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TALENT PLATFORM

Discover emerging creative talents who are active in the fields of design, architecture and digital culture, supported by Creative Industries Fund NL. The Talent Platform is showcasing what artistic and professional growth entails and serves as a fount of information for other creatives and for commissioners.

GRANT PROGRAMME FOR TALENT DEVELOPMENT

Talent development is one of Creative Industries Fund NL's spearheads. The Fund awards 12-month grants to up-and-coming creative talents every year, providing the opportunity to enrich artistic and professional aspects of their practice to optimum effect. Participants must have graduated within the last four years and must be active in one of the diverse disciplines of the creative industries, from fashion design to graphic design, from architecture to digital culture. The Fund's online Talent Platform portrays all the individual practices of designers who have received a grant since 2013.

2020

'Talent Tours' provides via short video portraits insight into the thinking and practice of 39 emerging design talents, each of whom is concerned with topical social themes. What are their motives, their doubts and ambitions, and what values do they put first in their work? From 18 to 25 October 2020, the Creative Industries Fund NL presented the video portraits and daily livestreams with new talent during the Dutch Design Week.

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2019

Twenty-five minute-long film portraits introduce you in a personal and intimate way to the talented designers, makers, artists and architects who received a year-long stipendum over 2019/2020. The concept and production are the work of Studio Moniker. The film portraits are part of a programme together with performances by the talents in the MU artspace during Dutch Design Week 2019.

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2018

Twenty-four minute-long film portraits introduce you in a personal and intimate way to the talented designers, makers, artists and architects who received a year-long stipend over 2017/2018. The concept and production are the work of Studio Moniker. The film portraits are part of an installation in the Veem Building during Dutch Design Week 2018.

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ESSAY: DIAMOND INVESTMENT & THE NEW OIL

by Rosa te Velde
Around 1960, Dutch television broadcast its first talent show, a concept imported from America. ‘Nieuwe Oogst’ (New Harvest) was initially made in the summer months on a small budget. It turned out that talent shows were a cheap way of making entertaining television: participants seized the opportunity to become famous by showcasing their tricks, jokes, creating entertainment and spectacle — in return for coffee and travelling expenses.1

Talent shows have been around since time immemorial, but the concept of talent development — the notion of the importance of financial support and investment to talent — is relatively new. Since the rise of the information society and knowledge economy in the 1970s, the notion of ‘lifelong learning’ has become ever more important. Knowledge has become an asset. Refresher courses, skill development and flexibility are no longer optional, and passion is essential. You are now responsible for your own happiness and success. You are expected to ‘own’ your personal growth process. In 1998, McKinsey & Company published ‘The War for Talent’. This study explored the importance of high performers for companies, and how to recruit, develop and motivate talented people and retain them as employees. In the past few decades, talent management has become an important element in companies’ efforts to maximise their competitiveness, nurture new leaders or bring about personal growth. Sometimes, talent management is aimed at the company as a whole, but it is more likely to focus on young, high-potential employees who either are already delivering good performances or have shown themselves to be promising.2

It was social geographer Richard Florida who made the connection between talent and creativity, in his book ‘The Rise of the Creative Class’ (2002). In this book, he drew the — irreversible — link between economic growth, urban development and creativity. A hint of eccentricity, a bohemian lifestyle and a degree of coolness are the determining factors for ‘creativity’ that provide space for value creation. His theory led to a surge in innovation platforms, sizzling creative knowledge regions and lively creative hubs and breeding grounds. The talent discourse became inextricably linked with the creative industry. The Global Creativity Index, for instance, set up by Florida (in which the Netherlands was ranked 10th in 2015), is based on the three ‘Ts’ of technology, talent and tolerance. The talent phenomenon really took off in the world of tech start-ups, with innovation managers fighting for the most talented individuals in Silicon Valley. ‘Talent is the new oil’.

The idea that talent can grow and develop under the right conditions is diametrically opposed to the older, romantic concept of a God-given, mysterious ‘genius’. The modern view sees talent as not innate (at least, not entirely so), which is why giving talent money and space to develop makes sense. Like the Growing Diamond (groeibriljant), the Dutch diamond purchase scheme in which diamonds can become ‘ever more valuable’.

What is the history of cultural policy and talent development in the Netherlands? Whereas before the Second World War the state had left culture to the private sector, after the war it pursued an active ‘policy of creating incentives and setting conditions’.3 The state kept to the principles of Thorbecke and did not judge the art itself.4 But literary historian Bram Ieven argues that a change took place in the 1970s. It was felt art needed to become more democratic, and to achieve that it needed to tie in more with the market: “[…] from a social interpretation of art (art as participation), to a market-driven interpretation of the social task of art (art as creative entrepreneurship).”5 The Visual Artists’ (Financial Assistance) Scheme (BKR) and later the Artists’ Work and Income Act (WWIK) gave artists and designers long-term financial support if they did not have enough money, provided they had a certificate from a recognised academy or could prove they had a professional practice.6

It was Ronald Plasterk’s policy document on culture, ‘The Art of Life’ (2007), that first stressed the importance of investing in talent, as so much talent was left ‘unexploited’.7 Plasterk called in particular for more opportunities to be given to ‘outstanding highly talented creatives’, mainly so that the Netherlands could remain an international player. Since then, ‘talent development’ has become a fixture in cultural policy. Halbe Zijlstra also acknowledged the importance of talent in ‘More than Quality’ (2012), but he gave a different reason: ‘As in science, it is important in culture to create space for new ideas and innovation that are not being produced by the market because the activities in question are not directly profitable.’8 This enabled the support for talent to be easily justified from Zijlstra’s notoriously utilitarian perspective with its focus on returns, even after the economic crisis. Jet Bussemaker also retained the emphasis on talent development, and talent is set to remain on the agenda in the years ahead.9

The Creative Industries Fund NL first gave grants to a group of talented creatives in 2013. As in the Mondrian Fund’s talent development programme, the policy plan for 2013–2016 opted for a single, joint selection round each year. While the emphasis was on individual projects, it was noted that a joint assessment would be more objective and professional and that this would facilitate the accompanying publicity.10

Who is considered a possible talented creative? To be eligible for a grant, you have to satisfy a number of specific requirements: you have to be registered with the Chamber of Commerce, have completed a design degree less than four years ago and be able to write a good application that persuades the nine committee members from the sector that you have talent. Based on the application, they decide how much potential, or promise, they see in your development, taking into account the timing of the grant for your career. While there are many nuances in the application process, these factors make sure the concept of ‘talent’ is clearly defined.

If you get through the tough selection process — on average ten to fifteen per cent of the applications result in a grant — you enjoy the huge luxury of being able to determine your own agenda for an entire year, of being able to act instead of react. It seems as if you have been given a safe haven, a short break from your precarious livelihood. But can it actually end up reinforcing the system of insecurity? What should be a time for seizing opportunities may also lead to self-exploitation, stress and paralysis. In practice, the creative process is very haphazard. Will the talented creatives be able to live up to their promise?

One of them went on a trip to China, another was able to do a residency in Austria, while yet another gave up their part-time job. Many have carried out research in a variety of forms, from field studies and experiments with materials to writing essays. Some built prototypes or were finally able to buy Ernst Haeckel’s ‘Kunstformen der Natur’. Others organised meetings, factory visits, encounters, interviews and even a ball.

Is there a common denominator among the talented creatives who were selected? As in previous years, this year the group was selected specifically to ensure balance and diversity — encompassing a sound artist, a filmmaker, a design thinker, a researcher, a cartographer, a storyteller, a former architect and a gender activist-cum-fashion designer. Given the diversity of such a group, a joint presentation may feel forced. But presenting them to the outside world as a group enhances the visibility of these talented people, and this is important, because how else can the investment be vindicated?

These are the questions that the Creative Industries Fund NL has been debating ever since the first cohort: how to present this group without the presentation turning into a vulgar, unsubtle spectacle or propagating a romantic notion of talent, and at the same time, how to show the outside world what is being done with public money. And what would benefit the talented individuals themselves? In the past few years, various approaches have been tested as ways of reflecting on the previous year, from various curated exhibitions with publications and presentations to podcasts, texts, websites, workshops and debates.

The Creative Industries Fund NL operates as a buffer between neoliberal policy and the reality of creativity. The fund provides a haven for not-yet-knowing, exploration, making, experimentation and failure, without setting too many requirements. It is a balancing exercise: how do you tone down the harsh language of policy and keep at bay those who focus only on returns on investment, while still measuring and showing the need for this funding, and thereby safeguarding it?

Following input from the talented creatives themselves, a different approach has been chosen this year: there will be no exhibition. Most do not see the Dutch Design Week as the right place for them; only one or two are interested in presenting a ‘finished’ design or project at all, and they do not necessarily wish to do so during the Dutch Design Week. What is more, many of the talented individuals have used the grant for research and creating opportunities. Therefore, instead of a joint exhibition, the decision has been made to organise a gathering and to publish profile texts and video portraits on ‘Platform Talent’, an online database. This will put less emphasis on the work of the previous year and more on the visibility of the maker and the process they are going through, marking a shift away from concrete or applied results and towards their personal working methods. Will this form of publicity satisfy the general public’s appetite and curiosity and will it meet politicians’ desire for results? Has it perhaps become more important to announce that there is talent and not what that talent is? Or is this a way of avoiding quantification and relieving the pressure?

Perhaps what unites the talented creatives most is the fact that, although they have been recognised as ‘high performers’, they are all still searching for sustainable ways of working creatively within a precarious, competitive ecosystem that is all about seizing opportunities, remaining optimistic and being permanently available. So far, there is little room for failure or vulnerability, or to discuss the capriciousness of the creative process. The quest for talent is still a show, a hunt, a competition or battle.

1 https://anderetijden.nl/aflevering/171/Talentenjacht
2 Elizabeth G. Chambers et al. ‘The War for Talent’ in: The McKinsey Quarterly 3, 1998 pp. 44–57. This study was published in book form in 2001.
3 Roel Pots, ‘De tijdloze Thorbecke: over niet-oordelen en voorwaarden scheppen in het Nederlandse cultuurbeleid’ in: Boekmancahier 13:50, 2001, pp. 462-473, p. 466.
4 Thorbecke was a mid-nineteenth-century Dutch statesman.
5 Bram Ieven, ‘Destructive Construction: Democratization as a
Vanishing Mediator in Current Dutch Art Policy’ in: Kunstlicht, 2016 37:1, p. 11.
6 The Visual Artists’ (Financial Assistance) Scheme was in force from 1956 to 1986 and the Artists’ Work and Income Act from 2005 to 2012.
7 Ronald Plasterk, ‘Hoofdlijnen Cultuurbeleid Kunst van Leven’, 2007, p. 5. The Dutch politician Ronald Plasterk was Minister of Education, Culture and Science from 2007 to 2010.
8 Halbe Zijlstra, ‘Meer dan Kwaliteit: Een Nieuwe visie op cultuurbeleid’, 2012, p. 9. The Dutch politician Halbe Zijlstra was State Secretary of Education, Culture and Science from 2010 to 2012.
9 Jet Bussemaker is a Dutch politician who was Minister of Education, Culture and Science from 2012 to 2017.
10 Creative Industries Fund NL, policy plan for 2013/2016.

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2017

The fourth edition of In No Particular Order during the Dutch Design Week 2017 presented a collective statement about the pluriformity of contemporary design practice. Nine installations addressed the themes of Position, Inspiration, Working Environment, Representation, Money, Happiness, Language, Discourse and Market. The presentation in the Van Abbe Museum was curated by Jules van den Langenberg, who was himself a participant in the Programme for Talent Development in 2017.

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2016

In the third edition of In No Particular Order in 2016, curator Agata Jaworska offered insight into what it means to run a design practice. How do designers create the circumstances in which they work? What can we learn from their methodologies and routines? The designers reflected on these questions in audio recordings and with sketches. Together they give a personal impression of the development of their artistic practices.

In No Particular Order 2016

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2015

The second edition of the In No Particular Order presentation was staged in the Veem Building during Dutch Design Week 2015. Curator Agata Jaworska focused on the processes, points of departure and visions behind the materialization of work, using a database of images from the personal archives of the designers. What is it that drives the modern-day designer? What are their sources of inspiration, motivations and ambitions?

In No Particular Order 2015

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2014

What makes someone a talent? How is talent shaped? These were the pivotal questions for the first In No Particular Order exhibition in the Schellens Factory during Dutch Design Week 2014. Besides presenting the work of individual talents, curator Agata Jaworska revealed trends and shared similarities as well.

In No Particular Order 2014

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 Hélène Christelle Munganyende

Hélène Christelle Munganyende

Writer and designer Hélène Christelle Munganyende is self-taught and was scouted during the Scout Night Eindhoven. In her practice, she uses typography as a political tool to raise social issues, with a special focus on the historical and gender context of design. The applicant wants to build a new design ecosystem by means of typography. During the development year, Munganyende will explore how to translate her current work as a designer into an intersectional typography practice. For this purpose, she wants to develop a vocabulary that questions the classical image of 'the typographer' and presents a new form of typography development. Black women and African cultural heritage play a leading role, with the Black Beauty Shop as a space for design. In order to educate herself further, she is putting together an autonomous curriculum at ArtEZ under the supervision of Frank Tazelaar (head of the Creative Writing department) and is attending an online summer school on typography at the Royal College of Art London. She is collaborating with Doru Loboka, Studio ZZZAP and OSCAM, amongst others. The goal is to design her own font with which she compiles a feminism ABC. She is presenting her research in film and audio and writing an Intersectional Design Manifesto. She is also screening an audiovisual documentary at the Beursschouwburg in Brussels, Van Abbemuseum and OSCAM.
Adam Centko

Adam Centko

Adam Centko graduated from the KABK in 2020. In the coming year, Centko will be exploring the hidden resources and costs of digital communications with the project 'Invisible Infrastructures'. In order to strengthen his methodology, he is following several workshops in the fields of virtual production, Unreal Engine, fiction and screenwriting and documentary film. He also has a number of studio visits and mentors in mind, including artists and designers Constant Dullaart, Amalia Ulman, Hito Steyerl, Kévin Bray, Liam Young and Team Rolfes. During the development year, Centko is organizing three study trips: within video-game worlds, to physical locations of 'invisible' infrastructure and a residency 'off the grid'. The 'Invisible Infrastructures' project will result in a 30-minute documentary, which the applicant will submit to various local and international film festivals. Finally, with a second project, Centko is creating a digital metaverse that serves as an archive, a habitat for digital entities and a place for collaboration with other makers.
Alexander Beeloo

Alexander Beeloo

Alexander Beeloo graduated from the Academy of Architecture Amsterdam in 2019. The project 'Een dialoog met het Hollandse Landschap' is a continuation of his graduation work. It is design research into local material use and the beauty of the landscape as an alternative to the current way of building. During the development year, he wants to work in three steps: 1. a study of the Nieuwkoopse Plassen, an area characterized by reed beds, as a production landscape, 2. material studies into using reed and peat from the landscape as building material and 3. designing a folly to emphasize the experience of the landscape. These sub-investigations are supported by experts from various organizations such as Natuurmonumenten, Studio Marco Vermeulen, IVN Nieuwkoop Landschapsbeheer, Moerasbeheer and Bioblocks. For the development of his design practice, Beeloo seeks guidance from architect Machiel Spaan, landscape architect Anouk Vogel, and designer Elmo Vermeijs. The project will eventually come together in a small publication and a series of scale models that will be on display at Galerie Hoeve in Rijlaarsdam, the Rechthuis in Nieuwkoop and, in consultation with Natuurmonumenten, in the landscape of the Nieuwkoopse Plassen.
Ameneh Solati

Ameneh Solati

Ameneh Solati obtained her Master's degree in Architecture from the Royal College of Art. She sees that refugees are forced to simplify their histories, social customs and family structures, so that cultural practices fit 'neatly' within the existing structures of the built environment. From this observation, she wonders how refugees deal with this pressure to conform. In addition to this issue, Solati will focus in the coming year on developing an interdisciplinary spatial design practice, where research, text and design come together. She is building an open-source archive that includes a lexicon, stories, artefacts, images, maps, recordings, documents and more. Solati interweaves narratives with informative essays in which she describes different kinds of environments – private, public, the productive and the spiritual – and will be experimenting with moving image as a means of representation. The media (such as digital video, animated drawings, 3D models, collages and sound) will be merged into an essay film. In addition, Solati is calling on various professionals for mentoring, participating in animation and editing courses, and receiving guidance in writing from author Priya Basil.
Anastasia Eggers

Anastasia Eggers

Anastasia Eggers graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2017. Eggers believes that it is urgent to speak about countries' identities and relationships using the medium of food – especially now, when European borders and the fragility of national food systems have become more evident through the COVID-19 restrictions and divisions are taking place within Europe with effects that are not yet clear. In the development year, she plans to deepen her research into the complexity of food and geopolitics. She is doing this by taking Dutch agriculture and food culture as a starting point to explore international trade relations, identity and the relationship between local and global. Eggers is working on two projects: 'Brexit Herring' about the North Sea as negotiating table in the context of Brexit, and 'Migrating Seasons' on migrant seasonal labour and the fragility of the food system. The first project follows three lines: 1. conversations with experts about Brexit policy and maritime law; 2. research into the Dutch herring tradition in collaboration with craftspeople; and 3. an ethnographic study into the crews on fishing boats. In the second project, she is carrying out ethnographic research by participating in the harvest. Resulting from this, she is designing a contemporary farmers' almanac, with new narratives about speculative rural festivities. Eggers is being guided by a trade strategist, graphic designer Benjamin Sporken and Dr Clemens Driessen from Wageningen University. Eggers plans to present 'Brexit Herring' during Dutch Design Week and at symposia. The outcome of 'Migrating Seasons' will be presented at Z33 in Hasselt.
Angeliki Diakrousi

Angeliki Diakrousi

Designer and artist Angeliki-Marina Diakrousi graduated from the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam. In her practice, she relates to the invisible political and social impact of technology and examines how this manifests itself in the public domain, both urban and online. She sees technology not as neutral, but as a tool that reproduces bias and social injustice. In her design practice, she relates to a techno-feminist perspective, low-tech, hacking and open-source practices, political audio and radio art, critical architectural theory and experimental publishing. During the development year, Diakrousi will be collaborating on two projects, 'Hunting Mosquitoes' and 'WordMord', and aims to further develop her technical, programming and writing skills by attending relevant workshops. The applicant will be guided by curator and researcher Linnea Semmerling and another yet–to-be-selected artist. She is presenting her work and organizing work sessions at the Center for Art and Urbanistics ZK/U in Berlin, TENT and Varia in Rotterdam, Sonic Acts, TU Delft and the University of Thessaly, among others.
Anne Nieuwenhuijs

