Design – 29 projects selected

In the second Design round of 2021, 29 proposals have been selected. Coordinator Eva Roolker reflects on the round.

15 July 2021

general impression

All the positively assessed applications received grants in this round. Almost half the applications concerned a starting grant. The selection was made from a wide range of projects: ranging from physical and online exhibitions to publications, films and documentaries, objects and dishes. The projects often focus on current themes.

diversity and inclusion

A current theme that plays a role in many applications is diversity and inclusion. Three projects in which the theme is approached differently are 100 Opheto, Beeldbank and De ambassade van de Noordzee bouwt het Audement.

100 Opheto
– Wintertuin Curaçao
100 Opheto
tells the story of Curaçao's history through the narrative of 100 evocative objects, with the aim of bringing cultural heritage to life and providing connection in a time of division, inequality and uncertainty. Central to this project is the question of how the connecting power of design, storytelling and heritage can be utilized to look with confidence to the collective future of Curaçaoans. The objects and their underlying stories will be presented in the form of a podcast, a digital collection and a book, and possibly at a physical location during Dutch Design Week 2021.


Beeldkracht – DRIFT
In this project, illustrator and researcher at DRIFT Maria Fraaije focuses on the visual discourse concerning the energy transition. She describes the visual language used as exclusionary with optimistic, stylized photos and infographics of technology and often only white, male figures. According to Maria Fraaije, this is at odds with the inclusive goals of the transition: everyone must participate to save us from climate change. With an online image bank of open-access illustrations, she aims to paint a more human and inclusive picture of the energy transition, to allow more people to feel involved in this task.

De Ambassade van de Noordzee bouwt het Audement
– Stichting Partizan Publik
The Ambassade van de Noordzee's mission is to listen to the sea and to recognize the North Sea as a political player in its own right. Together with a scenographer, architects, an anthropologist and a lawyer, De Ambassade is building Het Audement, a new political space where listening is central and where non-people are heard.

Other notable projects in this round include:

Adaptable Auxetics – Fillip Studios
Fillip Studios researches and develops unique randomly generated 2D virtual auxetic structures by using 3D printing to physically make and deform them in a spatial installation. With the help of a starting grant, an exploratory feasibility study was carried out into the possibilities, design potential and technical feasibility of these structures, which do not shrink over the width when stretched lengthwise, but in fact also stretch in the width. The envisaged installation will be exhibited at various locations, combined with meetings with professionals in order to further develop the application possibilities of the technology.

The Miracle – Keplerfilm
The short animated film 'The Miracle' by Nina Deutz is about a woman with an unfulfilled desire for children. The film tells the story of Irma, a 40-year-old woman who spends her holiday at an all-inclusive resort that turns out to be aimed mainly at young families. Surrounded by pregnant women and couples with children, unexpected and double feelings about motherhood intrude. The Miracle is realized in the unique combination of 2D and stop-motion animation techniques used by Deutz.

Stitch Your Brain

Stitch Your Brain – Jap Sam Books
Publisher Jap Sam Books is working with designer/visual artist Monika Auch and graphic design studio Joost Grootens on an English-language publication resulting from the Stitch Your Brain Project, a long-term, international, empirical and visual research project at the interface of textile design and science. The project interweaves the workings of the brain with the workings of the hands and the craft of making. How does using digital tools instead of making by hand and having contact with materials affect our creativity, well-being, health and self-esteem?

Click here for all the projects selected in Design in 2021.


Of the 69 subsidy applications taken into consideration, 29 are receiving grants. This brings the percentage of applications receiving grants to 42%. The deadline for the third Design round in 2021 is 11 August 2021. The next deadline after that is 29 September 2021.