Through its annual Call for Fellows, Het Nieuwe Instituut invited applicants to submit a research proposal for a fellowship from October 2021 to March 2022. The jury has now awarded two Research Fellowships and one Research Stipend. The three selected projects each demonstrate timeliness and ambition, as well as fostering collective forms of research and networks of solidarity. The selected Research Fellows are MELT and The School of Mutants, and a Research Stipend goes to Robin Hartanto Honggare.
The 2021 Open Call for Fellows departed from those of recent years - which asked for proposals on the body’s burn-out (2018), planetary exhaustion (2019), and ‘regeneration’ through new institutional practices (2020) - by not proposing a theme for applicants to respond to. Instead, it offered a channel to amplify the applicant’s own concerns. With the 2021 open call, Het Nieuwe Instituut turned the gaze outwards, to accommodate something that we don’t yet know. In recognising the perils of institutions not having a finger on the pulse of society, as well as the many blind spots of institutions and the peoples who work in them, the 2021 call left the theme open, allowing applicants to decide themselves what is relevant for them and the world today.
The jury awarded two Research Fellowships and one Research Stipend to three projects. Each demonstrates timeliness and ambition and fosters collective forms of research and networks of solidarity. The selected Research Fellows are MELT with ACCESS SERVER and The School of Mutants. In addition, a Research Stipend goes to Robin Hartanto Honggare for Building Commodities: Stories from the Plantations’ Past. All these projects originate in locally embedded contexts, yet also connect with the quest to develop new modes of thinking and practice. While acknowledging and engaging with situated forms of heritage, the three proposals share a generative and future-oriented approach. Taken together, the selected proposals present transversal solidarities and bring to the fore ‘pluriversal’ knowledge.
Between the announcement of the Open Call for Fellows on 24 June and the deadline on 13 August, Het Nieuwe Instituut received 111 entries in response to the call. Proposals came from Austria, Brazil, China, Canada, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile, Colombia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Palestine, Poland, Romania, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine, the UK, the USA, Venezuela and many other countries.
The proposals were reviewed by a jury whose members were: Katerina Chuchalina (chief curator at the V-A-C Foundation, co-founder of the Centre for Experimental Museology, and co-curator of Manifesta 13 biennial in Marseille), Simone C. Niquille (researcher, designer, lecturer and former Fellow at Het Nieuwe Instituut), Felicity D. Scott (professor of Architecture, director of the PhD programme in architecture (history and theory), and co-director of the CCCP programme at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University), and Squirrel Nation: Erinma Ochu and Caroline Ward (research collective working at the intersection of design, technology and ecology).
The meeting was chaired by Katía Truijen and Delany Boutkan (of Het Nieuwe Instituut’s Research department) and Marina Otero Verzier (director of Research, Het Nieuwe Instituut and head of the social design master’s at Design Academy Eindhoven).
All applications were reviewed based on their engagement with contemporary challenges, the depth of investigation, and connection to Het Nieuwe Instituut’s mission. Preference was given to proposals that demonstrate critical and forward thinking, specificity, situatedness and a distinctive research theme and methodology. A report on current research topics, references, languages, geographies and methodologies, based on the 111 proposals, will be published by Het Nieuwe Instituut’s Research Department this autumn.
Read more about the selected projects in the jury report, published on Het Nieuwe Instituut’s website.
Research at Het Nieuwe Instituut
Since its foundation in 2013, Het Nieuwe Instituut has carried out and supported research in architecture, design and digital culture. Exhibitions, lectures, archival investigations and publications have served as outputs of research, but more importantly as active platforms for its development. Het Nieuwe Instituut’s Fellowship Programme has a fundamental role in these platforms. Intended as a means of supporting, and learning from, a variety of research initiatives and methodologies, the fellowship is ultimately an opportunity to rehearse other modes of thinking and doing.