative dyeing method: the use of nature-friendly textile dyes based on fungi. The project covers a one-year design study into aspects that include the colours and growth of pigment-forming fungi, the fixation of colours on different fabrics, and the presentation of the production process to various audiences. Fabulous Fungi is partnering with the circular hub BlueCity, fungi specialist Bio-aNAlytiX van Biezen and sustainable sportswear brand Iron Roots.

Slightly Unnoticed – Stichting Studio Pupil

Slightly Unnoticed by Tünde Vollenbroek (Studio Pupil) and Iris Frankhuizen will be a double portrait of the American Emily Magnano and her mother Jennifer, and has as its theme domestic violence. The graphic novel will tell the true story of mother and daughter, which was dominated by the coercive control of Emily’s father. As a reading experience, the publication will primarily be an in-depth exploration of Emily’s emotional reality, depicted through poetic textures and abstracted situations. The graphic novel alternates between rich analogue textures, simplified human characters and text. The starting grant will be used to develop the storyline, narrative style and visual style, resulting in a treatment, style tests and six sample spreads. Vollenbroek and Frankhuizen will use these to pitch the graphic novel to English-language publishers in the second half of 2022.

You can see the entire selection here.

numbers
Of the 72 subsidy applications taken into consideration, 24 are receiving grants. This brings the percentage of applications receiving grants to 33%. The closing date for the next Design round is 16 August 2022.