Anne Nieuwenhuijs

Anne Nieuwenhuijs graduated from the Academy of Architecture Amsterdam in 2018. With her studio Deltascapes, she designs spatial solutions based on the smallest particle in silt: clay. 'Vloeibaar Land' is a sequel to her graduation project. Nieuwenhuijs's aim with the project is to develop landscape scenarios and objects that influence the forces shaping the landscape at the boundary between water and land, stimulate biodiversity and create hospitable living conditions for many species. In this way, she aims to contribute to climate adaptation. To become a specialist in landscape productions, the designer is following three lines of learning during the development year: collecting raw materials to make products that interfere with natural dynamics, researching the properties of clay and designing a visual language and company mission for Deltascapes. For this purpose, she is taking courses in ceramics and soil chromatography, doing work placements with experts from various disciplines and entering into a collaboration with a creative communication agency. 'Vloeibaar Land' results in a number of clay objects that are presented in an exhibition.
Ant Eye

Ant Eye

Product designers Hanneke Klaver and Tosca Schift, both graduates from the Product Design department at ArtEZ in Arnhem, together form the collective Ant Eye. Their work moves on the cutting edge of product design, performance and film and is characterized by absurdity, transformation, protest and imagination. The applicants want to free objects from their applied and serving function. During the development year, the collective will start an artistic research project with the working title 'I Object'. This title refers to Ant Eye's vision: the objects are in revolt. Klaver and Schift want to learn to better interpret and convey the voice of the object by professionalizing themselves in film and storytelling and the making of costumes and performances. They want to gain more knowledge and experience in the theatre world and the film industry and within these disciplines expand their network and find collaboration partners. As a mentor, they have found design theorist Rana Ghavami willing to coach them. They have also approached filmmaker Douwe Dijkstra and Joris Suk, designer at Maison the Faux, as coaches. Ant Eye plans to present the results of this research during Dutch Design Week 2022 and the International Short Film Festival in Nijmegen.
Axel Coumans

Axel Coumans

Social designer Axel Coumans (Atelier Coumans) gained his Bachelor's degree at the Design Academy Eindhoven. In his practice, he approaches ecological issues from different social contexts and a non-human perspective. In the coming year, Coumans will develop his ability to listen, which he considers one of the most important skills of a social designer. In the various projects and activities that he develops for this purpose, trees play a central role, including trees in the city. First of all, he is going to Ireland, where he wants to learn from Celtic farmers, after which he will go to the primeval forests of Poland to listen to lumberjacks and foresters. Subsequently, during Dutch Design Week, he will create a space in Eindhoven where the public sector will enter into dialogue with the public. The subject is the living environment, which will be discussed based on the plane tree growing in his work area. In addition, Coumans is carrying out projects with Zone2Source and BioArt Laboratories and is being advised by Arita Baaijens (explorer) and Darko Lagunas (socio-environmental researcher). He is also following a master class in Socratic dialogue with Sandra Aerts and Ine Rietstap, and a training course in Urban forestry with Tom van Duuren.
Baratto&Mouravas

Baratto&Mouravas

Nicola Baratto and Yiannis Mouravas both graduated from the Sandberg Institute and now work together in the practice Archaeodreaming. During their development year, with the project 'Seabed', they aim to research a specific cultural artefact that they consider essential to understanding our times: the bed. The intention is to generate utopian forms of imagination by connecting the socio-cultural discourse on sleep, dreams and deep-sea exploration. Baratto and Mouravas will be guided by the mentors Studio Ossidiana, Tjeerd Veenhoven (HuisVeendam) and Ernst van der Hoeven (MacGuffin). In addition, there will be collaborations with the Greek bed manufacturer COCO-MAT, the Donders Institute, and musician Marijn Degenaar (Circular Ruins). The project results in an immersive scenographic installation that will be presented at various locations in Italy and the Netherlands; the applicants are approaching the Oerol festival and the Zuiderzeemuseum, among others.
Benjamin McMillan

Benjamin McMillan

Benjamin McMillan graduated from ArtEZ in Arnhem in 2020. In the coming year, he will work on the project 'Full Auto Foundry' and the smaller project 'Sunday Lunch'. The goal of 'Full Auto Foundry' is to develop a workshop-based practice that starts from the collaboration between designer, non-human intelligence and automated processes. For this purpose, McMillan will be holding talks and following courses with experts in typography, automation and artificial intelligence. He will be doing this with Aaron Bastani, K. Allado-McDowell, Nora N. Khan, Fredrick Brennan, Just van Rossum and Loes Bogers, amongst others. For organizing workshops, McMillan is involving the expertise of Gaile Pranckunaite and Benoît Bodhuin. Together with Dong Bin Han, he is setting up workshops, for which he has a number of locations in mind: ArtEZ, Gerrit Rietveld Academie, KABK, San Serriffe and Varia in Rotterdam. For 'Sunday Lunch', the applicant is seeking guidance from professionals in the typography field to develop alternative modes of distribution.
Boey Wang

Boey Wang

Product designer Boey Wang (Studio Boey) gained his Bachelor's degree in Man and Wellbeing from the Design Academy in Eindhoven. Under the title 'Perceptual Design', Wang questions the dominance of the visual perspective within the design world. In the coming year, he will develop a theoretical framework and principles for a new way of designing, under the title 'Haptic Aesthetics', which is based on non-visual principles. Together with designer Simon Dogger and Visio Revalidatie & Advies Eindhoven, he is carrying out interviews and organizing workshops to gain greater insight into the perspective of people with visual impairments. Wang then applies the knowledge gained to new objects that promote the sense of touch. In addition, Wang intends to introduce his methodology within design education in order to break the dominance of the visual image in the design process on a larger scale. The knowledge and theory gained will be come together in a publication and various presentations. During the year, Wang is involving several advisers, including writers Gert Staal and Dirk van Weelden and The Agency For Ambition.
Céline Hurka

Céline Hurka

Graphic designer Céline Hurka gained a Master's degree in Type and Media from the KABK in The Hague. In her practice, Hurka is involved in book design, photography, interactive design, writing and materials research. For her, typography is what connects these disciplines. She pursues an experimental and research-based approach, using new technologies to explore and question typographic conventions. During the development year, Hurka is focusing on the development of new typographic standards, using variable typeface technology. She also wants to question typographical conventions and broaden the field, including by enabling typefaces for minority languages such as the Sámi. The applicant will work to acquire new skills in coding, non-Latin typeface design (including Cyrillic script), and writing. Russian typographer Anya Danilova will guide her during the process. Hurka would like to go to the US (New York, Rhode Island, San Francisco) and to Moscow and St. Petersburg for her research. She will present the results on a website, in a printed publication and in an interactive, physical installation. She will show her work at institutions in the Netherlands and Moscow and give lectures and workshops at conferences and academies, such as KABK and Konstfack Stockholm.
Charlotte Rohde

Charlotte Rohde

Graphic designer and typographer Charlotte Rohde graduated from the Sandberg Institute. In her practice, she explores the meaning of 'the letter as a body' in a multidisciplinary way, by transforming typefaces in different media, such as writing and making three-dimensional objects. During the development year, Rohde wants to sharpen her methodology for making multidisciplinary works from the letter design. In addition, she wants to initiate a discussion about integrating feminist strategies into a male-dominated field. For this purpose, she will write a short story in which she introduces a new typeface as the protagonist. To give this story a spatial interpretation, she will transform the typeface into ceramic and bronze objects. The applicant will present the results in a publication and a spatial installation. She will also conduct public interviews with typeface designers and argue in favour of making typeface licensing more accessible. To guide her, Rohde has found queer Armenian-American film theorist and writer Tina Bastajian and graphic designer and typographer David Bennewith. In addition, she is conducting feedback interviews with Jungmyung Lee. In the US, she wants to visit The Letterform Archive in San Francisco and meet a number of experts in the field of typography.
Christine Kipiriri

Christine Kipiriri

Fashion designer Christine Kipiriri (Women Ofwar) was selected during the Scout Night in Amsterdam. Having fled from Bujumbura, Burundi, the maker travelled with family to Germany, to subsequently end up in the Netherlands. Kipiriri describes in the development plan how she had her first experiences with racism here. Not only the lived experience as a refugee, but also growing up with computer parts, tools and other items found by her father are her inspiration. In the coming year, the designer will further expand her fashion label 'Woman Ofwar'. She is conducting research into her cultural background, with the aim of anchoring artistic values in her practice. To do this, Kipiriri is travelling to Burundi. The maker is seeking contact with Margaux Wongart, a local jewellery designer, who will guide her in the application of traditional fashion. She will also gain experience in making clothes during the master classes at Meesteropleiding Coupeur and at the Promiday workshop in Almere, where she has laser cutters and embroidery machines at her disposal. Kipiriri will present the final collection in the form of a fashion film.
Colette Aliman

Colette Aliman

Colette Aliman graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2019. She is researching the 'Mechaphony' (the mechanical soundscape) in the development year with the 'Sonic Recalibration Lab'. This research focuses specifically on three topics: urban noise, anthropomorphization of sound quantification and the sound paradoxes of green energy. With a three-part online publication, she aims to reach scientists, sound artists, and a wider audience interested in sound. In addition, Aliman is organizing a series of 'Soundscape Mixtape' workshops to connect different institutions to the network of the 'Sonic Recalibration Lab'. In the further professionalization of the lab, Aliman is guided by Marion Beltman (business coach), amongst others.
Dasha Tsapenko

Dasha Tsapenko

Designer Dasha Tsapenko graduated from the Master's programme in Social Design at the Design Academy Eindhoven. In her practice, Tsapenko investigates alternative production processes and designs or redesigns daily routines relating to the body and clothing. Within her holistic way of working, she borrows methods from agriculture, mycology and microbiology and nature systems. In the coming year, the designer will focus on further developing the research project 'Fur_tilize', in which she explores how to grow fur-like garments. Two plant species are central to the project: Trametes Betulina (a type of mushroom) and Cannabis Sativa (industrial hemp). During the year, Tsapenko will work with various scientists, including Professor Han Wösten (head of the microbiology department at Utrecht University), the Textiellab Tilburg or the platform 'Fashion for Good' and felting/tufting specialist Olga Mys. The result comes together in a collection of garments that will be presented during Fashion Clash Festival and DDW 2022.
David Schmidt

David Schmidt

Architect David Schmidt graduated from TU Delft. In his talent development trajectory, he aims to strengthen his practice by deploying a traditional craft approach on the one hand and by broadening his field of work to a more landscape-oriented approach on the other. The project 'De Andere Stad' (The Other City) is a design study into how a different kind of city can arise from place-based production processes within changing urban conditions. With a focus on Amsterdam-Noord, the project is structured according to three research themes: greening through reducing the amount of hard surfaces, new housing typologies, and an inclusive (sustainable and social) economy. A large scale model functions as an exchange place for new ideas. Schmidt is inviting a total of six experts: three are specialized in the research themes mentioned above, a fourth is focused on the changing role of the architect and a fifth on communication and representation. A sixth expert has yet to be determined. As a form of presentation, the large-scale model is intended not only as a summarizing end product, but also as a narrative representation of an evolving project. In public 'Site Salons', a learning network will be set up with the invited experts. In conclusion, there will be a 'Finissage De Salon' where the project will be presented by means of an exhibition of the model and an accompanying publication.
Diego Manuel Yves Grandry

Diego Manuel Yves Grandry

Designer Diego Manuel Yves Grandry studied Interactive Media Design at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. In his practice, he uses tools from the digital world to create new stories about 'the other'. He hopes that people will become more empathetic and understanding. Grandry has a younger sister with a neurological disorder: Rett syndrome. During the development year, Grandry plans to work on developing alternative therapy methods for people with this syndrome. For this purpose, he uses Virtual Reality technology to animate their movements. To do this, he works from the art perspective in collaboration with the medical field, including neurologist Nicolai Joost (UMC+ Utrecht) and psychiatrist Gabriel Brun (Charles Perrens Hospitale in Bordeaux). In addition, he is looking for exchanges with families of Rett-syndrome carriers in the Netherlands and France. The ultimate goal is to fill a gap where traditional medical treatments come up short, and to jointly build alternative healthcare systems. The applicant wants to follow workshops at the VR learning Lab in Leiden. He has approached artist and designer Ali Eslami to be a mentor and is in contact with artist Kévin Bray. Grandry will present the results of his research in a series of online videos. He also hopes to show his work during the IMPAKT festival.
Djatá Bart-Plange

Djatá Bart-Plange

Djatá Bart-Plange aka NDNMK Solutions completed his Bachelor's degree in English Language and Culture at Utrecht University in 2018. Much of his work stems from the frustrations he experienced within the academic world. For example, knowledge politics, whiteness and masculinity are often-recurring themes. In the coming year, he will focus on producing the first chapter in the series of audiobooks called 'FF:FF:FF:FF:FF.FF' – a mishmash of prose, fiction and non-fiction, sound collage, and game elements. Through this series, Bart-Plange wants to build a digital bridge between the Western, hegemonic knowledge system and various West-African knowledge systems. This project aims at a decolonization of the mind through, at best, the development of a kind of bilingualism or multilingualism in world views – if not: it is an insight into the malleability, contingency, and strengths and weaknesses of our Western way of understanding the world; and it seeks to provide assistance in letting go, joining the scary unknown, learning to listen to voices from outside the imperial centres of the white world, in order to build something else together with the vast wealth of knowledge from all the sciences of the world and its people.
Dylan Westerweel

Dylan Westerweel

Fashion designer Dylan Westerweel gained his Bachelor's degree in Fashion Design at ArtEZ. He characterizes his label 'Dylan Westerweel' as a celebration of queerness: a fashion brand for everyone who wants to express his/her/their beauty and strength. Primarily because queer people dare to look at the world differently, because the world looks at them differently. This includes examining social constructs, such as beauty and design. Westerweel draws inspiration from a variety of sources, including the lives of rent boys in Victorian London and the work of Armenian filmmaker Sergei Paradzhanov. In the coming year, Westerweel will focus on developing a new collection entitled 'Sergei'. The collection tells the queer life story in seven seasons. For the development of 'Sergei', the designer is conducting literature and texture research at IHLIA and couture embroidery house Maison Lesage in Paris. The knowledge gained will be made accessible through a databank and an exhibition at Szalon Amsterdam. In addition, Westerweel is organizing a photo shoot of the collection with Nella Roz, after which he will offer the images to magazines such as Dazed, Paper, Slippage and Another Man. Finally, the collection will be presented in a gallery during Amsterdam Fashion Week and Westerweel is going to collaborate with KnitwearLab, Spice PR and Iconic PR.
Ebru Aydin

Ebru Aydin

Audiovisual maker Ebru Aydin was selected during the Scout Night in Utrecht. As a Turkish-Dutch woman with a Muslim background, Aydin is committed to raising awareness on the themes of social inequality, migration & Islam, perception, discrimination & racism, identity, (super)diversity and inclusion. As a follow-up to the project 'Hijab verhalen', Aydin will be researching the social position of Muslim women in the Netherlands in the coming year. To do this, she will talk to various experts such as university lecturer in religious studies Margreet van Es, programme maker Hajar Fallah, writer Samya Hafsaoui, politician Fatima El Atik, researcher Anne Dijk and editor Berna Toprak. For her artistic development, Aydin is taking a course in storytelling and consulting photographers Cigdem Yuksel and Sebiha Oztas. She is also making a podcast, for which she is collaborating with 'Wij Blijven Hier', an online platform for Dutch Muslims. Finally, Aydin is developing an in-depth programme and exhibition in collaboration with Pakhuis de Zwijger, OBA and TivoliVredenburg.
Eduardo Leòn

Eduardo Leòn

Fashion designer Eduardo Leòn (Avoidstreet) graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in 2017. In his multidisciplinary design practice, he focuses on showing the beauty of the banal and projecting 'high-gloss luxury' onto the everyday. In the coming year, he will be working on a new collection called 'Piazalle Lotto'. The collection is named after a district in Milan, where his grandmother ran an illegal restaurant from her living room and Peruvian immigrants from different parts of society found a second home. With this as starting point, Leòn aims to facilitate the conversation about immigration, culture and community, while also addressing the absurdities of the fashion industry. The collection is brought together in a physical and digital exhibition, a publication, a public programme and a website. For this, Leòn is working together with Amsterdam Warehouse. Throughout the year, the designer is involving various experts, including strategist and digital-culture expert Emily Segal. He is also looking to collaborate in the graphics area with Claudia Martinez Garay, Arturo Kameya and Elisabeth Klement of San Serriffe, on audio with Jonathan Casto and on choreography with Juan Pablo Camara. He is also planning to follow a 3D workshop at the AMFI and make study trips to Peru and Milan.
Emilia Tapprest

Emilia Tapprest

Emilia Tapprest is a 2019 graduate of the Sandberg Institute. With 'NVISIBLE.STUDIO' she is researching the way digitization processes shape the interaction between society, ideology and power. In the development plan, Tapprest focuses on a number of collaborative projects that use film and other forms of immersive storytelling to represent alternative ways of being. In collaboration with science historian Victor Evink, Tapprest is working on the project 'Zhōuwéi Network', which explores 16 archetypal and speculative models of society. During the development year, three projects are central: 'Sonzai Media', 'Inner Futures' and 'Embodied Protocols'. Tapprest is also working on three secondary projects: 'Zhōuwéi Network Film', 'Ambitopia' and 'Birthpains'. For the professionalization of her practice, the maker is following performance and movement workshops. As mentors, she is approaching Daan Milius (dramaturge), Huib Haye van der Werf (curator), Daniel van der Velden (designer), Rob Schröder, Martin Lopatka (data scientist) and Romeo Kienzler (IBM). The presentation of the work will take hybrid forms in physical exhibitions, workshops and online platforms.
Emirhan Akin

Emirhan Akin

Due to its sensitive nature, Emirhakin has made the request to keep the project unpublished until completion.
Gianna Bottema

