How are the Young Designers doing? Last October, designers Simon Dogger, Katinka Versendaal and Iris van Wees heard that they had been awarded the 'Keep an Eye Foundation - Young Designer Grant' to further develop their practice. What new possibilities have they gained from this financial support? And how, despite corona, are they going to realise their plans in the near future?

Can you tell us a bit more about the plans that lie ahead thanks to the financial support of Keep an Eye Foundation?

Simon Dogger (winner): I have drawn up a spending plan for the ‘ Keep an Eye’ development grant to improve the infrastructure of my office, to develop a new project and to master audio software. Improving computers, scanners and my office chair are of great value in order to work more efficiently and with higher quality. Haptic Aesthetics is a research project in which an innovative methodology is developed that makes the design field inclusive and broadens and deepens the perception of designers. Besides, I also want to focus on making innovation, design and inclusion understandable through podcasts.

Iris van Wees (nominee): Within the digital fashion world I work in, there are many creative possibilities, but the execution is often limited by the lack of supporting equipment. Think of powerful computers that can process heavy applications or a camera with advanced 3D capabilities. Through the financial support of the Keep an Eye Foundation, I have now been given the opportunity to discover greater creative freedom with better equipment! My vision of complementing our physical world with the digital world has become much more achievable. And the projects I’ve been working on over the years can now be expanded to include the creation of an interactive digital garment that is and remains completely digital.

Katinka Versendaal (nominee): Receiving the news of the nomination was, of course, fantastic! With the help of the grant, I wanted to take a close look at my business model, identify opportunities, how I can grow as a designer and as an entrepreneur, and how I can get my message across more and better. Secondly, I have invested in my digital footprint, with a new website and a larger online presence, again with the idea of becoming more professional.

How are you going to do that in the near future?

Simon: Corona makes it more difficult to purchase some of the items I mentioned because I cannot test them. It is important for me to buy the right products so that I can continue improving the infrastructure of my office. For example, the office chair, I don’t want to buy that until I have had the chance to sit on it. Other purchases are not dependent on that, such as Haptic Aesthetics.

Iris: Even in these difficult times, the digital world lives on! At the beginning of the lockdown last summer, my project ