Eindhoven can breathe a sigh of relief. It seems there’s still money available for a design centre in the city.
The municipal board is pleased that the past few months’ lobbying has been successful. Minister Ingrid Van Engelshoven announced on Tuesday that she’d grant €500,000 a year over the next four years. This must be used to establish a future lab for design and technology in Eindhoven.
It should become a centre where “the connection between design and technology becomes permanently visible”. Van Engelshoven is the Minister of Culture, Education and Science.
Earlier it became clear that Eindhoven had no chance of obtaining funding for such a future lab from the government’s “basic infrastructure”. The Waag Society in Amsterdam received that €1 million grant.
Eindhoven had submitted two ideas for the future lab. The Cultural Council completely wrote off by The ‘Complex’ project, even though several large local institutions supported it.
Then, there was the ‘Next Nature Network’ project. It was the brainchild of the Evoluon and artist, philosopher, and designer, Koert van Mensvoort. It was well-received but didn’t receive a subsidy either.
Van Mensvoort initiated the project. He wants to find new techniques to make people think about the future. According to van Mensvoort, this now-available money is a great incentive for the initiative.
Recently, people have been working hard behind the scenes. That was after the Cultural Council’s disappointing assessment. They have merged these two projects.
That’s being done under the banner of the Next Nature Network. Large institutions are working together in Complex. There’s also the Dutch Design Foundation, Design Academy, Eindhoven Univesity of Technology, MU Hybrid Arthouse, and the Van Abbe Museum. And Complex’s director, Frits Lintmeyer, is making the new plans.
This cooperation has led to successful lobbying. This was done at the provincial and national levels. In July, the House of Representatives almost unanimously adopted a motion.
It called on the Dutch Cabinet to set aside money to combine the two Eindhoven initiatives. Minister Van Engelshoven was persuaded and found extra funding. It will reinforce the region’s design sector.
“Design and technology are anchored in our city,” says Cllr Monique List-de Roos in a city council press release. She is Eindhoven’s councillor for culture and design. “We can now create a place where you can see and experience design and technology’s role.”
Eindhoven mayor, John Jorritsma, is thrilled. “I’m delighted that the government has pledged financial support. This is for the establishment of a future lab for design and technology in our region,” he says.
“And it’s for the next four years. It strengthens the level of facilities in our region. We agreed on this with the government in 2018. It’s in the Brainport National Action Agenda (BNA) and the associated Region Deal.”
“Various renowned cultural and educational and knowledge institutes are involved too. So, I’m convinced the future lab will add value nationally and even internationally,” Jorritsma says. The Municipality of Eindhoven and the province of Noord-Brabant are also earmarking money for the design centre. The design centre’s new plans will be presented on 1 October.
Editor: Melinda Walraven