Gianna Bottema

Gianna Bottema is in 2019 afgestudeerd aan de Architectural Association in Londen en wil in het ontwikkeljaar een kritiek vormen op de Nederlandse woningbouwpraktijk vanuit feministisch en intersectioneel perspectief. Haar onderzoek naar ongelijke verhoudingen in de woningomgeving bevraagt paradigma's rondom gender en seksualiteit en verkent de ruimtelijke mogelijkheden voor economische, politieke en sociale gelijkheid om deze vervolgens te vertalen naar alternatieve woningplattegronden. In de eerste helft van het ontwikkeljaar doet Bottema met 'woonatlas' theoretisch en typologisch onderzoek gedaan. Dit komt onder andere tot uiting in samenwerkingen met deskundigen op het gebied van wonen en genderstudies en een studiereis naar niet-Europese projecten. In de tweede helft wordt met 'woonrevolutie' gewerkt aan experimenten met beeldtechnieken, ontwerpstudies, en speculatieve woonvoorstellen. Ter afsluiting wordt met ' woondiscussie' het werk gepresenteerd via workshops, een publicatie gericht op vakpubliek en een website voor het bredere publiek.
Ivan Čuić

Ivan Čuić

Sound designer Ivan Čuić holds a Bachelor's degree in ArtScience from the Royal Academy of Art | Royal Conservatoire. With Kantarion Sound, Čuić organizes programmes combining live/DJ performances, improvisations, self-initiated projects, silent film with live electronics, exhibitions and listening sessions. He creates site-specific set-ups to make sound more physically experienceable and strives to achieve an optimal relationship between sound, space, audience and performance. During the development year, Čuić is focusing on optimizing the physical experience of sound. He does this in the Sonic Elevation project, which consists of audio work, a sound system, acoustic panels, an inflatable mattress, fog and light. He will build a custom-made sound system for Murmur, a space for sound in Amsterdam. He has entered into a long-term collaboration with them to explore the best possible listening environment. He is working together with Flex Acoustics, which develops flexible, inflatable acoustic units, and is initiating an acoustics training course with an expert. In addition, he is requesting feedback from sound artist Sébastien Robert. He is also organizing a 24-hour listening session at the Zandmotor off the coast at The Hague. He has been invited to present Sonic Elevation at the Nxt Museum and to perform at the festival The Gray Space in the Middle.
Jarmal Martis

Jarmal Martis

Digital product designer and image-maker Jarmal Martis was selected during the Scout Night in Utrecht. In the development plan, Martis describes the impact of image formation on communities, specifically Curaçaoans, and how population groups can be reduced to stereotypes. The maker wants to focus further on this theme in the coming year. In the project 'Yuli', Martis follows a single mother from Curaçao for a longer period of time. He visits her once or twice a week and documents her life through photography. In the coming year, the maker will lay the foundation for this project through participant observation and co-creation. He is also working on a short documentary and a number of essays to give the story a more layered quality. During the project, Martis will collaborate with documentary filmmaker Isaura Sanwirjatmo and curator Mona Penn-Jousset. The maker is also requesting feedback from Richard Terborg, Marlike Marks and Francois Hendrickx. The photo series and documentation will be presented in an exhibition, and a website will also be developed.
Karin Fischnaller

Karin Fischnaller

Designer Karin Fischnaller graduated from the Information Design Master's programme at the Design Academy Eindhoven. Fischnaller aims to unravel new technologies and reveal their disruptive impact on systems, both in design and in society. She does this by developing interactive interfaces: 'digital information spaces' where content is reorganized into network-like structures. By bringing together journalistic methods, design and creative coding, she wants to offer new insights and surprising perspectives, and facilitate a public debate. During the development year, the applicant is working on the further development of her methodology for navigating complex and interconnected storylines on digital platforms. She is building a knowledge database by interviewing experts, attending master classes and collecting examples. With the collected knowledge, she subsequently wants to give workshops at the Design Academy Eindhoven, the KABK, Free University of Bolzano (IT), or the Critical Media Lab (CH). She will present the findings with online events and spatial installations at institutions such as ACED, The Hmm or On Data and Design (CH) and at MU artspace, Dutch Design Week or the GLUE festival. Rik Dijkhoff and Roosje Klap have agreed to guide her.
Kirsten Spruit

Kirsten Spruit

Graphic designer Kirsten Spruit gained a Master's degree in Information Design at the Design Academy Eindhoven. In her work, Spruit relates to the theme of 'off time', or 'doing nothing' – time that seems unproductive within a capitalist value system, but which she believes is necessary for a meaningful existence. Using various media and disciplines, she creates circumstances, environments or stimuli to make room for aimless thinking. During the development year, Spruit is sharpening her methodologies and theoretical framework with regard to 'doing nothing', work, productivity and technology and making them publicly accessible. At the same time, she is developing her skills in graphic design, writing, coding and sound, and interviewing experts via her radio station Good Times Bad Times. Erik Viskil, professor of Research and Discourse in Artistic Practice at Leiden University, will provide guidance in making an essay film. She also plans to take New York University's online course Theories of Media and Technology and a course in online publishing by Laurel Schwulst and John Provencer. To share her findings, she is developing a workshop for art academies, making a radio show and screening her essay film at LantarenVenster and Lab1.
Leyla-Nour Benouniche

Leyla-Nour Benouniche

Artist Leyla-Nour Benouniche studied at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague. From her background as a French-Algerian queer researcher and facilitator, she focuses on the stories of queer people and women of colour, with a focus on mental health and consent. During her development year, Benouniche wants to build an online and real-life community to support young marginalized people in Europe, where tools, common experiences and magical escapism can be shared. For this, she wants to make a video series of live talk shows, framed by an overarching fictional animation story. Popular 'life lesson' programmes such as children's programmes and talk shows such as Queer Eye or Oprah serve as examples. She combines this with elements of science fiction from African and specifically North African mythologies, and visual codes from the queer and diaspora communities. For this purpose, she is conducting research into mediation, science fiction, and ethical, cultural and digital literacy. She is receiving guidance from the (A)wake Artist Residency in MONO Rotterdam. She will also seek advice from Nike Ayinla and Nas Hosen (Orisun studio), Margarita Osipian (The Hmm) and Navild Acosta and Fannie Sosa (experts on ethical and inclusive practices), among others. She plans to present the resulting workshops, talks and screenings at festivals such as the New Radicalism Festival at MONO Rotterdam, Dutch Design Week and The Hang-Out.
Lieke Jildou de Jong

Lieke Jildou de Jong

Lieke Jildou de Jong, a graduate of the Academy of Architecture, wants to develop as a landscape architect with a specialization in food cycles. With her design practice landscape.collected, she is working on the project 'Bodemlegger' during her development year. In this project, she researches how food culture shapes the landscape. For this purpose, she is conducting talks at an experimental farm with knowledge of soil vitality in relation to crops, with a cook who makes the food landscape edible and with entomologists who are charting the diet of insects and soil life. Subsequently, the design phase starts. In this phase, she is developing a design methodology that results in an installation that gives the public insight into the workings of an ecosystem. In order to strengthen her position in the field, De Jong will receive guidance from various experts and tutors, including Lada Hršak, who will coach her throughout the development year.
Luis Ferreira

Luis Ferreira

Coder Luis Ferreira (Schuur Creations) is self-taught and was selected during the Scout Night in Eindhoven. In the past two years, Ferreira has developed independently in creative coding. In the development plan, Ferreira describes his ambition to develop further in storytelling through technology. The development plan is divided into three phases, which include self-development through research and collaborations, gaining inspiration with like-minded makers and supporting others through workshops. During the year, the maker will gain knowledge from Paul Raats, Alissa+Nienke, Jing Wang, The Orchestra, Ellen de Vries and Ricky van Broekhoven, among others. He is also seeking contact with organizations that can contribute to the development of his practice, such as Creative Coding Utrecht, FIBER, Waag and We are Playgrounds. To stimulate the exchange with like-minded people, Ferreira is working on a platform for Creative Coders in Eindhoven, which now exists only as a Facebook group. To further develop himself technically and artistically, he is following a number of master classes and training courses, for example at Unity's Create with Code. Finally, the maker is translating the knowledge gained into several workshops that will be held in collaboration with Future Makers Factory and Sintlucas.
Maggie Saunders

Maggie Saunders

Designer Maggie Saunders graduated in 2019 from the Master's programme in Social Design at the Design Academy Eindhoven. In her practice, Saunders focuses on improving the working conditions of sex workers from her personal experience as a stripper. With this in mind, she developed the social-design project 'Striptopia', a performative experience that aims to create a new culture concerning sex work using technological means. During the development year, Saunders intends to further explore and develop the social, performative and spatial experience of the strip club. She does this in co-creation with sex workers and under the guidance of external experts. In addition, she wants to develop new forms of social interaction between the public and sex workers: approaching the strip club as an interactive journey through a series of choreographed events and exploring a new aesthetic and spatial layout that no longer follows the rules of the classic gentlemen's club. In this search, she wants to collaborate with Marieke Samallo (Milkshake Festival), Theo Heskes (Totally Events and Rotterdam Pride) and social-media expert Yema Lumumba. In addition, she is seeking contact with Jess Barry, researcher gender-sensitive design practices and theory, and Joel Blanco, Professor of Design for Innovation and Trend Research at ESD Madrid. The presentation will take place during Dutch Design Week 2022.
Marcel Mrejen

Marcel Mrejen

Marcel Mrejen holds a Bachelor's degree in Art & Design from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. His practice is characterized by a multidisciplinary approach, at the intersection of art and science. He uses digital media to develop new ways of learning and increase our awareness of our dependence on ecosystems. His work takes various forms such as multimedia installations, software, AI models, moving images and publications. During the development year, in dialogue with makers and thinkers, Mrejen intends to develop a research methodology that focuses on the learning of non-human beings and multiple organic intelligences. For this purpose, he will carry out material experiments and create a new work with which he aims to reach a wider audience. In the bay of Paimpol (France), the applicant will develop a site-specific, multisensory installation, using underwater sensors and augmented reality. Mrejen's work will be part of an exhibition in France, and in addition he wants to present the digital part of the installation in Eindhoven or Rotterdam. Finally, he is sharing his research through an online knowledge platform and producing a publication.
Marko Baković

Marko Baković

Shoe designer Marko Baković gained his Master's degree in Footwear from the London College of Fashion. In his design practice, hybridity and circularity play a central role. During the development year, Baković wants to explore how practice-based knowledge can be digitized and how off-the-shelf materials can be incorporated into scalable production chains. He is addressing the questions through three elements: 1. the definition of a research lab, 2. the creation of a crafts database and 3. the production of 'Collection 01'. In the research lab, Baković will be carrying out several experiments with footwear and working on the deployment of digital tools such as VR and UX design within the design process. The designer will provide access to this knowledge in a database and collection called '01'. To develop the collection, Baković will carry out field research in Veneto (Italy) and take individual lessons from shoemaker René van den Berg. He will also collaborate with coder Michiel Heems for the technical development of the project. The collection will be presented via an interactive website with exclusive tours, and during Paris Fashion Week in collaboration with Tomorrow Ltd.
Octave Rimbert-Rivière

Octave Rimbert-Rivière

Designer and ceramicist Octave Rimbert-Rivière graduated from the Sandberg Institute in 2020. In his practice, he investigates the field of tension between uniqueness, craft, mass production and new technologies. His design methodology is based on existing technology for streamlined production, which he then disrupts to achieve unique results. In the first phase of his development path, Rimbert-Rivière is experimenting with CAD software. He is supported here in the technical area by 3D artist and game designer Guillaume Roux. In the second phase, the digital models are translated to a physical form through traditional techniques such as ceramics and glass-blowing. Here, he is guided by ceramicists Marianne Peijnenburg and Anne Verdier, and glass expert Steef Hendricks. Ultimately, Rimbert-Rivière will present his work in a publication (in collaboration with graphic designer Alex J. Walker and curators Sophie Lvoff and Joel Riff), an exhibition in ISO and online (in collaboration with coder Olivier Jonvaux).
Patricia Mokosi

Patricia Mokosi

Fashion designer Patricia Mokosi (On God by Tries) was selected during the Scout Night in Amsterdam. The maker, who was born in Congo and raised in Eindhoven, currently lives in Amsterdam. Mokosi draws her inspiration from her turbulent youth, which has left her with a fascination for everything that has to do with the audiovisual, spiritual and occult. In the coming year, the fashion designer will focus on further developing her label On God by Tries. For this purpose, she will gather knowledge and work on her technical skills, and follow a master class in Textile Design. She will incorporate the results of her research into a collection of unisex clothing and accessories made from sustainable materials. The collection will be presented in a fashion show and fashion film. To strengthen her audience reach, Mokosi is working with Blanche Agency.
Renske van Vroonhoven

Renske van Vroonhoven

Olfactory designer and perfumer Renske van Vroonhoven is self-taught and was scouted during the Scout Night Eindhoven. With her interdisciplinary practice, she aims to design comprehensive experiences, focusing on the senses of touch, taste and especially smell – the so-called lower senses – to bring people into an experience in an inclusive way. Van Vroonhoven stands for openness and wants to share her knowledge and skills with other artists, designers and students. She works together with commercial as well as artistic and scientific partners. In 2018, she launched her label Attic Lab. She is involved in the open-source Scent Lab and the Memory Bar collaboration. She is also a guest lecturer at the KABK in The Hague and ArtEZ in Arnhem. During the development year, Van Vroonhoven will focus on the relationship between smell and memories. She is immersing herself (theoretically and practically) in the meaning of smell as a design medium and experimenting with new techniques. In addition, the applicant is exploring the role of smell in exhibitions and expanding her involvement in art education. She is currently participating in Tussen Kunst & Skills, a mentoring programme focusing on entrepreneurship.
Robbert Doelwijt Jr.

Robbert Doelwijt Jr.

Audiovisual maker Robbert Doelwijt Jr. was selected during the Scout Night in Amsterdam. In the development plan, Doelwijt describes his ambition to develop further as a director and writer. The maker was born in the Bijlmer (Amsterdam) and has Surinamese parents with roots in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, China and Indonesia.

This family history and having a bicultural identity form the basis for the themes in Doelwijt's practice. During the development process, Doelwijt will work on the short film 'The Underwear Boys', in which he records his feelings about his identity as a black bicultural man. He will work with experienced producers to gain knowledge about building a career as a writer/director. In addition to the short film, he will also be making a start on the documentary 'There's an app for that', which is centred around Third Culture Kids, a group of Gen Z youth with bicultural backgrounds. For the screening of the film, the maker will talk to film festivals in Rotterdam, Amsterdam and abroad.
Rosen Eveleigh

Rosen Eveleigh

Graphic designer Rosen Eveleigh studied at the Werkplaats Typografie at ArtEZ. In their practice, they explore how queer and trans people utilize graphic design to communicate and represent themselves. They focus on the Netherlands in the context of the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. During the development year, Eveleigh plans to take this research further by means of a 'reactivation phase'. With a series of collaborative intergenerational oral histories and workshops, they are exploring this queer and trans history from a contemporary standpoint. They hope this will provide new insights into the relationship between queerness and graphic design in the Netherlands. They are using the results of their research as the basis for a series of workshops with queer and trans youth. In addition, they will present the results of their research in a multidisciplinary project consisting of a lecture, debate and publication.
Rossel Chaslie

Rossel Chaslie

Illustrator and animator Rossel Chaslie is self-taught and was scouted during Scout Night Amsterdam. In his practice, Black History, (anti)racism and the African diaspora play a central role. With his work, he wants to empower himself, born in Suriname, and others from Africa and the African diaspora. By depicting Afro-Surinamese and Afro-Dutch stories, he wants to educate and emancipate people. To do this, he uses fiction forms such as Afro-futurism, Sci-fi and fantasy. During his development year, Chaslie wants to develop himself further as a visual artist and animator. He wants to work on a pilot for a Dutch-Surinamese animation series, a children's book and a collection of illustrations and stories about Black history. In this process, he will collaborate and exchange information and experiences with other animators, voice actors and sound designers. In the animation series, he wants to combine the history of Suriname in the 1980s and 1990s with a fictional story about the girl Manu. Among other things, he wants to do research in Suriname and work together with The Black Archives. His aim is to present his work to Afro-Surinamese and Afro-Dutch people and also reach a broad, white audience to achieve more understanding and respect for Black history and culture. For this purpose, he is organizing events in his studio, making videos of the work process and offering internships for young people.
Sebastian Stittgen

Sebastian Stittgen

Biodesigner Sebastian Stittgen graduated from the Social Design Master's programme at the Design Academy Eindhoven. In his practice, Stittgen researches how to use design to transform seemingly worthless matter, such as residual products from industrial processes, into artefacts with a cultural value. In doing so, he raises questions about the ethical side of production and consumption, and our moral responsibility in this. During his development year, under the heading 'Matter out of place', Stittgen is developing three projects that inform each other: For 'Recombined Wood', he investigates hoe lignin and cellulose fibres (industrial waste products) can be used to make a new type of wood. In collaboration with microENVISION and Juan Arturo Garcia he is making a series of interviews on the subject of blood, entitled 'Fluid Dialogues', with the aim of breaking down HIV-related stigmas. The third component consists of 'Moving Matter Laboratory', a mobile biodesign workshop, hosted by MAK Vienna, dieDAS Design Akademie Saaleck, STORESTORE, BurgHalle University and the Floriade Almere. In the coming year, Stittgen will involve designer Maurizio Montalti (Officina Corpuscoli) in all of this as a mentor and sparring partner.
Shaquille Veldboom

Shaquille Veldboom

Game designer Shaquille Veldboom was selected during the Scout Night Amsterdam. Veldboom followed various engineering studies, but discovered that he would rather tell stories than design real cars. He works in the video-game industry and now wants to develop his own video game, entitled 'GodSpeed'. With this game, he wants to convey his personal experiences and life lessons. In the game, main character Grio Yggdrasil, who, like the applicant, grew up in Amsterdam Zuid-Oost, follows his dream and starts his own car brand. During his development year, Veldboom wants to learn how to tell interactive stories with his 3D designs. For the presentation of 'GodSpeed', he is producing a real version of the microcar from the game. The applicant will organize demonstrations of the game on Dam Square and other busy locations inside and outside Amsterdam. In addition, he is raising awareness of his game through social media (YouTube and Instagram) and making it available on various gaming platforms, such as Epic game store, Steam, Playstation store and Microsoft store, and to some YouTube racing-game streamers.
Stefan Duran

Stefan Duran

Audiovisual maker Stefan Duran (Tastic Visuals) was selected during the Scout Night in Rotterdam. As a motion designer, Duran has the ambition to develop further in the field of animation. He wants to increase its expressiveness. The reason for his research is the commercialization of Hip Hop and the way this scene is losing its critical message and position. Duran asks himself the question: “How can I use the combination of music, dialogue and animation to convey an in-depth and socially relevant story?” In his development year, the maker plans to focus on developing 3D animation, symbolism and producing a music video and an animated musical called 'De 3e kamer'. During the development period, he will follow several courses, including 'motion design professional' at Created Academy. Duran is calling on the expertise of theatre dramaturge Maarten van Hinte and wants to collaborate with animation and illustration collective Lemon Bandit and music producer Tim Block. He intends to release the animations at Noah's Ark and 101Barz and will collaborate here with Aidem Agency. The pilot of 'De 3e Kamer' will be published on a website, along with short vlogs, sketches and a backstory.
Sterre Richard

