Het Nieuwe Instituut - Call for Fellows 2018

Het Nieuwe Instituut - Call for Fellows 2018

Het Nieuwe Instituut announces an open call for three research fellows to work in residence from September 2018 to February 2019, with the title: BURN-OUT. Since its founding in 2013, Het Nieuwe Instituut has pioneered research in architecture, design and digital culture, fostering programmes, exhibitions, lectures, archival investigations and publications in the Netherlands and internationally. Through its annual Call for Fellows, Het Nieuwe Instituut’s Research Department acknowledges and gives visibility to research projects offering departures from established modes of thinking and to become a catalyst for collective forms of knowledge. For this iteration of the Call for Fellows, the Research Department has selected the theme of BURN-OUT, and has invited 2017 fellow Ramon Amaro to be the guest curator of the Call.  

Het Nieuwe Instituut Research Fellowships are 6-month positions based at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, the Netherlands from September 2018  - February 2019. They  include 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. The terms of the Research Fellowships will be agreed on an individual basis with respect to research subject, location and residence eligibility.

The Research Fellowships will be developed through independent research; individual support and interaction with the Research Department team; monthly meetings with all fellows to discuss thematic and methodological aspects of research. Each fellow is invited to organise a public presentation in late 2018 or early 2019 related to their individual projects, as part of Het Nieuwe Instituut’s Thursday Night Live! or other programmes. The research outcomes of each fellow will also be disseminated on an ongoing basis via Het Nieuwe Instituut’s website, newsletter or publications. Projects may contribute to future exhibitions or events or develop independently of the public programmes at Het Nieuwe Instituut. Fellows and the award recipient 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.

BURN-OUT: It has been reported that 40% of people who had job-related health issues in the Netherlands in 2017 were either over-stressed or suffering from a burn-out— a common malady of contemporary labor ethos and structures affecting populations worldwide. Under unrelenting pressure, overwhelming demands and calls to push themselves daily, bodies are exhausted. In addition, over the past years, an increasing number of debates have emerged in the fields of architecture, design, and digital culture surrounding issues of fairness, accessibility, accountability, the removal of institutional bias as well as the overcoming of exploitation of human and non-human bodies.These conversations reveal an impasse and the persistent presence of exploitative structures on scales ranging from the individual to that of the wider social, institutional and biological ecologies. While research and practice continue to promote the inclusion of voices and perspectives of difference — as well as investment in excluded communities — more equitable and inclusive environments have yet to fully materialise. The fact remains: social, cultural and economic inequalities are still mediated by the same conditions that promise to alleviate these concerns.

The consistency of divisive and exploitative climates questions the foundations of trust, experimentation and self-awareness; not to mention the flow of critical thought and creative expression. It must be asked: Have all options for non exploitative spaces been exhausted? Have the fields of architecture, design and digital culture reached their limits of critical enquiry? Can existing structures be re-shaped as non exploitative spaces for public and private good? Or, has it all burned out?

On the one hand, to ‘burn out’ is to stall, break, or become otherwise unusable. In other words, processes, procedure and participation simply stop working. On the other hand, ‘burn out’ is an opportunity to break open, promote action and catalyse change towards new structures and relations. How can new, unconventional approaches to research, administration, communications, critical thought and practice be developed and utilised to challenge the inevitability of BURN-OUT? Which other approaches might be considered?

Het Nieuwe Instituut invites applicants to send their proposals for the 2018-2019 Het Nieuwe Instituut Research Fellowships.Three fellowships are open to applicants with existing or proposed research based in the Netherlands or worldwide. Het Nieuwe Instituut Research Fellowships will be considered based on the following criteria:

  • Applicants are encouraged to submit a critical and forward-thinking research proposal that addresses the 2018-2019 core theme: BURN-OUT. This may incorporate a larger system of references, schools of critical thought and trans-disciplinary practices, as well as different forms of engagement. Ultimately, applicants should consider how their proposal might impact wider technological, political, social and or biological ecologies. Proposals can also account for multiple scales, from the level of the individual to that of institutions, the city, culture or larger bodies of research.
  • Applicants are invited to approach the theme of  BURN-OUT from the lens of architecture -, design - and/or digital practices, as well as to challenge the very notion of the real and imagined boundaries of these disciplines. Their points of departure may include — but are not limited to — areas of computation, climate/environment, race/post-coloniality, queer/trans/non binary studies, health and wellness, as well as the collection of the State Archive for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning at Het Nieuwe Instituut. At least one, or a combination of, approaches are encouraged, which may range from documenting and visualising to legal frameworks and spatial strategies.
  • Priority will be given to applicants that depart from established modes of thinking, develop a distinctive research approach, activate multiple channels for dissemination of research outcomes, and construct a network of collaborators and other institutional contacts from within the Netherlands and abroad. Ultimately, applicants are asked to take into account how the proposed research might build upon (or re-articulate) existing relationships and research initiatives at other institutions and organisations in the Netherlands, locally in Rotterdam, or abroad.
  • The Research Department at Het Nieuwe Instituut also encourages applicants to propose projects that challenge the ongoing activities of Het Nieuwe Instituut — and in particular its Research Department, which is committed to embrace and put into practice these ideas and paradigms in its daily activities. This could involve labor ethos, forms of engagement, and strategies for internal and external collaboration that are not dependent on exploitative, extractive, and discriminatory technologies and economies.

Whilst Het Nieuwe Instituut is based in the Netherlands, its focus is both outward and inward thinking. As such, the institute invites applicants from all citizenships and places of residence (including the local city of Rotterdam) to join its mission to foster the next generation of critical thinkers and practitioners.

Het Nieuwe Instituut Research Fellowships are open to all degree levels in all disciplines. Equal priority will be given to those without a degree or institutional affiliation who can also demonstrate a high level of creativity, critical thought and other potentials in their respective fields. Neither a curriculum vitae nor letters of recommendation are requested. There is no age limit for applicants.

The application deadline is June 1 2018. Your application should include:

1. One 500-word research proposal.

2. You must also include one of the following, introducing yourself and your research/work:

  • A video no longer than 1 min. in length
  • An audio file no longer than 1 min. in length
  • A still or motion graphic or digital engagement no longer than 1 min. in length (5MB max in size); or
  • A creative design, text or project no longer than 500 words in length (5MB max in size)

3. A proposed calendar and a working methodology or research approach (maximum 300 words)

4. Contact information (full name, country of residence, e-mail address, telephone number)

5. The file should be titled with the name of the applicant and the research proposal, in the following format: SURNAME_NAME_PROJECTNAME.pdf

Applications and supplementary materials should be written and/or spoken in English and submitted, by attachment, in a single PDF file of maximum 10MB, consisting of maximum 5 A4 sheets.

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