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Call for Fellows 2017

International Call: Information and Deadline

Het Nieuwe Instituut announces an open call for three research fellows to work in residence from September 2017 to February 2018.

Since its founding in 2013, Het Nieuwe Instituut has fostered research initiatives in the form of exhibitions, events, archival investigations and publications by a variety of practitioners, independent researchers, academics and curators.

Current technological, political, and social transformations have raised questions about the construction of a shared worldview. New forms of creativity and responsibility are needed to develop engaged, self-aware and critical arguments about alternative modes of living and experimenting in the cultural field. Research is pivotal in this pursuit. The Call for Fellows invites applicants to submit a research proposal with a unique perspective and specific methodology to address pressing contemporary questions in which architecture, design and digital culture play a part. This fellowship is also an opportunity to interact with and challenge the ongoing activities of the institute, amidst the wider context of the debate on the role of institutions.

Priority will be given to proposals that offer departures from established modes of thinking, develop a distinctive research methodology, activate multiple channels for dissemination of research outcomes, and construct a network of collaborators and other institutional contacts, both within the Netherlands and abroad. Applicants need not have a degree in the discipline they choose to investigate, but must display deep engagement with the subject matter. Neither a curriculum vitae nor letters of recommendation are requested. There is no age limit for applicants. Applicants of all citizenships and places of residence are welcome.

Previous fellows include Andrea Bagnato, Annet Dekker, Tal Erez, Dan Handel, Ruben Jacobs, Chris Kabel, Roos Meerman, Christien Meindertsma, Simone Niquille, Sascha Pohflepp, Malkit Shoshan, Matthew Stadler, Noam Toran, and Füsun Türetken. More information about them can be found here.

Research Themes

Het Nieuwe Instituut offers three fellowship opportunities based on its core disciplines of architecture, design, and digital culture. Each fellowship has a distinct theme in line with Het Nieuwe Instituut's long-term programme. Applicants should clearly address one theme in their proposals, and also explain the social and political context for their research. They can also rely on a larger system of references, schools of thought and practices from other fields, as well as different forms of engagement.


Over the past year Het Nieuwe Instituut has opened up the State Archive for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning through a series of archive explorations. This endeavour not only acknowledges gaps (both thematic and methodological) in the official historiography -- such as feminisms in architecture, queer perspectives, and collective and radically improvisational spatial practices -- but also works to reframe acquisition policies to include new documents, subjects, and media. In parallel, this fellowship will focus on the architectural legacy of the former Dutch colonial territories and their different forms of heritage and after-lives, which are also present in the construction of contemporary cities and current conditions of segregation in the Netherlands, yet remain insufficiently addressed. Research proposals could take archives as their departure point, and seek to contest the dominant historiography and institutional memory of the colonies by bringing overlooked actors, unacknowledged agents and forgotten stories into the discussion. Applicants could also focus on the contemporary condition of these territories, and address how the forces of nostalgia and exoticism, cross-traffic and circulatory processes, the construction of identities and self-images are manifested in the built environment. Projects may include documenting, visualising, developing spatial strategies, drafting legal propositions, and creating speculative or artistic interventions, among other approaches, and could take into account and build relationships with parallel research initiatives and resources at other institutions and organisations in Asia, Africa, South America, the Caribbean, and Europe related to the historic Dutch colonial empire and the current territories of the kingdom of the Netherlands.


The spectre of populism in the past few years has raised questions for the politics of making and consuming objects in everyday life. Historically, craft and manufacture have been evoked in the imagery and rhetoric of political parties from the entire spectrum. At the same time, localism and vernacular cultures have been celebrated within the design field as markers of ethical responsibility and cultural dialogue. Paradoxically, the objects and resources that circulate across borders with fluid mobility are also key to materialising a site-specific culture and its associated political narrative. Proposals may deal with this contradiction between logistically-managed flows and ingrained locality as a provocation for speculative practice or as an instigator for forensic methods. This research theme is fascinated by spaces and systems of exchange, international standards and hyperlocal anomalies, aesthetic mutations and hybrids, cultural and political iconographies, and the performance of making in a geographic framework.

Digital Culture

Over the last decade, media, politics, and society at large have increasingly become 'datafied' and entangled with algorithmic processes, from real-time user analysis and profiling to speculation about the (near) future through high-frequency trading and predictive policing. Algorithmic processing has the potential to reveal hitherto unknown patterns in big data, beyond human capabilities, and produce new forms of knowledge. However, this processing also appears to reinforce existing forms of social inequality, segregation and bias that are present in datasets, leading to new mechanisms of exclusion. Under the guise of convenience, personalisation and /"free/" access, filter bubbles and echo chambers emerge, fostering the development of worldviews that are insulated from opposing perspectives by automated systems. Moreover, questions of ethics and accountability arise as computational agents take on more tasks and decision-making processes, even as the underlying algorithms are increasingly obscured. This fellowship invites applicants to critically evaluate algorithmic cultures and information interfaces, with a sensitivity towards practices of open access. Algorithmic flaws, unforeseen effects and bias can offer entry points to question technological practice and design alternative human-machinic relations.