Sterre Richard

Illustrator Sterre Richard graduated from the Willem de Kooning Academy. She is committed to achieving a better representation of how mental illness manifests itself and affects people, and what family or friends can do to help. The reason behind the project is the way people with a mental illness are represented in media and pop culture. An example of this is the common stereotype of the 'psychotic killer'. In the coming year, Richard will be working on a script, a project pitch and a comic book focusing on the above-mentioned themes. Richard is asking cartoonist and writer David Mazzuchelli to guide her during the development process. The maker is also taking a number of writing courses, including the Odysse Writing Workshop in Manchester (USA). Finally, Richard will continue to research the optimization of full-colour work in order to make conscious colour choices.
Süheyla Yalçin

Süheyla Yalçin

Audiovisual maker Süheyla Yalçin was selected during the Scout Night in Eindhoven. During the development year, Yalçin, as the daughter of parents with a migration history, is making the claiming of the forgotten Turkish history central to her research. In the project 'De Diaspora Designer', the maker questions in a satirical yet critical way who decides what design is. The project is divided into four phases. In Phase A, Yalçin conducts research in cities that can provide her with insight into the development of migration flows of Turkish workers, such as Eindhoven, Ghent (BE), Schiedam, Saarlouis (DU) and Istanbul (TR). In Phase B, Yalçin works on scriptwriting, audio editing and develops graphic design skills. The maker calls on the expertise of Mustafa Duygulu, Collectief Schik and Roisin Tapponi, among others. In Phases C and D, Yalçin works on several transmedia productions, including an audiovisual documentary. She hopes to present these on platforms such as the VPRO and HUMAN.
Tabea Nixdorff

Tabea Nixdorff

Tabea Nixdorff graduated from the Werkplaats Typografie in Arnhem and is focusing during the development year on the research project 'su-sur-rous (a chorus of expanded bodies from the margins)'. The project is a search for under-represented biographies of those who, through hybridization of their bodies with musical instruments, machines or other technologies, have developed alternative languages. In addition, Nixdorff plans to continue working with Setareh Noorani on a study of intersectional, feminist design strategies during the second feminist wave in the Netherlands. Together with Gerardo Ismael Madera, she is developing a seminar and is looking for connections with schools and cultural institutions. During the year, she will gain expertise from sound artist and poet Caroline Bergvall. She is also revamping her website in collaboration with web developer Magalie Chetrit and taking voice training with vocalist Fides Krucker. The research will come together in a publication that is accompanied by a number of listening sessions and performative lectures with guest speakers. Nixdorff has the Kunstverein in Amsterdam and Errant Sound in Berlin in mind as locations for these sessions.
Tobie van Putten

Tobie van Putten

Fashion designer Tobie van Putten is self-taught and was scouted during the Scout Night Eindhoven. Under his label new.toob, he presents clothes in which he combines illustration and fashion. His design process starts from an illustration, which he converts into a design. He prints that design on fabric and from there he designs a garment. During the development year, he will focus on making his own textiles, in order to develop greater freedom of choice, more autonomy and sustainable fabrics. For this purpose, he wants to delve deeper into the properties of textiles, learn new weaving techniques and experiment with printing on technical fabrics. He is seeking expertise from Yumuna Forzani, who makes knitted art and her own fabrics. In the TexielLab in Tilburg, he works with 3D print designer Rutger Paulusse, and with Vince Reece Hale he is developing a collection of denims. He is learning pattern drawing from Leonore Boeke. With photographer Tom ten Seldam he is working on his website. These interdisciplinary collaborations bring him the following: his own fabric, an improved fit, more detail in the clothes through 3D print design, a new collection and professional campaigns. He will present this collection in an interactive installation.
Yuro Moniz

Yuro Moniz

Ceramicist and maker Yuro Moniz was selected during the Scout Night in Rotterdam. Moniz works with clay in a traditional way and with her vases and objects she goes back to the essence of what makes us human. In the coming year, Moniz will focus on further developing her technical skills, specifically the hand shaping of ceramics. With the project 'Transcend the Mundane', she is specializing in the form, function and story of an object. Themes such as symbolism, origin and cultural values play an important role here. By researching old decoration techniques, including gilding, Moniz is strengthening her own visual language. In honour of her 30th birthday, Moniz is making a series of 30 objects which can be seen in a solo exhibition. The ceramicist is also presenting her work at the Salone Del Mobile in Milan. For guidance during the development process, Moniz is calling on the artistic and business knowledge of designer Harvey Bouterse. In addition, the maker is visiting Atelier NL, following various workshops and carrying out archival research at The Black Archives.
Zalán Szakács

Zalán Szakács

Zalán Szakács gained a Master's degree in Fine Art and Design from the Piet Zwart Institute. In his practice, he wants to make forgotten media visible again, through archaeological research. In the coming year, Szakács will focus on the further development of his own methodology, artistic signature and positioning within the digital culture field. He is developing two projects: 'Lichtspiel' and 'Tisztás'. For Lichtspiel, the maker will explore 17th-century lenses and light reflections and their metaphorical qualities. Professor Frank Kessler will guide him in this process. He will also talk to media archaeologist Erkki Huhtamo, media teacher Eric Kluitenberg, Professor Nana Verhoeff, media producer Rudi Knoops, Sonic Acts director Lucas van der Velden, artist Joost Rekveld and researcher Javier Lloret Pardo for artistic, content-related and technical guidance. For the Tisztás project, Szakács will make a physical and mental journey back to his childhood in Transylvania. In the Carpathian Mountains, he will collect data on smells, sounds, materials and light. He is working together with olfactory artist Klara Ravat. In addition, the applicant is involving the expertise of organizer Paulien Dresscher, Fiber founder Jarl Schurlp, artist Eva Fischer, photographer Sophie de Vos and curator Viola Lukacs, among others. Both projects will result in installations that will be presented during Dutch Design Week 2022.
 Gabriel Fontana

Gabriel Fontana

Designer and researcher Gabriel Fontana obtained his master's degree in Social Design from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2018. In his design practice, he investigates how our bodies express, internalize and reproduce social norms. Fontana additionally proposes ways of unlearning this through interventions in the public space and activities in the fields of sport and education. His development plan focuses on two projects, with which he wants to lay a strong foundation in kinaesthetic learning and to specialize in the field of queer pedagogy. With the project 'Voice and (Hear)Archies', he is developing a series of new sport games in which voices, sounds and new ways of listening are used to bring about a change in the way power is exercised during sports. The project 'Safe(r) Landscapes' consists of a 'queering manual', a publication in which he proposes measures that schools can take to create a more inclusive environment. Fontana wants to broaden his view of the work field by working together with various professionals, including a gender geographer, secondary-school teacher and graphic designer. He also plans to give workshops at schools and institutions in the Netherlands and France. His work will be presented at Onomatopee in Eindhoven and at the international design biennale in Saint-Éttienne, among others.
Andrius Arutiunian

Andrius Arutiunian

Andrius Arutiunian completed his master's degree in Composition at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague in 2016. In his practice, sound and hybrid forms of media play a central role. In recent years, he has focused on specific themes such as migration and new technologies, including the use of artificial intelligence. In the coming year, he wants to investigate how displacement and dissenting opinions have an impact on communities and how they materialize through noise in the post-digital era. He intends to develop a research method based on the concept of 'Gharib', which means 'strange' or 'mysterious' in Arabic, Persian and Armenian. The plan is divided into three phases: 1. Researching and collecting sonic artefacts related to the concept of 'Gharib', and a residency at Korzo in The Hague, where he will create an audiovisual performance. 2. Expanding his network through mentoring and listening sessions with established artists working on the same themes. 3. Developing a digital video and audiovisual installation for a solo exhibition at RIB in Rotterdam.
Asefeh Tayebani
Asefeh Tayebani
Asefeh Tayebani
Asefeh Tayebani

Asefeh Tayebani

Asefeh Tayebani obtained her bachelor's degree in Product Design from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in 2018. In her practice, she deals with subjects that are full of misconceptions and stigmas. In the coming year, Tayebani will focus on two projects. The first is the continuation of the project 'But you don't look autistic', a research project with which she collects and presents information about autism in women and non-binary people, with the aim of starting a dialogue about the subject. For this purpose, the applicant is developing an online platform, together with graphic designer Fallon Does. The second project is a material research into the concept of 'wounds', under the name 'Leaving Traces'. She also wants to learn different techniques to restore and repair materials such as textiles and metal. Ultimately, she wants to present the material research by means of an exhibition and a publication. Mediamatic is being considered as the location for the launch of the online platform.
Audrey Large

Audrey Large

Designer Audrey Large graduated in 2019 from the master's programme in Social Design at the Design Academy in Eindhoven. Her practice is at the intersection between new technology as an autonomous (design) method and (product) design as a form of creative expression. She is interested in the associations between the two domains and their implications for today's society. Questioning materials requires redefinition of the tools with which they are formed. This also raises questions about the status of the designer and their role in navigating through 2D images, 3D files, moving images and objects, according to Large.
In the coming year, Large wants to further deepen her reflections on the status of 'the image-as-object' and consolidate her professional design practice by strengthening her cultural entrepreneurship. The first half of her development year is dedicated to a solo show with her 'MetaObjects' at Nilufar Gallery in Italy. With the visual material she produces during the creation of the MetaObjects, she wants to develop a fictional narrative around the objects after the show, and take the next step in the translation of material into different formats, ranging from still to moving images and everything in between. She is going to experiment with CGI manipulation and various digital production techniques. During her development year, Large is collaborating with various parties and receiving advice from designer and software developer Femke Snelting, among others.
Bodil Ouedraogo

Bodil Ouedraogo

Bodil Ouedraogo graduated from the fashion department at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in 2019. Her practice consists of designing wearable clothing as well as producing installations and videos, with a focus on expressing her own bicultural identity. Her development plan focuses on the development of two new 'chapters' that together as presentations tell a story about radiating pride through the phenomenon of 'dressing up'. The first project is a performative show about the traditional 'grand boubou', a three-piece suit worn in West Africa. Ouedraogo wants to project video material onto the large amount of fabric in this garment. To do this, she will collaborate with dancer and choreographer Christiaan Yav and director Florian Johan. The second project concerns an investigation into the expression of pride through wealth in the West African art of 'dressing up'. To carry out this research, Ouedraogo will travel to Mali and Nigeria and collaborate with JeanPaul Paula and Stephan Tayo. Through photography and print, Ouedraogo establishes a link between the expression of wealth in jewellery and accessories, in the fashions of West Africa and Western Europe. Possible locations for the presentations of both projects include Amsterdam Fashion Week and Foam.
Cleo Tsw

Cleo Tsw

Graphic designer Cleo Tsw graduated from the bachelor's program Graphic Design at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. During her graduation she set up the research and publishing imprint 'Off Course', which investigates language and visual literacy from a decolonial perspective. Next year, Tsw will focus on developing and producing the first online and printed edition of Off Course and strengthening its educational practice. Produced in both physical and digital domains, this edition contains a series of articles that distinguish themselves through their visual form—such as through typographic essays, visual essays, comics, lexicons and poetic prose. Tsw intends to collaborate widely in the content, production, and distribution of this publication.
Don Kwaning

Don Kwaning

Don Kwaning completed the bachelor's programme Man and Well-Being at the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2018. In his practice, he is involved in both artistic and industrial material development as well as the design of end products. In his graduation project 'Medulla', he developed circular materials from the soft rush (Juncus effusus), a common weed in the Netherlands. In the coming year, he will continue this project and he wants to develop further into a craftsman in materials development. He will investigate which soft rush materials are most suitable for further development for the commercial market, whether the plant can be grown as a wet crop, to combat subsidence, and whether the materials made from these plants can provide a revenue model for farmers. He is being helped in this by the Green Chemistry Campus. In addition, he will start two new projects in which, based on his artistic interests, he will carry out material experiments with flexible aluminium and compromised wood. For this purpose, he will collaborate and receive advice from basket weaver Esmé Hofman, product designer Bertjan Pot, and various 3D designers. By making his material experiments more personal, Kwaning aims to strengthen his identity as a designer and better position his practice within the design sector. The results of his projects will be presented at the Milan Design Week and the Dutch Design Week.
Fana Richters

Fana Richters

Fashion designer and interdisciplinary artist Fana Richters was selected during the Scout Night Amsterdam. In the coming year, she wants to further develop her artistic, technical and presentation skills. She is doing this by means of the project 'The Walking Exhibition', in which she builds a bridge between the artistic world and the fashion industry. Surrounded by experts and advisers in various fields, including fashion and textiles, she will develop a series of suits. A central role is played by her own photography handwriting, which is characterized by collage techniques. The suit is being made under the supervision of Marlon Lima, who will oversee the embroidery process and can advise on various possibilities. In addition, Richters is calling on the expertise of Geobella Fini, who will help to develop digital sketches and conceptual fashion. According to Richters, sustainability is an indispensable element and she certainly wants to demonstrate this in the design by using the natural plant hemp, among other things. The final product will be presented during a fashion show where Richters aims to become acquainted with a commercial manner of presentation.
Frances Rompas

Frances Rompas

Filmmaker and biologist Frances Rompas was selected during the Scout Night in Utrecht. In her practice, she focuses on telling fictional, satirical and autobiographical stories in the form of immersive film and video installations. According to Rompas, transgenerationally conferred expectations and ideas about the country of origin are mainly based on emotions and memories. The image of the fatherland, or as Rompas prefers to put it, the motherland, can be romanticized as a result. With an interactive video installation, Rompas takes the viewer into a personal process in which she investigates what ethnicity means and how it can be deconstructed. In the coming year, she will experiment with miniatures, décor, shot design and object theatre. Part of the installation is an image that Rompas wants to create concerning a traditional ritual and costume. For this purpose, the filmmaker will seek a collaboration with costume designer Floor Nagler. By following different writing courses, Rompas wants to learn scriptwriting and methods for placing biographical material in a socio-political context. The presentation options are still open and depend on Rompas's research into spatial installations in relation to the public. To get a better grip on this aspect, Rompas is going to follow a course at the Instituto Europeo di Design.
Fransje Gimbrere

Fransje Gimbrere

Designer and art director Fransje Gimbrere obtained her bachelor's degree in Design from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2017. In her practice, she tries to create amazement and stimulate the senses by manipulating material. In the coming year, she wants to highlight the importance of sensory design and show how you can respond to this as a designer. In her development plan, she pays attention to both broadening her knowledge and skills as well as deepening the design methodology and improving the positioning of her practice. She describes three phases for this purpose: 1. Theoretical research, where she examines scientific studies and visions concerning the relationship between design, the human psyche and emotion. 2. Experimental material research to find out what stimulates and invites touch. 3. The translation to possible applications and implementations. She is seeking help from marketing professionals and experts in making a book. The results will be presented in the form of a tactile manifesto and an exhibition.
Funs Janssen

Funs Janssen

Funs Janssen obtained his bachelor's degree in Design from the Willem de Kooning Academy in 2017. In his practice, he combines being an illustrator with the craftsmanship of stained glass. As an image-maker, he is concerned with metropolitanism and youth culture. In the coming year, he wants to research the history of visual culture, constantly questioning his position as maker and looking critically at contemporary visual culture. By means of a multidisciplinary research project in both theoretical and technical areas, he will search for an answer to the question: 'How can I apply the cinematographic aspect of my work more through the medium of stained glass in order to create iconic images?' He is following various workshops in the print techniques riso and screen-printing and the craft of stained glass. He is also bringing in the expertise of The Black Archives and sociologist Teana Boston-Mammah. Ultimately, he wants to develop a number of spatial works that contain a cinematographic aesthetic and invite dialogue. These works will be presented at galleries and art institutions.
ILLM

ILLM

Calligrapher Qasim Arif was selected during the Scout Night Rotterdam. In the last 10 years, Arif has mastered the craft of Arabic calligraphy. His visual style is strongly influenced by elements from Hip hop and Pop culture. Central to the work are various aspects of identity with, in particular, his background as a 'third-culture kid'. During the development year, Arif wants to discover new ways of designing through 3D. He argues that a large part of Islamic art only relates to the two-dimensional surface, because the sculpting of living beings is exclusively the domain of a god. Within these frameworks, Arif wants to push the boundaries and convert Arabic calligraphy into 3D sculptures. One of the ways he does this is based on the Nike Air Max 1. According to Arif, the cult shoe is not only a symbol of social status, but it also represents the dreams, wishes and memories of children with a migrant background. For his professional and artistic development, Arif is participating in a number of courses, including 3D modelling, 3D printing and 'Sculpturing, Moulding, Casting & Finishing'. The founder of the 3D printer, Cyrus Sasan Seyedi, is guiding Arif in 3D printing techniques and monitoring the quality of the print. In addition, the applicant will approach artist Joseph Klibansky for advice on the production of sculptures, but also on marketing through social media. Finally, Arif is applying for a traineeship with El Seed, a French-Tunisian calligrapher. The results of the project will be presented both online and offline.
Inez Naomi

Inez Naomi

Stylist and fashion designer Inez Naomi was selected during the Scout Night Rotterdam. The coming year revolves around building up her fashion label 'Versatile Forever', in which she upcycles vintage clothing to create new, high-quality and trendy items. The guiding principles of the label are sustainability, accessibility and wearability. To obtain clothing, Naomi will collaborate with various Dutch organizations that collect used clothing. She also wants to buy in 'dead stock' from fashion companies. The first collection was inspired by team sports. She uses the metaphor of the 'benchwarmer': players who always sit on the bench or are chosen last, whom she wants to present as 'winners'. She will put together a team with representatives of under-represented groups and incorporate their stories into the collection. For the development and production of the collection, she will initially collaborate with De Wasserij. She then wants to investigate whether she can scale up to a European production partner. Together with a PR agent, for example Eva Peters PR or Feel Agency, Naomi will develop a strategy for the visibility and public reach of her label. Besides the label, Naomi also focuses on styling and art direction. Under her own name 'Inez Naomi', she collaborates with various artists to design photo shoots and video clips. She wants to provide access to the creative process behind this through weekly vlogs.
Irakli Sabekia

