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Dutch Design Foundation taking on ‘the Public Design Practice’

19 September 2023

Dutch Design Foundation and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science are joining forces with PONT, a multi-year collaboration around the use of design power in societal challenges.

The cabinet wants the creative industry to be more involved in societal challenges. State Secretary Gunay Uslu is therefore investing 9 million euros in a three-year programme ‘The Public Design Practice’ (PONT) that will strengthen the impact of design approaches on societal challenges. To implement this programme, the ministry works with Dutch Design Foundation. The organisation behind Dutch Design Week, World Design Embassies and What if Lab, among others, will coordinate and develop the programme in the coming years, in collaboration with the creative sector and the public domain.

“The innovative power of the creative industry is great. Makers and institutions in design disciplines such as architecture, design and digital culture can contribute to tackling societal challenges with their imagination and expertise. This could be the energy transition or housing challenges. I am pleased that we are working with PONT to increase the impact of design. And that we are taking the collaboration between creative professionals and the public domain to the next stage.”

– Gunay Uslu, State Secretary

Sustainable design practice for public domain

PONT aims to use design-based approaches more often in societal issues within the public domain. In practice, this approach is still too often deployed one-dimensionally, often resulting in insufficient use of the potential of design. Furthermore, PONT wants to professionalise and emancipate creative professionals more so that they become fully-fledged collaboration partners and advisors of governments. The programme aims to sustainably strengthen design practice for the public domain by learning from case histories, researching and developing new approaches and sharing findings.

PONT launch

The PONT project will officially launch on 23 October during Dutch Design Week. State Secretary Gunay Uslu will officially hand over PONT to Martijn Paulen, director Dutch Design Foundation.

“We are incredibly proud and, at the same time, feel a very great responsibility. Because it is essential that the public domain and the creative sector know how to find each other better and above all strengthen each other.”

– Martijn Paulen, Director DDF

In the coming period, Dutch Design Foundation will work, among other things, on programme development at de Pont and develop a research agenda with ClickNL.