Open call for an embedded researcher in the field of design

Open call for an embedded researcher in the field of design

Nieuwe Instituut / Serpentine

Formafantasma, Ore Streams, 2018.

December 6, 2018
Open call for an embedded researcher in the field of design
Het Nieuwe Instituut and the Serpentine Galleries in collaboration with Studio Formafantasma
December 6, 2018–January 7, 2019
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Het Nieuwe Instituut and the Serpentine Galleries launch an Open call for an embedded researcher in the field of design, in collaboration with Studio Formafantasma.

In recent years, the widening notion of the designer as researcher has opened up the possibility of a design practice beyond product making. This understanding of design fosters a twofold paradigm change: on the one hand, research is no longer conceived as an isolated, independent act, but rather as a collaborative endeavor; on the other, the practice of design could lead to objects and materials, as well as to open-ended processes, speculations, even policy changes. This state of affairs demands new methodologies and forms of responsibility, as well as a new role for the designer—an ambition that has been previously manifested in several Het Nieuwe Instituut and Serpentine Galleries initiatives.

This particular approach is also at the core of Studio Formafantasma. While still engaging with the production of objects, their work is coded with references to design’s ecological, political and cultural implications. As a design studio, Formafantasma has developed a peripheral position to the industrial production that allows them 
to pose questions and at the same time make choices. They look at materials and their origins as the central focus for the development of research subjects that aim to offer moments of reflection and analysis on the meaning of production and the transformation of natural resources into commodities. In order to achieve this aim, they establish relationships with different practitioners, from scientists to engineers, adopting a multidisciplinary approach to elicit new ways of interpreting design as a discipline and its expanding its potential.

This Open call is an attempt to continue exploring and advancing the possibilities of the coupling of research and design. With this new initiative, Het Nieuwe Instituut, the Serpentine Galleries and Formafantasma seek to engage researchers and designers in the development and dissemination of innovative and critical ideas by being part of a collaborative, transnational, design act.

Through this initiative, Het Nieuwe Instituut and the Serpentine Galleries invite recently-graduated researchers and designers to work together with Studio Formafantasma in the development of their upcoming investigation and exhibition at the Serpentine Galleries in London in Spring 2020. The selected candidate will join Formafantasma’s team in Amsterdam, and work in close contact with Het Nieuwe Instituut and the Serpentine Galleries on a long-term project starting in January 2019 and extending for the subsequent 12 months. The project will depart from some of the questions explored by Formafantasma in their 2018 e-waste related investigation “Ore Streams” and will culminate in an exhibition at Serpentine Galleries in London in 2020, and subsequent installments in other locations. The exhibition will critically monitor the relationship between design, production and the environment and develop possible design and other interventions including policy, based on multidisciplinary conversations.

Aims of the Open call
With this Open call and research position, Het Nieuwe Instituut, the Serpentine Galleries and Formafantasma seek to:

–Establish collaborations across borders, institutions, and disciplines
–Advance and stimulate knowledge exchange in the field of design
–Foster collective research methodologies as well as forms of solidarity and responsibility within the design field that could lead to spatial, political, and social transformations
–Support design researchers and practitioners in the early years of their career to work together with established practices and institutions in the development of ambitious and relevant projects

About the position
The embedded researcher is a 12-month fellowship position based at Formafantasma in Amsterdam, the Netherlands from January 2019. It includes a total stipend of 18,000 EUR to be distributed over 12 months. Stipends may be subject to a withholding tax. Researchers are responsible for arranging their own accommodation. Specific details about the position will be discussed with selected applicants.

A committee composed of representatives from Het Nieuwe Instituut, Serpentine Galleries and Formafantasma will select the embedded researcher.

The deadline for submitting proposals is January 7 via email at research [​at​]

For more information about the selection process and format and submission requirements click here.

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Nieuwe Instituut  / Serpentine
December 6, 2018

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