Irakli Sabekia

Designer Irakli Sabekia graduated from the Design Academy in Eindhoven in Man and Leisure. In his multidisciplinary practice, he combines data, light, sound, (archive) images and technology in immersive installations, to question existing structures. In the coming year, Sabekia wants to deepen his design methodology and strengthen his network outside the cultural world. He will develop new techniques in the area of projection and experimental storytelling, collaborate with social organizations (NGOs) in the field of human rights and ecology, and develop an online platform that provides access to his research. Central to this is his graduation work 'Voicing Borders', in which he gives a voice to the inhabitants of the Russian-occupied territories of Georgia. In the next phase of this project, Sabekia will carry out field research in Georgia together with documentary photographer Tako Robakidze. The results will be shown in an interactive documentary installation in the DocLab at IDFA this autumn. In addition, he plans to present his work at IMPAKT, MU and TAC. With the presentations, he aims to arouse the interest of organizations such as Amnesty International Nederland or Terre des Hommes, in order to establish a collaboration with them, for instance in the form of a residency. Lastly, Sabekia is strengthening his cultural entrepreneurship by being coached in business and strategy.
Jean-Francois Gauthier

Jean-Francois Gauthier

Jean-François Gauthier graduated from the Academy of Architecture in 2019 with a master's degree in Landscape Architecture. In his practice, he focuses on the development of new urban typologies in which trees play a central role. According to Gauthier, a radical change is needed within current urban design, so that inhabitants have more access to nature in their daily lives. Using various mixed-media techniques, Gauthier aims to create speculative landscape designs that visualize what a forest can look like in the public domain. The possibilities for an alternative form of urban design, in which the value of the forest is central, is made accessible in an atlas. The atlas will provide an artistic answer to what the forest of the future will look like. Gauthier is seeking help from experts such as Marco Roos, Cecil Konijnendijk and Marjolijn Boterenbrood. They will guide Gauthier in finding the right tree species, in the social aspects and in the artistic process within the research. Results from the research will be tested and presented at various locations, including in the city of The Hague and at Terra Nostra.
JeanPaul Paula

JeanPaul Paula

Interdisciplinary image-maker JeanPaul Paula was selected during the Scout Night Amsterdam. He focuses on creating safe places and moments of exchange. In his practice, his personal experiences as a 'non-conforming black queer man' and his fight against racism, sexism and (gender) stereotyping play a central role. During the development year, Paula will investigate why LGBT+ people born in Caribbean (immigrant) families more often experience rejection, mental and physical violence. By entering into a dialogue with his own family and its history, and placing this in the context of issues of bicultural identity, migration, everyday racism, cultural pride, Christianity and Caribbean ideals about masculinity, he wants to analyze how immigrant families balance between two cultures. Which parts of your cultural heritage do you hold on to? How do you deal with assimilation in a cultural context that makes you feel like an outsider? The research will be given form in a documentary film that will be shown in, among other places, the Melkweg in Amsterdam. In the context of the film, Paula will also enter into discussions with young black LGBT+ people.
Johanna Seelemann

Johanna Seelemann

Designer Johanna Seelemann obtained her master's degree in Contextual Design at the Design Academy in Eindhoven. She is interested in the following question: 'How can we design for a world that is in danger?' Her development plan focuses on two projects in which the concept of 'resilience' is central. The first project, 'Perpetual Change', deals with localization and is a conceptual continued development of the earlier work 'Terra Incognita'. In 'Perpetual Change,' Seeleman asks questions such as: 'What does it mean to design in a resilient way at a local level?' and 'What can we achieve by producing at home, and is this realistic?' The research is given form in a series of household objects, in which the concept of 'resilience' is questioned at various levels, including through the material and the production technique. In the second project, 'Desarster', the designer focuses on the contribution that design can make to resilience during a crisis. Desarster consists of an online platform on which Seelemann archives research and information at the intersection of disaster and risk management and design. For this, she is collaborating with researcher Uta Reichardt, an Icelandic expert in disaster risk management. The approach is to create an interaction between design and risk management, where both disciplines are treated equally. In addition to the development of an archive, Reichardt and Seelemann will develop a series of workshops for, among others, art academies and a publication.
Josse Pyl

Josse Pyl

Designer and artist Josse Pyl obtained his master's degree at the Typography Workshop of ArtEZ. After using visual language as working material for making spatial installations in recent years, in the coming year he will focus on publishing and distributing language research by means of printed and digital media. By making a book, film and website, Pyl will question the boundary between reality, knowledge and perception. For this purpose, he is setting up a theoretical and philosophical investigation into historical systems developed to organize the world. Parallel to this, Pyl is questioning in his artistic process how the world can be read by rewriting it. He is doing this by making a printed publication in which he investigates how the book functions as a space of knowledge and thoughts, how these take on an abstract form and are subsequently passed on to the reader's mind. In addition, Pyl plans to translate this research into a series of animated films. In this way, he will investigate how cinematographic structures of moving image and sound can form a new step within his work. Ultimately, he will bring everything together on a website that functions as an online archive and distribution channel for the research.
Khalid Amakran

Khalid Amakran

Photographer Khalid Amakran was selected at the Scout Nights Rotterdam. Amakran is self-taught. Thanks to his drive and ambition, Amakran has been able to develop from a hobbyist to a portrait photographer with a sustainable company. In the coming year, he wants to create more space for research and reflection. Together with concept developer Anne Bloemendaal, Amakran will develop a strategy that strengthens his professional and creative development. He is doing this on the basis of project 3ish, a project that provides insight into identity formation in the context of second and third-generation Moroccan-Dutch young people. Loyalty issues, code-switching, institutional racism, jihadism and the politicization of mainly Moroccan-Dutch men make individual choices difficult and emotionally charged. As a result of community thinking, this target group has the idea that choices influence a whole group, leading to a struggle concerning who they want and need to be. The project will be given form in a video and a book. In addition, Amakran is going to strengthen his technical skills in the areas of film, research and signature. Amakran is seeking content-related guidance from photographers and image editors including Ari Versluis, Mounir Raji and Nicole Robbers.
Lesia Topolnyk

Lesia Topolnyk

Architect Lesia Topolnyk graduated in 2018 with a master's degree in Architecture from the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam. Her view of architecture was shaped by her childhood in Ukraine, which has been in an unstable political situation since the collapse of the Soviet Republic. With this background, and an eye for specific geographical and socio-political contexts, Topolnyk develops large-scale spatial interventions that are reminiscent of landscapes due to their size and layered quality. During the development year, she will be investigating the functioning of democracy in relation to architecture. For this purpose, she will analyze and compare a number of international institutions, including the International Criminal Court in The Hague, NATO in Brussels, the UN headquarters in New York and the Kremlin. She will examine not only the building in which the institution is housed, but also the urban, legal, democratic and institutional structures that underlie it. The findings should lead to a number of speculative scenarios and tools that make the democratic process more effective and inclusive. In this process, Topolnyk is seeking advice within and outside the architectural field, from parties such as artist Jonas Staal, government architect Floris van Alkemade, designer and director Nelly Ben Hayoun and filmmaker and architect Liam Young.
Louis Braddock Clarke

Louis Braddock Clarke

Louis Braddock Clarke completed his bachelor's degree in Graphic Design at the Royal Academy of Art in 2019. He is interested in the debate about entering a new geological era, the Anthropocene. As part of this, Braddock Clarke is diving into research into the human and non-human position in climate change. In the coming year, he wants to develop his own set of instruments, which he can use to make geological information visible. His development plan is divided into two phases: The first phase concerns the development of a research instrument and method, by means of material testing and interviews and collaborations with scientists, philosophers and specialists in geophysics and biology. In the second phase, he will focus on recording the research, undertake an expedition and make a film. To develop his instruments and present his research, he is involving several partners and coaches, including Lucas van der Velden, director of Sonic Acts, curator Margarita Osipian and various participants at Spatial Media Laboratories. At the end of his development year, Braddock Clarke will present the results of his research and his film at an event.
Luuc Sonke

Luuc Sonke

Architect Luuc Sonke obtained his master's degree at the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam. His work concentrates on spatial issues brought about by the uncertain and unstable existence within contemporary society. Within this area, he focuses in particular on the ambiguous and changing relationships between public and private, work and leisure. This coming year, Sonke wants to research sociologist Zygmunt Bauman's concept of 'Liquid Life'. He will search for a new spatial language that fits in with modern 'liquid' life and is open to a diversity of voices, backgrounds, cultures and lifestyles. He will do this at different levels of scale, ranging from furniture to interior to urban environment. During his research, Sonke is being advised by various experts and professionals from the field of architecture, including designer Jurgen Bey, architect Erik Rietveld, developer Edwin Oostmeijer, artist Andrea Zittel and illustrator Jan Rothuizen. The results, consisting of objects, spatial models and furniture will be shown in a presentation at NEVERNEVERLAND.
Marlou Breuls

Marlou Breuls

Fashion designer Marlou Breuls obtained her bachelor's degree in Fashion Design from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI). She positions herself as a multidisciplinary designer, aiming to approach the function of fashion from other angles, including theatre, sculpture and unconventional materials, such as resin and epoxy. In this way, she hopes to contribute to the redefinition of the traditional fashion system. In the coming year, Breuls will focus on further developing and challenging her design methodology by experimenting with body casts and investigating how she can manipulate them into new (fashion) objects. To do this, she will take part in two workshops in New York: one in contemporary ceramics and one in body casting. If this is not possible because of the COVID-19 measures, she has alternatives for these courses and guidance in the Netherlands and the UK. She also wants to deepen her artistic practice further under the guidance of artist David Altmejd. Finally, she is working with Branko Popovic to strengthen the public accessibility of her practice and will develop the identity of her studio further with Eric Ellenbaas Creative Agency (EEA).
Mirjam Debets

Mirjam Debets

Mirjam Debets completed her bachelor's degree in Animation at the HKU in 2017 and has worked since then as an animation director, illustrator and VJ. In the coming year, Debets will expand her work to other media and conduct research into presentation forms and their effect on the public. She wants to develop animation applications in which interaction with the audience and the physical experience of the presentation are central. Under the name 'Zenit', she plans to tell an alternative creation story, which shows in a playful way how all life is connected. The project will be presented in the form of a short music video, installation, VJ set and website. Debets wants to be able to realize these forms independently, from concept through to presentation. She is also collaborating with various professionals from other disciplines, including music artists and installation designers. In this way, the animator aims not only to develop artistically and conceptually, but also to build up a larger network of artists and event programmers.
Moriz Oberberger

Moriz Oberberger

Moriz Oberberger obtained his master's degree in Typography from the ArtEZ School of the Arts in 2019. In his interdisciplinary practice, he focuses on creating visual stories by drawing, illustrating and animating for both online and offline media. In the coming year, Oberberger wants to investigate how he can employ a more spontaneous method of working and, as a result, achieve alternative systems of thinking. He is starting one larger project and several smaller collaborations, with which he aims to further develop his methodology and strategy. The project is 'Time Out' (working title): a drawing process he wants to employ to create a stream of uncontrolled, meditative and spontaneously generated graphic designs. In addition, he plans to give a series of workshops, do a residency and develop an independent platform for publishing magazines and experimental storytelling, among other things. For this project, he is working together with mathematician and writer Ana Lucía Vargas Sandoval and he is involving writer, poet and artist Maria Barnas as mentor. The results will be presented in a publication and an exhibition.
Philipp Kolmann

Philipp Kolmann

Philipp Kolmann graduated from the bachelor's programme Food Non Food at the Design Academy in Eindhoven. In his practice, creating a more sustainable future perspective for the food system plays a central role. In the coming year, Kolmann will focus on developing a plant-based cheese and designing a culture around it, with the aim of interweaving this plant product more into our food culture. According to the designer, most vegan cheeses lack the rich history that European dairy cheeses have. For that reason, he will conduct research into the origins of industrialization in dairy farming, in collaboration with researchers from the agriculture department at Wageningen University & Research. With a research trip to Japan, Kolmann wants to investigate what is needed for fermentation on a large scale. With the help of a research and communication agency in Tokyo, Kolmann can come in contact with various local experts from specialized scientific institutes. In addition, Kolmann has a selection of experts in mind who fit in with the plant-based cheese research, including Thomas Vailly, Marco Cagnoni, Age Opdam & Genneper Hoeve and Arne Hendriks. Kolmann finds it important that the young generation also has access to this knowledge and hopes to create more awareness by developing an educational programme. The results of the project will be presented in a speculative installation during Dutch Design Week and Slow Food events.
Renee Mes

Renee Mes

Multidisciplinary designer Renee Mes combines her knowledge and experience from the film world with educational methods she developed during the Man and Leisure bachelor's programme at the Design Academy Eindhoven. Her ambition is to break the stereotyping of the queer community and to improve the visibility and social acceptance of this group. During the development year, she will research, together with Queer Trans People of Colour (QTPOC) and people with a bicultural background, how they can shape their own story. In addition, Mes is focusing on the phenomenon of 'chosen families' and choosing different media and forms of expression that come together as a collage on an online platform. The plan is divided into four phases: the first phase starts with in-depth study of the literature on the lives of the above-mentioned groups and interviewing queer individuals. In the second phase, Mes, together with five different 'chosen families', reflects on their identity and the stories are converted into visual elements to create a film set. The third phase focuses on capturing the stories in image and sound and results in filmed portraits (tableaux vivants), audio recordings, photography and 3D scanned objects. In the fourth and final phase, the stories will be presented on an online platform and during an exhibition. During the development process, Mes will be guided by various professionals, including Rosemarie Bulkema, professor of Art, Culture and Diversity at Utrecht University, and the Staat Amsterdam art-direction team.
Seok-hyeon Yoon

Seok-hyeon Yoon

Seok-hyeon Yoon graduated in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in Design from the Design Academy in Eindhoven. Yoon has a fascination for ceramics, and pottery in particular. According to Yoon, earth is the starting point from which everything originated and the most natural product you can work with. Unfortunately, ceramic objects often end up in landfill because they are not easy to recycle due to the glaze used. In the coming year, Yoon will focus on researching ceramics and glazing techniques, in order to achieve alternative (glazing) methods that are actually circular. During the process, Yoon will speak with various professionals within the fields of ceramics, to strengthen his knowledge and discover new possibilities. Examples of experts are ceramist Marlies Crooijmans (EKWC), designer Daria Biryukova and glaze specialist Pierluigi Pompei (EKWC). In addition, Yoon will attend courses at CREA and Kleispot, among others, for the development of various colouring techniques in glazes. The findings made by Yoon during the project will be shared with audiences from the creative and related industries. Possible presentation places are MOAM, Yksi Expo + Dutch Design Week 2021 and Material District Rotterdam.
Sherida Kuffour

Sherida Kuffour

Sherida Kuffour graduated in 2018 from the Sandberg Institute's master's programme 'Design, Think Tank for Visual Strategies'. Kuffour's design practice is active at the intersection of literature, memories, media and the power structures of design. In the coming year, Kuffour will investigate the vulnerability of memories through fiction and paratext. The types of questions Kuffour will ask herself are: What happens to memories once they become public? How does a paratext such as paywalls, reading times and hashtags influence accessibility, where traditional forms of publication, in particular, focus on a white literary culture? Kuffour is investigating from two positions: the designer and the writer. Kuffour argues that the two positions promote different interests, from which the research questions arise. By following a writing course and engaging in conversation with various writers and theorists, Kuffour aims to further explore the intersection of literature and media. People Kuffour would like to talk to are Michael Tedja, Yra van Dijk and Teju Cole. The interviews will be documented and the results of the research compiled into a series of reports. Kuffour aims to present these reports in a book and an online archive, accompanied by public lectures. Sherida Kuffour
Sophia Bulgakova

Sophia Bulgakova

Sophia Bulgakova graduated from the Royal Academy of Visual Arts in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in ArtScience. In Bulgakova's practice, experiences, inner processes and imaginary phenomena play an important role. She uses colour theory, sensory input and hardships, psychological behaviour, elements of playfulness and scenography. Together, these elements form the basis for immersive installations that stimulate the senses. In the coming year, Bulgakova wants to make more multifaceted and multidisciplinary work concerning pagan rituals that originated from early Christian and Western European traditions. The research will be used to reflect on the context of Bulgakova's practice. In addition to approaching various professionals and experts in the field, Bulgakova is collaborating with the artists' platform Instrument Inventors Initiative (iii). Furthermore, Bulgakova will participate in a residency at the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin. She plans to present the results of the new work at the Locating ArtScience exhibition in Mystetskyi Arsenal in Kiev.
Stefano Murgia

Stefano Murgia

Sound artist Stefano Murgia graduated from the ArtScience bachelor's programme at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague. In recent years, he has focused on 'sonic architecture' and 'acoustic ecology', a study of the relationship of sound between organisms and their environment. During his development year, Murgia plans to use sound sculptures to tackle the nuisance of wind in urban canyons, i.e. locations where extreme winds are created by tall buildings. Under the title 'Alternating Winds', he will investigate, together with the Crossing Parallels platform and scientists from the departments of aerodynamics and architecture at Delft University of Technology, whether the flowing movement of wind can be converted into the vibratory movement of sound and what the possible consequences of this are. Do wind and sound lose their power and is a third form of energy created? The research should result in a number of singing sculptures that tackle wind nuisance by absorbing air currents, repelling them or changing their direction. To strengthen his metalworking skills, Murgia would like to do a summer residency at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop, a development site specializing in metal and ceramics. The project concludes with a sound conference, exhibition and performative lecture.
Sydney Rahimtoola

Sydney Rahimtoola

Sydney Rahimtoola gained a bachelor's degree in Photography from the Royal Academy of Art in 2018. As a photographer, filmmaker, cultural programmer and performer, Rahimtoola aims to increase the visibility and accessibility of stories of black and brown communities. From her own experience with a burnout, she wants to use her artistic practice and methodology to involve these communities in mental health, radical self-care and psychedelic healing. In the coming year, she will set up three multidisciplinary projects for this purpose: 1. A podcast, in which she brings together her research and inspiration. 2. A visual album dedicated to the mental disorder of her uncle Saqib, and the racial traumas he has suffered. 3. A presentation at Today's Art, where, among other things, the visual album will be launched as an immersive scenographic film screening. In addition, Rahimtoola plans to follow several workshops and visit the psychedelic-trance scene in India and the psychedelic community in California. To professionalize her practice, Rahimtoola wishes to focus on a more theatrical approach and collaborate with, among others, a cinematographer and music producer.
Thom Bindels

