Dutch Design Foundation announces PONT

19 September, 2023

Dutch Design Foundation and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science are joining forces with PONT, a multi-year collaboration centred around deploying 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.” – State Secretary Gunay Uslu

Sustainable design practice for public domain

PONT is about increasing the impact of a design approach to social tasks. In practice, this approach is still too often deployed one-dimensionally, which means that the potential of design is far from always adequately exploited. As a learning, iterative programme, PONT focuses on further professionalising and empowering the design sector so that it becomes a full collaborative partner and advisor to governments. By strengthening and supporting design practice, learning from concrete case histories, researching and developing new approaches and reflecting on and widely and effectively sharing and making available working mechanisms, the programme aims to sustainably strengthen design practice for the public domain.

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.

“It is essential that the public domain and the creative sector know how to find and strengthen each other. We are incredibly proud to fulfil this role with PONT and at the same time feel a great responsibility.” – Martijn Paulen

In the coming period, Dutch Design Foundation will work on the programme structure of PONT, setting up a collaboration with CLICKNL for the development of a research agenda, putting together the team, setting up the first programme activities in the fall and organising the launch on October 23.