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Dutch presentation London Design Biennale 2023

Het Nieuwe Instituut is launching an open call for (individual) curators, designers and collectives to send a proposal for the Dutch presentation at the London Design Biennale 2023 'The Global Game: Remapping Collaborations.'

This open call is now closed.

5 September 2022

London Design Biennale, 2021. Photography by Ed Reeves.

London Design Biennale, 2021. Photography by Ed Reeves.

Het Nieuwe Instituut, the Netherlands' national museum and institute for architecture, design and digital culture, is appointed as Artistic Director of the fourth edition of London Design Biennale, taking place from 1-25 June 2023 at Somerset House. Led by its General and Artistic Director, Aric Chen, Het Nieuwe Instituut aims to experiment with the biennale's format of national and territorial pavilions through 'The Global Game: Remapping Collaborations,' a theme that not only asks participants to explore collaborative practices-but to in fact collaborate with each other, with the help of a game that is being developed for this purpose.

Driven by the desire for social, ecological and planetary betterment, design is collaborative in nature, relying on networks of exchange and movement--of people, ideas, resources, information, technologies, narratives, and things--that have been shaped in recent decades by the forces of globalization. However, at a moment when the need for international cooperation in confronting global issues is coinciding with growing geopolitical instability, these networks are shifting. In response, The Global Game will expand upon the London Design Biennale's format of national and territorial representation by asking participants to explore what new forms of transnational collaboration might emerge from this complicated geopolitical landscape, and how we might together draw--and enact--new maps for collaboration through the medium of design.

Open Call

Together with the Dutch Embassy in the United Kingdom, the supporter of the pavilion of the Netherlands for this biennale edition, Het Nieuwe Instituut invites curators, designers and collectives to send a proposal that represents the Dutch design field and builds on its strengths in international collaboration. The proposal should introduce a theme or topic that can be developed in collaboration with one or multiple international partners (which do not yet need to be identified). While the collaborations may be existing ones, it is preferred that the curatorial team intends to play The Global Game (description below) in order to identify potential collaborators from other pavilions based on mutual interests, and to develop with them a project or projects that will address critical issues of global/transnational/geopolitical relevance and lead to an outstanding presentation.

The Global Game

The Global Game is a web-based collaboration game, designed by Ekim Tan and her studio Play the City, for the biennale's participants and curators, alongside design enthusiasts worldwide. Playing the Global Game is like using a dating app, but one that offers a way for the biennale's participants to find each other by creating their own profiles, searching for others based on mutual interests and developing collaborations (with the support, if requested, of Het Nieuwe Instituut). The game will enable a process for national and territorial pavilions, their curators, designers, and supporters to learn, think, create and act together on London Design Biennale's international stage. As they meet and form new collaborations, the game will influence the way participants approach and conceptualise their pavilions and how ideas and inspiration are exchanged between design teams and visitors and through the Biennale's public programme. On 1st June 2023, when the London Design Biennale opens, we will meet on location and experience the outcomes.

It is important to note that, due to the nature of the biennale (game) format, it is not expected that applicants can, will or should propose a fixed outcome, given that the Global Game has yet to be played. Rather, emphasis should be placed on proposing topics that resonate with compelling potentials for transnational collaboration within a biennale format of national and territorial pavilions, and speculations on what these collaborations could look like in this context.

That being said, applicants can also propose to present existing collaborations, or to invite collaborators from countries or territories outside the Netherlands who may not (yet) be represented by biennale pavilions.

For whom?

Design curators, designers and collectives working in the field of architecture, design and digital culture that are (partly) based in the Netherlands or have a strong connection to the Netherlands.

About the curatorship

Het Nieuwe Instituut offers a fixed curatorial fee of ¬ 8.000 for a curator(s), designer(s) or collective. In close consultation with Het Nieuwe Instituut, the pavilion team will be formalized including a graphic designer, spatial designer, programme manager and producer. Costs for the presentation itself are budgeted separately.


  • From the desire to position multivocality as a guiding principle, the exhibition should combine a multitude of perspectives with a diversity of representation forms and a diverse group of people involved.
  • The eventual presentation should be as sustainable as possible, both in materials and production methods.
  • In terms of production, fabrication and installation the design team will work together with approved suppliers by Somerset House.
  • The preliminary and final design proposal will be supervised by Het Nieuwe Instituut.
  • Project and budget management as well as communication will be carried out by Het Nieuwe Instituut. A detailed timeline will be shared after selection.
  • The curator must be registered with the Chamber of Commerce.
  • The curator is available for the period of 1 November 2022 - 30 June 2023, average two days a week.

Submission requirements and deadline

Applications may be submitted from 6 September through 18 October 2022. Please send your application to:

Your application should include:

  • a 250 word (max) introduction to yourself/selves and any relevant experience.
  • a 400 word (max) description of your topic and its relevance to the theme a 600 word (max) description of your proposal / approach. For those intending to form their collaborations by playing the Global Game, this could be a reflection on how you could imagine your topic playing out through the Game: the types of collaborations that might arise, the other (hypothetical) pavilions you could see yourself collaborating with based on the topic, what the potential spatial ramifications might be as a result of these collaborations (e.g., shared pavilions, distributed pavilions), etc. The aim should not be to describe a final result but rather to provide a sense of how you might creatively tackle this assignment. For those proposing existing collaborations, please describe the nature of these collaborations and what their outcomes will be, in addition to any possibilities you see for nevertheless utilizing the Global Game based on what you know of it.
  • Any supporting images or information that might be useful to illustrating your proposal.
  • Contact information (full name, country of residence, email address, telephone number).
  • Give your file the title of your name and the design proposal, in the following format: APPLICANTNAME_PROJECTNAME.pdf.
  • Applications and supplementary materials should be in English and submitted, by attachment, as a single PDF, consisting of a maximum of five A4 sheets.

Selection Process

Proposals will be considered by a review committee consisting of representatives of Het Nieuwe Instituut along with professionals working in the Dutch design field. Shortlisted candidates are invited to an (online) interview with members of the review committee between October 24 - 26, 2022. The selected candidate / proposal will be announced on October 31, 2022

The committee includes:

  • Aric Chen, General and Artistic Director, Het Nieuwe Instituut.
  • Brendan Cormier, Senior Curator of Exhibitions and Contemporary Programme at the Victoria and Albert Museum London.
  • Amanda Pinatih, Design Curator at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Art Historian and PhD Candidate.
  • Francien van Westrenen, Head of Agency, Het Nieuwe Instituut.

More information

If you have questions, please feel free to contact

This open call is now closed.