Thom Bindels

Thom Bindels graduated in 2017 from the Man and Leisure department of the Design Academy Eindhoven. As a researcher, he is fascinated by the role of human labour in the landscape. In the coming year, this will be expressed in the project 'Een nieuwe maakbaarheid' (A new manipulability), in which he researches the natural landscape and the solutions that its ecological principles and processes offer to relevant problems of our time, such as air pollution, drought and the decline in the bee population. By means of natural interventions in the landscape and a videographic narrative, Bindels wants to invite people to be part of the landscape in a new way. The interventions in the landscape must become an interruption of the monoculture and restore a sense of connection and responsibility to humans in their environment. For this project, he will be collaborating with various landscape organizations, scientists and farmers. He will also be asking researcher and artist Arne Hendriks for advice. He wants to make the results of the research accessible to the general public by means of a film and installations along footpaths that run through the surveyed landscapes.
Vera van de Seyp

Vera van de Seyp

Designer Vera van de Seyp obtained her bachelor's degree in Graphic Design from the KABK and her master's degree in Media Technology from Leiden University. Her hybrid practice spans the world of digital technology and creative coding on the one hand, and graphic design and applied arts on the other. The central focus is the effect that technology has on humans and their environment and the dilemmas arising from this. In the coming year, Van de Seyp will focus on the question: 'How can the curation process become more accessible in generative design?'. To answer this question, she will perform a number of experiments as case studies, develop new digital tools and develop an online repository. This repository will not only include tools developed by Van de Seyp, but also by other generative designers, such as Rifke Sadleir (UK) and Laurel Schwultst (USA). In the selection, the designer takes into account equal representation of different genders and backgrounds. Part of the repository is an overview of links to existing platforms that focus on a single programming language such as OpenRNDR, ml4a and P5.js. In this way, Van de Seyp aims to create a freely accessible central point where most of the knowledge on this subject is gathered, making it easier for people starting on this material to develop further.
Wesley Mapes

Wesley Mapes

Wesley Mapes graduated in 2019 from the Sandberg Institute's master's programme Radical Cut Up. In his practice, he investigates the relationship between art and design. The basis of his work is the theme of black identities and the history of black communities worldwide. In the development year, he plans to carry out more academic research and materials research and to create a stronger narrative for his work. Under the title 'The Marsupial Jackson Boom Boom Room', he is developing an afrofuturistic, speculative space with a music installation that is location-specific. Wesley Mapes finds inspiration for this space in the work of Donald Judd and The Ummah Chroma. He seeks guidance from Jennifer Tosch from the Black Heritage Tours and Ceasar McDowell from MIT, among others. In addition, Mapes plans to participate in the Black Europe Summer School in Amsterdam, teach at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and visit the Afro-Antillean Museum in Panama. For the presentation of his work, Dutch Design Week is a possibility.
Alvin Arthur
Alvin Arthur

Alvin Arthur

Momentum. Something designer, performer and educator Alvin Arthur is sensitive to. If the timing does not feel right, then he will not take it any further. This year it was a challenge to find a balance between what was possible and what was not, in order to remain both productive and healthy. The intended collaborations with other professionals did not go ahead for various reasons. However, it seemed like the time was right for his education project 'Body.coding'; programming with the body.

Body.coding is one example of Arthurs movement and body-based approach, also known as kinesthetics. His goal is to ensure that children from a young age realize that many things they see in their everyday life are digitally programmed; from the production of a chair, the construction of a building to even the development of a city. And that all of this is carried out by adults, who usually sit silently behind a desk, however there are alternatives.

For his children's education program, Arthur has developed a choreographic language; drawings in basic geometric forms and colors that show children how they need to move in order to depict a symbol. This, eventually, will allow them to program an entire sentence. Group dynamics are incredibly important. Those who quickly catch on are usually those who are able to explain this new language to their peers in a way that they understand. There is also room for imagination; what is the meaning of the choreography they have made together?

With help from the school network of the Eindhoven presentation platform MU, Arthur has hosted a number of workshops for various age groups in order to test and further develop his methods. In the new school year these methodologies will become widely available, allowing schools to work with this program.

Bringing movement into the classroom is vital to Arthur. 'The minute we sit a child down in a chair a great deal is lost. It's convenient for us, but it has long-term effects.' Arthur is convinced that children are not given enough skills to meet the challenges of the world. 'I think that many of the struggles we face as a society, globally stem from the fact that we do not know enough about ourselves, as we are not able to fully experience our bodies. This is the reason why I do this, so that we can learn more about ourselves by learning more about our bodies.'

Text: Victoria Anastasyadis
Anna Fink
Anna Fink

Anna Fink

Austrian landscape architect Anna Fink investigates life patterns in specific landscapes and how they continually interact. She wants to unravel and strengthen this relationship, which she calls 'topographic life'. Fink does this by giving new meaning to the everyday location-bound customs and cultural actions with which we form the landscape.

Her new venture 'The taskscape of the forest' follows on from her graduation project 'Landscape as house'. It takes us to Austria where, together with her family she owns part of a forest. Through active fieldwork, she examines the personal actions and activities essential for shaping the landscape and preserving the vitality of a place. How do we shape such a plot? What informs the choice of maintenance, planting or harvesting trees or letting the forest take its course? Fink asks herself these questions, just as forest rangers or other owners of forestland. 'My goal is not to judge. I want to ask questions, overturn assumptions, to initiate dialogue regarding the different ways of interacting with the environment, how one defines nature, and what it means to live in a landscape. This is different from walking or cycling through the landscape because then you only consume. You limit the meaning of nature to something distant; to a concept.'

Given her need to research and develop a method, the past year seemed like the perfect time to set up her interdisciplinary design and research studio. It is aptly named Atelier Fischbach, after the place where Fink grew up. She also initiated a summer school in Austria. For the workshop 'Inhabiting wilderness' she works with Dutch designers and local craftsmen. In a riverbed, they build 'topographic furniture': subtle and transient interventions in the landscape that temporarily shape or mark their presence. The oven builder does not make an iconic wood-burning oven like everyone in the region, rather an outdoor furnace that disappears at high water. The loam builder's stamp-loam floor dissolves into nothing after a few rain showers. 'The physical work and our constant presence at the river create a connection with the place. There is room for dialogue from a shared experience called “embodied knowledge”.' Fink documents her research through photography, a film and a series of small books.


Text: Viveka van de Vliet
Arvand Pourabbasi
Arvand Pourabbasi

Arvand Pourabbasi

Arvand Pourabbasi graduated in Interior Architecture from the KABK. Over the past year, he has been studying the concepts of 'comfort' and 'exhaustion'. He believes being productive has a romanticized image that ignores fatigue, procrastination and anxiety. Rather than leisure time being a moment for rest and comfort, it falls within a capitalist logic. According to Pourabbasi, it is a time to recharge before quickly returning to work and maintaining a given level of productivity. He also analyses the meaning of work. Burn-out isn't so much caused by physically demanding labor; it is an exhausting effect of sedentary work on office employees' bodies. Within these contexts, 'home' is where exhaustion and comfort are intertwined.

Pourabbasi runs his studio, appropriately named WORKNOT! with Golnar Abbasi. They shed light on the extreme conditions that shape our society. WORKNOT! curated the collective project 'Fictioning Comfort' out of the need to explore the concept of comfort in a way that transcends artificial or artificial capitalist ideas. Socio-political artists showed their work in relation to different customs and approaches concerning 'comfort'. This ranged from installations, performances and historical research to science fiction, image production and performative objects. 'The meanings derived from the concepts are very diverse. They are about the exhaustion of the body, the land and politics. Such a project helps me to apply new layers to my work.'

To delve deeper into the subject, Pourabbasi spoke with various professionals during the development process, including physiotherapists, psychologists and designers, especially Bik van der Pol who helped him to curate the show and formulate the complex concept of comfort and exhaustion. Discussions with design studio Refunc, who specialize in 'Garbage Architecture', helped Pourabbasi to develop a carpet for use in presentations and discussions concerning his areas of interest. Pourabbasi considers carpets to be the most basic product that signifies both comfort and homeliness as well as a sprawling landscape.

He will collate the outcomes of his research into a publication. 'Drawing conclusions or giving unambiguous answers is not my goal. I am not a problem solver. I want to put the pieces together, and in this case, a publication is the vehicle. It will be an important document for raising awareness and envisioning a different future.'

Text: Viveka van de Vliet
Chiara Dorbolò
Chiara Dorbolò

Chiara Dorbolò

Although she is trained as an architect, building as much as possible is definitely not what she strives for. Chiara Dorbolò's focus is on the question of what it means to be a contemporary architect. Traditionally, a building constructed based upon your design is perceived by many as the most rewarding part of the job. A significant measure of success is the number of buildings that have been constructed under your design guidance. However, for the younger generation this is different according to Dorbolò: 'Many architects in my peer group are working at the edge of the discipline and are engaged in the ethical responsibility that this profession carries. They do not want to commit to a profit driven system where there is little or no space for other motives and values.'

Dorbolò works at the cutting edge of spatial design and social science, something that she became interested in during her graduation project at the Academie van Bouwkunst in Amsterdam. Here she carried out research into the role of borders in migration patterns centered around the Italian island of Lampedusa, one of the most important arrival points for migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Africa to Europe. 'I became aware of the extent of the social issue and realized that it wasn't a matter of simply designing a solution to a problem. Since then I have become much more involved with research and I started to write more and more about architecture and urbanization, including pieces for Failed Architecture and Topomagazine.com. I also started teaching architectural theory at the Rietveld Academy.'

This year Dorbolò has developed her expertise in storytelling and creative writing through workshops, coaching and professional work. She focused on assembling a publication containing a collection of stories paired up with follies – architectural structures without a specific function. Additionally, over the course of the past year she has published numerous articles and essays and collaborated on various projects exploring the intricate relationship between storytelling and architecture. The fact that she does not reject the designing of new buildings is demonstrated by the successful participation in a design contest for a large housing complex in Milan together with a group of other architects. Dorbolò contributed to the preliminary research, the concept and the storytelling in the proposal that won first place. 'Stories on Earth' is another project where she is exploring the possibilities of combining creative writing and design. Together with Failed Architecture she mediated a collaboration between professional designers and writers. This project will be presented in 2021 at the Biennale of Venice.
Cream on Chrome
Cream on Chrome

Cream on Chrome

Having graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2018, Martina Huynh and Jonas Althaus went on to form Cream on Chrome, a partnership which carries out research into the social impact of technological developments. Their interactive installations, presentations, videos and digital tools primarily pose questions such as: what is a meaningful relationship between humans and technology? What are the consequences of our dependency on devices? And who is actually responsible for the problems associated with technological progress?

One project that specifically addresses the latter question is 'Proxies on Trial'. 'Complex global issues like climate change or the current pandemic can get stuck in abstract discussions,' Huynh says. In order to make the conversation more concrete and give us a sense of control, the duo decided to press charges against everyday objects. Three different lawsuits take place in a 'whodunnit' video: a sneaker is arrested and prosecuted for global warming, an alarm clock is accused of causing traffic jams, and a face mask is on trial for not showing up in time to prevent infections. The fictional debate between prosecutors and defendants raises questions about mutual blame and the search for scapegoats. The decision to accuse objects (instead of people) is meant to prevent the jury from being biased.

Huynh and Althaus enjoy exploring the origins of established systems, consulting different philosophies, from Bruno Latour and Ubuntu to the ancient Greeks. With their Lab of Divergent Technologies, they turn the relationship between humans and technology inside out. Assuming that everything designed is a reflection of the creator and their zeitgeist, Cream on Chrome presents alternatives based on other philosophies and beliefs.

For example, they take a closer look at common, well-established concepts – like the clock. Our entire society is organized around the idea of linear, measurable time; a notion that was simply agreed upon. On one hand it's very efficient, but at the same time, it limits our freedom. What if we decided to use intuitive time instead? 'Today's technical applications often make users feel powerless. We like to create different designs that require more personal responsibility,' says Althaus. 'With our installations, we want to inspire the audience to rediscover their own role.'

Text: Willemijn de Jonge
Gilles de Brock
Gilles de Brock

Gilles de Brock

With the help of YouTube, Gilles de Brock taught himself how to make hand-tufted carpets with wild, colorful patterns. Encouraged by his success he thought that something similar might work with ceramic tiles. Although printed tiles already exist, the specific glazing properties he had in mind disappeared during the manufacturing process. So, what did graphic designer, art director and creative coder Gilles de Brock do? He built his own ABCNC (AirBrush Computer Numerical Control) machine, explaining: 'Whatever I didn't know, I learned from YouTube videos.' Once everything was working, De Brock spent a few days at the EKWC (European Ceramic Work Centre) working with Koen Tasselaar and Jaap Giesen on the composition and behavior of the glazes. 'I eventually realized that I should rely on experts for the craftsmanship, and do the rest myself online.'

De Brock can now print tiles exactly as he intended but, this didn't happen without a fight. It took two years to get the machine to produce shiny glazed tiles, instead of pieces of junk. The tiles are fascinating because of the alienating effect they have on viewers. At first, they appear to be handmade, but upon closer inspection they are far too perfectly formed for that to be possible. There's something slightly psychedelic about the distinct aesthetic of the pixelated patterns and colors with a glaze that resembles car paint. The initial results were displayed at the Unfair art fair in Amsterdam, where they hung like colorful collages on the wall, contained within the borders of a frame. It was nice that he sold some artwork, but De Brock definitely doesn't see himself as an artist: 'I'm more of an entrepreneurial applied designer who sees the potential in collaborating with architects and interior designers. I envision a bar in a café or hotel lobby, or furniture and metro stations covered with my tiles.' In Jaap Giesen, he has found a partner who can help him market his new products commercially.

Because of the coronavirus, other exhibitions have been postponed, including one at the Fisk Gallery in Portland (US). The results of his research however have led to a publication with Corners, one of the leading graphic design and risograph printing studios in South Korea, which will also distribute it throughout Asia. Additionally, there will certainly be an exhibition in Seoul in the near future.

Text: Viveka van de Vliet
Giorgio Toppin
Giorgio Toppin

Giorgio Toppin

The art academies where Giorgio Toppin studied did not fully appreciate that his concepts were linked to his cultural background; there was no scope for non-Western approaches and ways of thinking. He was subsequently motivated to make his work public and move beyond academic contexts. In 2007, together with his sister Onitcha, Toppin established the fashion label XHOSA, a moniker similar to his middle name. He wants to offer a more varied and broader choice to young men who want something more in their wardrobe than shirts and jeans. He is proud that he is both from Amsterdam, born in 'little Suriname' (Amsterdam Zuidoost), and a black man with a Surinamese background. 'I mix the two worlds into new narratives. I translate them into collections that blend into the contemporary western context. Fashion that I and my clientele find cool to wear.'

His interest in the Surinamese diaspora and the culture of his homeland led the designer to return to Suriname last year for the first time since he was a baby. Toppin recorded everything and made a documentary to contextualize his research into Surinamese costumes, craftsmanship and techniques. He interviewed artisans about their profession and its development. 'They all gave the same answer: the value of preserving traditional crafts is important and evolves with societal changes. I showed them other possibilities. They were amazed that I translated their fabrics and patterns into a clothing collection.'

He applied indigenous knotting techniques with tassels to a sweater and a hand-embroidered traditional print from the Saramacca district to a winter coat. The creole 'kotomisi', which is extremely difficult to put on, is given a new and easy to wear silhouette. 'In Suriname, the women go to cultural parties in full regalia. Their outfits are passed on from generation to generation. However, this tradition does not apply to men. They rarely get further than a T-shirt and pants. That's a pity.' Therefore, his new collection ensures that men and women, here and in Suriname, have a greater variety of clothing that also adds something new to the street scene. The Covid-19 outbreak meant he could not present his collection during New York Fashion Week, but a launch closer to home is imminent. He also plans to organize viewings for shop buyers.

Text: Viveka van de Vliet
Jing He
Jing He

Jing He

It should have been a year filled with travel and executing several concrete, ambitious plans. Instead, for Jing He, it has become a period of sitting still and reflecting on her own practice: 'This year I had the opportunity to discover how I can use myself.'

The inspiration for her project plan 'Elysium' was the transformation of her Chinese hometown. 'I can't really prove that I grew up in that city,' she says. 'I don't have any evidence, because all the buildings from my childhood have disappeared.' They have been replaced by modern office buildings and shopping centers. And to give the city some extra appeal, it recently added a life-sized copy of Paris's iconic Arc de Triomphe. It's not an exact imitation, but an adapted design which includes office space and an art gallery.

The idea was to visit this Arc and two other Chinese replicas, as well as a number of other places in China where you could see the imitation and reinterpretation of European cultural history. The practice of copying and identifying formations as social phenomena are often central to He's work. She intended to conclude her research trip with a visit to Paris, 'the original', which would offer inspiration for a series of objects. However, the arrival of the coronavirus, starting in China, threw a spanner in the works. Her trip was cancelled.

Suddenly, there was time to think about an issue that He kept circling back to: how can you translate your research into a social phenomenon into a design, an object, something tangible? How can you make it visual? 'Sometimes an idea is just an idea, but making is a whole different path,' says He. Thanks to advice from former teachers at the Design Academy and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, she has explored new ways of creating and forming routines. For example, it led her to create objects out of fresh fruit, which quickly decompose. Another discovery was drawing: not purposefully sketching, but drawing as a means to freely generate new ideas: 'That gave me courage, because it made me realize that I don't have to know the outcome in advance.'

Through her drawing and online research, she gained new ideas and insights which have yet to be visualized and materialized. He still wants to continue with her original plans as soon as possible.

Text: Victoria Anastasyadis
Juliette Lizotte
Juliette Lizotte

Juliette Lizotte

'My fascination with the subversive figure of the witch began at a young age,' says Juliette Lizotte, also known as jujulove, 'but over the years it faded into the background.' In recent years however, her interest returned and has become the subject of her research. Primarily interested in the relationship between witches and nature, Lizotte makes a connection to ecofeminism. This social and political movement stretches back to the seventies and assumes a correlation between the oppression of women and the decline of the environment. 'As a subject the witch is the perfect vehicle for current events. Her evil image is undeserved. The witch is due a modern interpretation; she is actually an autonomous person, a disruptive, revolutionary character who consciously takes her responsibilities towards the flora and fauna around her'.

French by birth and educated at the Sandberg institute, Lizotte wants to revitalize the climate change discussion with her video work and LARP games, a wake-up call to make people reconsider their harmful habits when it comes to the environment. She aims to create accessible work that also draws interest from outside of the world of art. 'I focus my energies on a younger audience. Youth in particular should feel challenged by the climate crisis. However, the subject is sadly quite often viewed as boring and evokes feelings of guilt. Besides, many other social-political questions seem more urgent.'