Practical Information and Resources

The fellowship is a 6-month position based at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. It includes a monthly stipend of 2,000 EUR and a return trip from the country of residence. Stipends may be subject to a withholding tax. Fellows are responsible for arranging their own accommodation. Fellows must be able to attend regular meetings in Rotterdam as well as a retreat of up to five days. The terms of the research fellowship will be agreed on an individual basis with respect to research subject, location and residence eligibility.

The fellowship will be developed through independent research; individual support and interaction with the Research & Development department; monthly meetings with all fellows to discuss thematic and methodological aspects of research; and a retreat devoted to a subject of shared interest for all fellows and R&D, in collaboration with an external partner. (The 2016 retreat focused on artificial intelligence in creative practice and resulted in a 32-page insert in Volume entitled _In Loving Support_.)

Each fellow will have the opportunity to organise a public event in late 2017 or early 2018 related to their individual research, as part of Het Nieuwe Instituut's Thursday Night Live! event programme. The research outcomes of each fellow will also be disseminated on an ongoing basis via Het Nieuwe Instituut's website, newsletter, or magazine. Research projects may contribute to future exhibitions or events or develop independently of the public programmes at Het Nieuwe Instituut.

Fellows have daily access to the facilities of Het Nieuwe Instituut, including the library, archives, exhibitions, workspaces and presentation rooms. Other resources may be available in concert with other departments of Het Nieuwe Instituut as well as its ongoing institutional partnerships.

Selection Criteria

From 13 March to 16 April 2017 Het Nieuwe Instituut will accept applications for three research fellowships associated with the disciplines of Het Nieuwe Instituut (architecture, design, and digital culture). The application is intended to clarify research intentions and attitudes, and is open to both new proposals as well as projects that are already underway.

All applications will be reviewed on the basis of their engagement with the fellowship theme, depth of investigation, idiosyncrasy, connection to Het Nieuwe Instituut's mission, and potential for exchange between fellows and across disciplinary boundaries. Preference will be given to proposals that include collaborations with institutions, NGOs and organisations in the Netherlands and abroad.

A pre-selection of applications will be made by the R&D department. An international jury will select one application for each of the three fellowships. Members of the jury will have access to all applications and can add any proposal to the pre-selection list at their discretion.


Marina Otero Verzier - Head of Research & Development, Marten Kuijpers - Landscape and Interior, Research & Development, Tamar Shafrir - Materials and Things, Research & Development, Klaas Kuitenbrouwer - Digital Culture, Research & Development, Katía Truijen - Digital Culture, Research & Development. More information about the pre-selection team can be found here.


A jury composed of leading international practitioners in architecture, design, digital culture, and artistic research, as well as two representatives of Het Nieuwe Instituut, will select the three fellows. More information about the jury members can be found here.

  • Morehshin Allahyari (artist, activist and educator)
  • Quinsy Gario (performance poet, visual artist, theatre maker and activist)
  • Selva Gürdoğan (architect, founder of Superpool, director of Studio-X Istanbul)
  • Susan Schuppli (artist, researcher, Senior Lecturer and Acting Director of the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths)
  • Marina Otero Verzier (Head of Research & Development, Het Nieuwe Instituut)
  • Guus Beumer (General and Artistic Director, Het Nieuwe Instituut)

Submission Requirements and Deadline

Applications should be written in English and submitted, by attachment, in a single PDF file of maximum 10MB, consisting of maximum 5 A4 sheets. The file should be titled with the name of the applicant and the research proposal, in the following format: SURNAME_NAME_PROJECTNAME.pdf

Proposals should include:

  • The chosen fellowship category: architecture, design, digital culture
  • A research proposal including a text (maximum 1,200 words), and graphic material such as drawings and images (maximum 20); links to audio or video files (maximum 10 minutes) may be included in the application PDF
  • A calendar and a working methodology (maximum 300 words)
  • A self-introduction (maximum 300 words) in which applicants articulate the relation between their research proposal and their previous projects and interests.
  • A CV or a description of previous achievements are not requested.
  • Contact information (full name, country of residence, e-mail address, telephone number)

There is no entry fee for the call for fellows.

Applications must be sent by 16 April 2017 to
Questions can be directed by 27 March 2017 to Katía Truijen,
Responses to frequently asked questions can be found here


  • 13 March 2017 Opening of the call for fellowship applications
  • 27 March 2017 Deadline for questions related to applications
  • 31 March 2017 Response to questions
  • 16 April 2017 Final deadline for fellowship applications
  • 23 May 2017 Public announcement of selected fellows