Last year Lizotte has followed dance-, performance- and writing courses. She collaborated with dancers and theatre makers and with a fashion designer co-created costumes from recycled plastic for the dancers in her videos. She also delved into the possibilities of LARP-gaming and received advice on optimizing her work presentation. It all served a purpose; to give her research more depth and shape and to create a parallel world to inspire others. Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus the presentation of her work had to be delayed. 'Video shoots could not go ahead and have been postponed. But we picked ourselves up; last week we managed to get together for the first time to film, which was pretty exciting.' Lizotte documents her research both online and in a publication.
Kasia Nowak
Kasia Nowak

Kasia Nowak

The relationship between art and the environment has fascinated Kasia Nowak since she was young. Her graduation project 'Art in Context', which won the 2016 Archiprix, investigated the optimal spatial conditions for art and how they are experienced. The project she has researched over the past year continues this concept, however she has shifted the focus from 'an urban location' to 'a specific location', namely the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen. As the curator of her own narrative, she formulates a new and different museum typology: a positive and critical take on exhibiting.

The choice of Museum Boijmans van Beuningen is specific. Since the museum is undergoing a renovation, Nowak sees this as a unique opportunity. She also thinks Adrianus van der Steur's ideas are aligned with her own. 'His designs for the original building took specific artworks into account. For example, he wanted to avoid shadows in the corners of the rooms. Such considerations should happen more often.' She delves further into the architectural context of artworks, focusing on aspects often neglected or even ignored in museums: 'Placing a work of art in the wrong context creates an incomplete experience.' She has found numerous examples where placement, natural light, artificial light, or dark spaces can affect how a work is displayed and interpreted. She spoke to historians and read biographies and interviews with artists, from which it became clear that many artists explicitly state how their work should be displayed. Nowak also investigated where certain artworks have been, whether they were specifically made for a location, and whether they were integrated into the architecture.

The results of her research 'Art in the City' will probably be displayed in the Depot of the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen. For the time being, she is making scale models of objects and experimenting with alternative materials, transparency, shapes and colors. 'It is a privilege to be the curator of your own exhibition that deals with how you can present differently.'

Text: Viveka van de Vliet
Kuang-Yi Ku
Kuang-Yi Ku

Kuang-Yi Ku

For his 'Tiger Penis Project' Kuang-Yi Ku won the Gijs Bakker Award from the Design Academy in Eindhoven two years ago. The project presents a sustainable alternative to the use of protected species in Chinese medicine and is more relevant than ever. As the consumption of wild animals in China may have been responsible for a pandemic, the search for an alternative has become even more urgent. 'I have been trying to think of a way to produce artificial bats and pangolins,' says Ku, 'to enable us to preserve traditions and at the same time prevent disaster.'

Meanwhile, temporarily from Taipei, Ku is working on three projects for which he has applied to the Creative Industries Fund NL. As a social designer and bio-artist with a background in dentistry, he designs controversial scenarios for the human body. These are based around health, sexuality and our interaction with other species on the planet. Ku searches for methodologies connecting design and medical science. To keep the context contemporary, he also adds a dose of sociology and politics.

Quite often these scenarios portray an oppressive future which explores the lines of what we perceive to be acceptable. An example of this is the project 'Delayed Youth' which outlines a dystopian scenario where the conservative party of Taipei has removed all sexual education from school textbooks. In that case, why not develop an injection that removes one's sex drive and halts the onset of puberty until a person is legally allowed to have sex – at the age of eighteen? A video shows how uniform the world would look if, up until their eighteenth birthday, people are virtually indistinguishable from each other, including trouser skirts for the gender-neutral youth. The second project explores the ethical aspects of modern-day reproductive technologies. 'Grandma Mom' introduces the idea of surrogacy in elderly women for their own daughters, which allows the daughters to continue with their careers.

The third project on which Ku is working is also based around the concept of sexuality and reproduction. Together with an animal ecology researcher from the VU in Amsterdam, Ku compares an androgynous snail with other hermaphrodites; what is normal for a snail, is abnormal for humans. 'Perverted Norm, Normal Pervert' takes a biological view on discrimination of sexual minorities.

Text: Willemijn de Jonge
Lieselot Elzinga
Lieselot Elzinga

Lieselot Elzinga

Feminine and tough, with a rough edge. That's how Lieselot Elzinga describes her eponymous fashion label, Elzinga, which she founded together with Miro Hämäläinen after graduating from the Rietveld Academy in 2018. Their love of the stage is evident in their designs. Hämäläinen attended art academy and theatre school, and Elzinga has been a singer and bass player in various bands since she was twelve. 'You have to be able to make an entrance and perform immediately. Our clothing is extravagant but not too much, just enough to make you feel good on stage.' The brand celebrates fashion and music, with simple, precise shapes and heaps of color. The designs evoke the fifties, sixties, Teddy Girls, Pop Art and rock 'n' roll, but anno 2020. And it's very popular too. Elzinga's graduation collection was spotted by Parrot fashion agency, who immediately signed the pair up and introduced them to London's MatchesFashion.

That's when it all started. They had to translate a graduation collection that didn't focus on wearability into a sustainable collection for the commercial market. 'I incorporated PVC in my graduation pieces. At the art academy, however, I never considered the applicability of what I made. This suddenly became important.' The task didn't daunt the duo, and they got off to a flying start. 'Of course, we made many mistakes, but ultimately you learn the most by just doing.' And they did a lot in their first year: the launch of four collections, a presentation at London Fashion Week and the opening of Amsterdam Fashion Week – appropriately at the Maloe Melo blues café.

In between, they carried out research into fabrics at a Spanish weaving mill and worked on their professional business operations. 'Suddenly it's no longer a hobby but an enterprise', says Elzinga, 'We had to consider finances and business management – pretty awful stuff. What's nice is, it's getting faster and faster. The first collection took eight months, the second four and the last only two.' Meanwhile, a fifth collection is in the works, this time no longer exclusively for MatchesFashion. The style has become more subdued. 'Fashion is bound to human behavior. We make a lot of party clothes, but these days there aren't that many parties. That's why the new collection is a bit quieter.'

Text: Willemijn de Jonge
Marco Federico Cagnoni
Marco Federico Cagnoni

Marco Federico Cagnoni

'Super happy and super tired.' That's how designer Marco Federico Cagnoni feels after a year of researching latex-producing edible plants in collaboration with Utrecht University. He is now one step closer to his goal: a fully biodegradable bioplastic that has all the advantages and properties of synthetic plastic. The twelve months of the Talent Development program are only the start of the material's development. Cagnoni estimates it will take several more years to get 'from the seed to the material.'

Utrecht University allows him to use a greenhouse in their botanical gardens to grow a small selection of plants with potentially high latex yields, such as salsify – the 'forgotten vegetable'. Unlike more well-known bioplastics made from algae or mushrooms, latex (the basis of, among other things, rubber) does not contain cellulose. According to Cagnoni, cellulose-based material does not make a high-performance bioplastic. He was already studying this matter for his graduation from the Design Academy Eindhoven and the development year has allowed him to further research his ideas and hypotheses into practice.

Monitoring the cycle of a plant takes a lot of time; nature cannot be rushed. The corona measures meant he was temporarily unable to take care of the plants, and the harvest failed. Fortunately, he was able to make a chemical analysis from an earlier sample. 'The bottom line is that we discovered a new material that has incredible characteristics and is 70% similar to polyethylene vinyl acetate (PEVA) rubber.' Now they have discovered the 'fingerprint' of the material and know precisely how it is constructed. But there is still a long way to go: 'We have probably found the key; now we must find the lock.'

The next step is testing the material under different conditions. For the project to succeed, a huge increase in scale is needed: ample growing space and larger machines to extract the latex from the roots or an industrial partner who will commit to the research. Each step is demanding but developing this into a mass-produced material is essential to Cagnoni. As a social designer, his aim is to translate science into design. And not only for the '1%', but also for the benefit of the entire earth and its inhabitants.

Text: Victoria Anastasyadis
Mark Henning
Mark Henning

Mark Henning

These are interesting times for Mark Henning. His graduation project 'Normaal' at the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2017 marked the start of a period of research on how people perceive normal and the rigidity of our normality. In response to Mark Rutte's remark that 'the norm here is that we shake hands', he designed 'the perfect handshake'. He measured everything down to the millimeter and outlined instructions for a training table to be used when integrating newcomers to Dutch culture – to the point of absurdity. Since then, he has continued to create playful interventions that deal with interpersonal space and the related gestures. In March, his work was displayed at the Philadelphia Museum in the US, as part of the 'Designs for Different Futures' exhibition.

And then the pandemic arrived. Now all of us are talking about 'the new normal'. The world has been turned upside down, which can be a gift to a designer who was already questioning what is normal. Henning is currently rethinking his work. The practice mirror and carefully drawn lines on his training table have made way for something else. While Henning's lines were meant to bring people closer together, public spaces are now covered in lines that show people how to keep their distance. Shaking hands is now out of the question: 'A gesture that is meant to show trust has now become a risk.'

Henning thinks it's surreal. Of course, he's already been observing and playing around with the complexities of social distancing. He's working on an adapted installation for Designs for Different Futures, which will soon move to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. The question now is how closeness and intimacy will change. He is especially interested to see what will happen as we re-emerge from lockdown, asking: 'How will we deal with interpersonal space? Will we ever feel safe shaking hands again? What will social interaction look like in six months?' Henning is working on a dramatized documentary that highlights different traditions. 'We don't know how long this process will take, but what if we have to learn it all over again?' If that occurs, Mark Henning's tools will offer us one solution. And then we can all reintegrate, with a knowing wink to what we once considered normal.

Text: Willemijn de Jonge
Marwan Magroun
Marwan Magroun

Marwan Magroun

'You would make a very good father… just like your mother.' On a Tunisian beach, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, Marwan Magroun's mother explains what it was like raising three children by herself in Rotterdam. Magroun's father wasn't around – something that seems to confirm the stigma surrounding fathers from a migrant background. But in his current circle of friends, the photographer and videographer has had a very different experience. He sees divorced fathers with Cape Verdean, Antillean and Surinamese roots fighting for their children, consciously focused on how to provide for them, and grappling with the question of whether they are doing it right or not. So, to counter the negative image of bi-cultural fathers, he decided to make a photo-series and a film. He explains: 'Since 9/11, there's been something projected on us. I'm looking for ways to combat that. Instead of a prejudiced image of the group as a whole, I want to provide a more personal, nuanced view.'

In his half-hour documentary, 'The Life of Fathers', he follows three single fathers. While he interviews his friends and photographs them at close range, his search for nuance is filmed under the direction of Rien Bexkens. 'We all think in stereotypes,' says Magroun, 'until you get to know the people as individuals. The fathers I spoke to want to see their children, be involved and raise them to be good people.' The film was screened at the IFFR in January and is currently in the running for a variety of international festivals. Magroun's goal is to make more of these kinds of independent productions – he calls them 'meaningful stories'.

His passion for photography began completely by chance in 2012, when he got an old SLR camera from 1967, found among some rubbish on the street. He bought a roll of film at the HEMA (a famous Dutch department store) and started taking pictures of the city where he was born and raised. Four years later, he bought a new camera and quit his job as an organizational expert; in 2017 he won the Kracht van Rotterdam photography prize. He's now scaling up his business: 'I've now reached the level where I can just do what I think is cool. There are still plenty of stories waiting to be told.'

Text: Willemijn de Jonge
Maxime Benvenuto
Maxime Benvenuto

Maxime Benvenuto

Design research. Much has been written and said about it, but what is it really? Or rather, what does it mean? Last year, when Maxime Benvenuto visited the graduation show at the Design Academy Eindhoven, where he also graduated with honors in 2016, he noticed that most of the exhibitors relied on design research. 'But,' he wonders, 'can you really call it that if you've simply read a book as a way to justify prroduction?'. Benvenuto views it more as a discipline that collects intangible knowledge and information, without immediately resulting in a product. Research is never finished, there is no end result, there is only an intermediate state. Therefore, what he is presenting at Dutch Design Week is just a snapshot.

Benvenuto started his own design research – on the practice of design research. He is now conducting in-depth interviews with 17 researchers from the Netherlands, Italy, France, the UK and Japan. They describe the discrepancy between education and practice. For example, a French design researcher at a bio nanotechnology lab had to learn everything from scratch when she started working after finishing her degree. During an interview with a French designer, Benvenuto struggled with the translation of an expression: is it 'la recherche au travers du design' or 'le design au travers de la recherche'? So, is it design for or by research? It turned out that a lot has already been written on the subject – he is currently in the middle of reading discourses by researchers like Pierre-Damien Huyghe, Alain Findelli and Christopher Frayling. 'In practice, it really does matter which preposition you use,' Benvenuto says. Another recurring theme is the subjectivity involved. While most scientists frantically try to remain objective, design research allows for subjective findings. 'That's quite typical', he says. Just like creating interventions to see how people react; design researchers take a much different approach than anthropologists, who want to observe without intervening.

His research on 'the cosmology of design research' is still in progress. It requires depth, which according to Benvenuto, is something that is often missing in design journalism: 'Design has become a fast-moving consumer product, that you should be able to describe in 100 words with a few striking images. But it takes more than that to convey the nuance.'

Text: Willemijn de Jonge
Millonaliu
Millonaliu

Millonaliu

Spatial designers Klodiana Millona and Yuan Chun Liu work together as millonaliu. They share a deep interest in alternative ways of living and cohabitation. They are also critical of architecture as a discipline. They consider it to be political, too dominant, canonical and too focused on redundant paradigms that do not meet current requirements for housing construction.

In their development year, they wanted to study two informal housing structures in the capitals of their native countries Taiwan and Albania. In Taipei, residents often add an extra floor to the existing roof. In a city with sky-high rents, these rooftop extensions are usually rented at relatively low prices, thus meeting a need which the government neglects. In Tirana, a completely different phenomenon occurs; here houses are often not finished but are in a constant state of renovation and expansion. This is partly due to regulations: unfinished houses are subject to tax exemption. It is also due to financing: families abroad will often pay for building work, sending money intermittently.

Due to the corona crisis, the research could not take place in Albania. However, millonaliu were able to carry out field research in Taiwan and conducted further research online during the lockdown. While researching its land ownership formation in time and the forces behind it they focused on a genetically modified rice crop that had to be grown for the Japanese market during its colonial domination of Taiwan, with far-reaching consequences. 'You see how just one type of crop can affect the country, the land, the culture, the industry and even the rituals. We looked at how this crop, and therefore agriculture, has had a strong effect on the environment, both physically and socially.'

The designers are currently organizing the information they have collected for an online publication that they will supplement with comparable examples of alternative forms of cohabitation. Beyond the outcomes of their projects, this development year allowed millonaliu to investigate how to make a living from their work and experiment with types of participatory research. 'How do you collect information that does not come from the people who control the information? What does it mean to research a site both with and within a community? What are our own values, and in this field what do we really want to address?'

Text: Victoria Anastasyadis
Milou Voorwinden
Milou Voorwinden

Milou Voorwinden

During her final year studying product design at ArtEZ, Milou Voorwinden participated in an exchange program with the textile lab at Falmouth University. 'That's when I fell in love with weaving,' she says. After graduating, she continued with her own hand loom and began to specialize in textile design – not only the design but also the manufacturing process itself. She is now a jacquard weaver at EE Exclusives, where she has access to industrial machines with 76 warp threads per centimeter – extremely suitable for 3D weaving. Over the past year, she has taken a deep dive into the technology. 'Normally, fabric is made on a loom, then the pieces of the pattern are cut out and finally, everything is put together. When you weave in three dimensions, it's finished as soon as it comes out of the machine. 'Using this approach, you can make and design textiles locally with a single process,' she says. 3D weaving therefore offers major sustainability advantages: it cuts down on waste, production time and shipping.

Voorwinden joined forces with a designer from New Zealand who is currently working on a PhD focused on sustainable pattern making. Together, they have made a pair of trousers, which have already been woven several times in an attempt to figure out the best results. For example, 'how thick should the thread be and how much tension should the machine put on the thread?' It is not really about the resulting design, but more about the manufacturing process and possible applications. She has also experimented with spacers that could replace the less sustainable foam found in cushions; it is a kind of woven TPU framework that provides a springy, lightweight interior.

In addition to researching high-tech machines in Heeze, Brabant, Voorwinden went looking for the opposite extreme – she went to Japan to rediscover traditional looms. In the silk-making province of Kyoto, she programmed old machines that didn't use a rapier, but instead relied on a shuttle and continuous thread. 'They are often punch-card machines connected to a box that controls everything with a floppy disk,' Voorwinden explains. She found a way to make tradition and innovation work together, by making an old machine work with new software. 'I'd love to go back some time and study it more,' she concludes.

Text: Willemijn de Jonge
Minji Choi
Minji Choi

Minji Choi

'In Asia, including my homeland of South Korea, people have respect for every living being' says Minji Choi from her studio in Eindhoven. And that's what her 'The Dignity of Plants' project addresses. She investigates the cultural symbolism of plants in relation to the urban landscape by shifting the perspective to the plant rather than the human. Choi uses the 'dignity of the plant' or the 'rights of the plant' to begin redefining our attitude towards other living things. This attitude is often based on false sentiments and moral judgments about what is good and bad or natural and artificial. How we see nature is how we see the world. By putting yourself in the position of a plant, you can look at nature differently.

Last year, Choi elaborated on this fact with a case study of invasive plants, notably the Black Cherry. Known for its vitality, strength and beauty, the Netherlands began importing these trees from America in 1740. Initially, the Black Cherry was used to stimulate the establishment of production forests consisting of pines. The tree however hindered the growth of the pine trees and began to dominate the forest. The initially admired Black Cherry started to be viewed negatively. Since invasive plants supply seeds to birds and provide shelter for insects and other animals, ecologists are now developing ways to take advantage of them in nature. 'Instead of removing invasive trees, we should protect the ecosystem and boost biodiversity, creating a healthier forest with better soil quality and more balance.'

With the exclusion of invasive plant species, Choi sees parallels with the exclusion of people and the way we treat migrants, refugees or obese people. 'As a designer, I want to share stories with a wider audience and help change our thinking.' Choi has done this through a series of publications, a video documentary, an animated film and interviews with ecologists. She also wants to realize her own 'Garden of Eden' and become proficient in garden design. 'In doing so, I am challenging myself to create my ideal garden, and it only makes my case study stronger.'

Text: Viveka van de Vliet
Mirte van Laarhoven
Mirte van Laarhoven

Mirte van Laarhoven

Having taken to landscape architecture like a fish to water, Mirte van Laarhoven does not develop conventional parks or squares. She works on large-scale visions regarding climate adaptation and the restoration of biodiversity. By creating small interventions, she contributes to a healthy landscape.

Van Laarhoven graduated from the Academy of Architecture in 2017. As a landscape architect, her starting point is not controlling or conquering nature, but moving with nature. She gives water the space to flow more freely and investigates better uses of natural processes.

But how do you create artistic landscape architecture that contributes to the existing landscape? One example is her 'Underwater Forest' of deadwood that attracts all kinds of creatures, influences the current, and is a gauge of ecology. She also makes land-art interventions, such as playground equipment or sculpture gardens, which are attractive for flora and fauna but also humans. 'The idea behind it is that you get to know nature through play, by learning to look deeper and interact with everything that lives.'

She made significant steps last year and established her own studio: Living Landscapes. She continues to develop her practice and expand her portfolio. The new set of instruments she is developing requires new knowledge and skills. She works with ecologists, artisans and architects to achieve her ambition to realize projects in public waterways. It is not something she accomplishes as a matter of course. 'Government and nature organizations are enthusiastic, but the culture of consultation and the safety aspects make processes slow and policy-oriented. I hope to find a way to realize pilots faster and to test my ambitions step by step amidst the forces of nature.'

Fortunately, her in-laws recently bought a plot of land in Klarenbeek. It is currently dead forest, but the goal is to breathe new life into this former spruce forest, which died due to drought. 'A forester would probably flatten it and replant it in one go, I however am reevaluating the current situation. Revitalizing a forest by myself is not what you would call landscape architecture, but it suits my way of working. I develop a clear vision, followed by an organic translation into practice. This allows me to determine what is needed on-site and deliver something tailor-made. My ideal is a working process that flows like water.'

Text: Viveka van de Vliet
Nadine Botha
Nadine Botha

Nadine Botha

Research designer and journalist Nadine Botha has always been aware of the role of stories within culture, and not just any stories, but stigmatizing stories based on fear and propaganda. As a conversation starter, Botha uses 'innocent' topics as tools to retrieve and nuance the stories never told about repression, justice and colonialism. She reveals them through archival research, interviews and partnerships with scientists, by displaying the socio-political and cultural value behind the subjects via installations at exhibitions, through digital media, in performances, publications and workshops.

With her ongoing research project 'Sugar: A Cosmology of Whiteness', Botha brings, on numerous levels, sugar into the spotlight – using this sweet topic to highlight the darker side of transatlantic slave trade and the contemporary food industrial complex. Currently, for 'Projecting Other-wise', she is working with epidemiologist Henry de Vries. This project, which is about public health, stigma and viruses through zombies was rewarded with the Bio Art & Design Award (BAD). 'Zombie apocalypse films bring the modern-day myths of society regarding sickness and the dreaded other together,' says Botha. The zombie story originates from Haitian folklore, where it was used to herald the resistance of slaves, and ultimately the Haitian Revolution that led to the abolishment of slavery. Later, in Hollywood films, the folklore was appropriated to signify white people's fear of black people as disease carriers – a preconception that stemmed from how epidemiology was used during the colonial times to justify segregation and genocide. 'Over the years, the films have evolved to show the zombie outbreak being spread by a virus and the fear-inducing zombie horde itself representing the political other of contemporary news narratives, such as terrorism, refugees, the HIV/Aids epidemic and now the coronavirus.'

How the fear of others is by design something that Botha wants to bring into the conversation, partly due to her upbringing in south Africa and master studies at the Design Academy Eindhoven. 'Racism and colonialism were never a part of any design discussion whatsoever.' This is why she seeks interaction with the audience, to facilitate conversations over subjects rarely discussed. With her work, Botha attempts to make a contribution by sharing alternative, nuanced stories that question the existing narrative and, with it, in time, our understanding of what we take for granted in the world.

Text: Viveka van de Vliet
Nastia Cistakova
Nastia Cistakova

Nastia Cistakova

'Bittere Ernst' ('Dead Earnest'): the working title of the game in which Nastia Cistakova gently ridicules the 'quarter-life crisis'. 'Too many choices for young people, obviously a very real problem'; Cistakova has the audacity to make fun of the search for meaning – in both text and images. Her graduation project at the HKU was rewarded with the Blink Youngblood Award, for the sublimely uncomfortable feelings that it brought to the surface. The main character in the game she had already created: a pink potato. 'A meaningless shape, representing this whole generation of seekers and their
spiritual chaos.'

Over the course of the last year, Cistakova dug deeper into the identity of her wandering potato. Using the internet as her oracle, roaming forums, Googling questions such as; 'How to spice up your life?'. 'Then you get those fantastically dull answers like; keep a dream diary, learn to meet new people, step out of your comfort zone.' Cistakova joyously and freely associated; creating storyboards where she allowed her potato to go bungee jumping, struggle with new encounters or run away from a set of rampaging false teeth. The absurd was exalted into art. In the artist's own words: without any deeper message. 'The idea is more like; how can I make life even weirder than I thought it was? Allow little dramas to go even further off the rails? Now that makes me happy.'

The game is not yet finished, since the creative process is also a search for new techniques and methodologies. By now she has improved her drawing skills, taken an interest in animation, video, interactive design and 3D objects. 'Actually, I always used to draw by hand so that I could fix any mistakes in Photoshop later. I have now bought an iPad to learn how to draw digitally, so that I can be finished in one go.'
In addition to commissioned work for, amongst others, De Volkskrant, De Correspondent and Het Parool, where it's mainly about what others experience, Cistakova's own projects are much more focused on sharing her personal story. Keep your eyes open in the coming months for the release of Bittere Ernst, for a surprising look into Cistakova's chaotic soul.

Text: Willemijn de Jonge
Nikola Knezevic
Nikola Knezevic

Nikola Knezevic

'Bittere Ernst' ('Dead Earnest'): the working title of the game in which Nastia Cistakova gently ridicules the 'quarter-life crisis'. 'Too many choices for young people, obviously a very real problem'; Cistakova has the audacity to make fun of the search for meaning – in both text and images. Her graduation project at the HKU was rewarded with the Blink Youngblood Award, for the sublimely uncomfortable feelings that it brought to the surface. The main character in the game she had already created: a pink potato. 'A meaningless shape, representing this whole generation of seekers and their spiritual chaos.'

Over the course of the last year, Cistakova dug deeper into the identity of her wandering potato. Using the internet as her oracle, roaming forums, Googling questions such as; 'How to spice up your life?'. 'Then you get those fantastically dull answers like; keep a dream diary, learn to meet new people, step out of your comfort zone.' Cistakova joyously and freely associated; creating storyboards where she allowed her potato to go bungee jumping, struggle with new encounters or run away from a set of rampaging false teeth. The absurd was exalted into art. In the artist's own words: without any deeper message. 'The idea is more like; how can I make life even weirder than I thought it was? Allow little dramas to go even further off the rails? Now that makes me happy.'

The game is not yet finished, since the creative process is also a search for new techniques and methodologies. By now she has improved her drawing skills, taken an interest in animation, video, interactive design and 3D objects. 'Actually, I always used to draw by hand so that I could fix any mistakes in Photoshop later. I have now bought an iPad to learn how to draw digitally, so that I can be finished in one go.'

In addition to commissioned work for, amongst others, De Volkskrant, De Correspondent and Het Parool, where it's mainly about what others experience, Cistakova's own projects are much more focused on sharing her personal story. Keep your eyes open in the coming months for the release of Bittere Ernst, for a surprising look into Cistakova's chaotic soul.

Text: Willemijn de Jonge
Ottonie von Roeder
Ottonie von Roeder

Ottonie von Roeder

'Currently I'm in Morocco, where I have just learnt how to weave a carpet.' This is the voice-over of the cleaning lady, who, together with Ottonie von Roeder, built the robot you now see in the video doing her job - all by itself. In Roeders 'Post-Labouratory', the cleaning lady worked on her own replacement, allowing her to take time off to go travelling. As opposed to the suspicion of advancing of technology, Von Roeder created a more optimistic scenario. Following in the footsteps of philosopher Hannah Arendt, she makes a distinction between work and labour, the latter includes the jobs that we would rather not do. If we are able to manufacture a robot specifically for such chores, then one is able to spend the time saved doing something immeasurably more enjoyable.

After graduating from the Design Academy Eindhoven, Von Roeder continued her studies into the transition from labour to work. She noticed that her design peers found her self-made robots an interesting solution for physical professions, but failed to associate the experiment with themselves. 'Designers are convinced, as most people, that their own job could never be automated,'says Von Roeder. 'Computers however, have already become extremely important in our field, nearly everything is created with software programs.' Her design research into the future of creative professions explores the possibilities, but also the sentimental aspects. Von Roeder would like to build a robot that is able to take care of her administration and subsidy applications. Meanwhile, in an effort to blur the lines between inspiring and boring tasks, she is also experimenting with software that is able to design models.

Currently Von Roeder is working on a chatbot for the Dutch Design Week which will question visitors. 'Is creativity a strictly human quality or does a computer also possess this ability? Can we simulate design? If so, will it have the same quality? How will it affect the future of our profession?' Ultimately, Von Roeder aims to trigger and activate the audience. 'Automation is threatening if you look passively at how technology is taking over, but you can also choose to take a more active role. If you are able to master the available technology and redesign it and create something useful, then it becomes positive. I see it as a challenge to turn people from consumers into active participants.'

Text: Willemijn de Jonge
Paradyme

Paradyme

Florian Mecklenburg and Karolien Buurman have been repositioning their studio this year; what once began as Goys Birls, has now evolved into Paradyme, Practice for Visual Culture. 'A paradigm is a set of rules that determines how you perceive the world', according to researcher and art director Karolien Buurman. 'We decided to immediately break the rules by spelling the word incorrectly.' The intangible framework of the digital domain keeps the duo occupied. Where the world of images previously was dominated by designers, illustrators and photographers, now anybody who owns a smartphone can be an image maker. Paradyme follows this cultural 180 closely. Their new approach is focused more on design research than on delivering an end product. 'Research and strategy were always a significant part of our design work, but now we appreciate the intrinsic value of the process itself,' says graphic designer Florian Mecklenburg.

Lately, the duo has been dedicating time to search for their place in the world of visual culture and pushing any boundaries that they may encounter. They joined forces with a writer and a thinker for the publication of a series of reports on the influence of visual culture. Not being typographers, they decided to create their own font. 'To not have to strictly follow the rules of typography, feels great,' says Buurman. Their font is called Crop Top and is inspired by the garment which exposes the midriff; an item that down the years has been perceived as a symbol for rebellion against society. They regard it as a character in the broadest sense of the word. The back-story is what piques their interest; 'The crop top reveals social-cultural topics on politics, race, gender and religion.' Extensive research will be followed by a visual publication containing their results.

Another new skill they have learnt is virtual 3D sculpting. The duo has also picked up something tangible and earthy; ceramics – because 'not all solutions are found within the computer.' Currently, they are in the middle of a research project into tactile forms and structures and don't wish to disclose much about the objects that will emerge. In the end that's not what's most important, that's the whole point behind this year's research.

Text: Willemijn de Jonge
Post Neon
Post Neon

Post Neon

Vito Boeckx and Jim Brady were roommates for a few years whilst students at the Design Academy Eindhoven. They graduated in 2018 with respective virtual reality projects, which they worked on in their living room. As Post Neon, they have continued to develop increasingly sophisticated virtual 3D content. And now, childhood friend Jeremy Renoult has also joined them. 'What we do is recreate objects or situations from the real world in a digital form that you can modify. The challenge is to blur the lines between reality and virtuality in such a way that you sometimes no longer know what you have seen. That surreal element is what makes it interesting', says Brady.

As well as being surreal, it is convenient having a database full of digital 3D objects that you can manipulate indefinitely and use in the most unusual places for campaigns, communication and art. They applied for a grant at the Creative Industries Fund NL to increase their technical skills for the various forms of content. Reality cannot be captured in one program: simulating a building is very different from simulating a garment. They needed the latter to assemble digital collections for streetwear brands Edwin and Lores. But they also designed an AR installation for Cinekid and MU, where children could modify a Coke bottle or a flower on their iPad. They also immersed themselves in the visual language of sand – which is part of the self-initiated 'passion projects'. Brady: 'We saw a documentary about sand scarcity. Did you know that at least fourteen thousand everyday objects are made with sand? If the scarcity continues, there will be no more beaches in 60 years – something we wanted to address. The visual language of sand grains is fascinating and inspiring. We are now working with Fontys to make the project a VR experience.'

'Without VR, the outcomes are difficult to describe. We are therefore working on a showreel that summarizes in a few minutes the highlights of Post Neon's first year. We hope it will also feature the 3D work for Ronnie Flex's new album, which was an assignment from record label Top Notch. Ronnie has put back the release, so we can't say too much about it just yet. But we were responsible for the creative direction and production of the entire album's virtual content.' Each track will feature work by Post Neon on Spotify Canvas: music to listen to and watch.

Text: Willemijn de Jonge
Rosita Kær
Rosita Kær

Rosita Kær

Artist Rosita Kær (28) is working on a series of ongoing projects in collaboration with her grandmother, Karen-Hanne Stærmose Nielsen (87). Her grandmother's textile collection was the starting point of her ongoing research. The collection was sold in 2018, and, as a result, has been disintegrated.

What does it mean when a collector or collection disappears, and what creative possibilities does that offer? This is one of the questions Kær is focusing on. Her grandmother's eclectic collection included everything from Bronze Age textiles to pieces of broken or worn out fabric that others might consider rubbish, however she saw potential in all of them. The fact that her grandmother wanted to get rid of the collection because of her advanced age was at first difficult for Kær, because the pieces had been such a big part of her grandmother's life. They were as precious, intimate and personal as a second skin. But the project is also about letting go, about friendship across generations, between two women – one who is at the beginning of her life, and another who is nearing the end.

As a weaver, Kær's grandmother knows everything about yarn, spinning and all kinds of textile techniques. While Kær says that she isn't that interested in mastering the techniques herself, the grandmother and granddaughter have a lot in common when it comes to how they approach the material. She says: 'We both dive into the different layers, into the details, as if we were archaeologists. We look at how things are made, fall apart, and are repaired. For my grandmother, a weaving flaw in a piece of textile has more value than a flawless piece, because the mistakes give you a glimpse into the thought process of the maker. I also prefer holes and slight imperfections. An archaeologist looks for fragments that, when combined, make a story more complete. But there are always still missing pieces. I'm only interested in partial and slippery conclusions.'

In the past year, she has also had conversations with curators, archivists and artists about how they interpret collections. Eventually, Kær will present her own research in an exhibition in which her interest in textiles, ceramics, spatial design, text, archaeology and museology will come together. In the exhibition and accompanying publication, the recorded conversations she has had with her grandmother over the past four years, will be the thread connecting the objects she will exhibit.

Text: Viveka van de Vliet
Sae Honda
Sae Honda

Sae Honda

Lush green gardens filled with ferns, Japanese blossom trees and two precisely aligned deer. Ivy, a pot with blooming hortensia's and a fat panda bear. These small artificial landscapes are exhibited at the showroom of the Chinese factory in the Guandong province, where artificial plants are produced. Jewelry designer Sae Honda visited various factories during her research project 'Parallel Botany' to investigate the materials used and their seemingly life-like appearance. Here she studied the manufacturing process of the fake plants and flowers. 'It's crazy, just like a science fiction film.'

Like a somewhat contemporary archaeologist Honda questions our current value systems. In her interdisciplinary practice, which aside from jewelry includes objects, installations and publications, she is less interested in the monetary value but rather focuses on the intrinsic value of an object which is found in the attention it is given and how it is treated, regardless of whether it is fake or real. This also applies to Honda's previous project and publication 'Everybody needs a rock' (2018) as well as the artificial plants. 'I don't wish to promote artificial plants but rather to draw people's awareness to what I call “fake nature”. We place less value on these man-made products, but this new fake nature, carefully reproducing the nerves, shadows or raindrops has a value of its own. This craft of faking is fascinating to see. There are so many industrially produced plants where the human touch is clearly visible.'

Honda also investigated the potential of imitation pearls. For her project 'Faux Pearl' she travelled to her homeland Japan where she visited small factories and workshops in Osaka. These places have small-scale production runs where the fake pearls are made by hand and coated with pearl essence. In collaboration with one of these companies and employing their techniques, Honda was able to experiment with shapes other than the classic round bead.

In order to refine her business, start a jewelry label and find the right sales channels, Honda brought in the expertise of Sarah Mesritz, co-founder of the jewelry platform and magazine Current Obsession. In this way she hopes to find shops for her reproducible collection of custom artificial jewelry, made in Japan and assembled in the Netherlands.

Text: Viveka van de Vliet
Saïd Kinos
Saïd Kinos

Saïd Kinos

Large, colorful murals and artworks reveal street-art artist Saïd Kinos' background in graphic design. Within his design practice Kinos makes use of collage, paint and assemblage techniques that result in works where the closely placed and overlapping fragmented typographies create the illusion of depth. The way in which people communicate; language, symbols, (social) media and the overload of information are his biggest sources of inspiration.

Kinos makes autonomous works for museums and galleries as well as commission pieces. Last year he created three murals at Art Basel and Art Miami which led to an assignment for a mural at a hotel in Okinawa, Japan. The 'Talentonwikkelingsbeurs' (talent development scholarship) gave him the financial freedom to focus on his work and the headspace to think about how to expand his practices on the international stage and to further develop from a content perspective. 'I would like to transcend the street-art label and present myself more as a contemporary autonomous artist who is able to create work accordingly,' says Kinos from his Rotterdam based studio.

The artist also wants to expand his spectrum. In order to give his work an extra dimension; to bring his paintings to life, Kinos has developed his skills in VR, animation, project mapping (a technique that allows you to project a moving image onto a wall) and AR. 'My approach is no different than that of my two-dimensional work, but with an added technical dimension. I would like to master all these forms of digital media, to allow for better communications between myself and the programmers I prefer to work with.' This involves attending online courses in animation and a work visit to the Argentinian-Spanish street art-artist Felipe Pantone, who also broadened his media horizon.

All this Kinos brings together in a large, spacious installation. Inspired by the 'Infinity Room' by Yayoi Kusama, the artist visualizes large-scale works printed on plexiglass surfaces arranged in a row, whereas the rest of the room has been covered in mirrors, allowing the visitor a walk-through experience. In order to realize this, Kinos is constructing scale models, sketching plans and building prototypes. The artist has already presented an installation at the POWWOW! festival in Japan, however due to the pandemic, Kinos has had to re-think his strategies. The Showbox, a company that displays artworks and installations in empty shop windows in Rotterdam, has asked Kinos to participate; the perfect opportunity for a tryout of his installation.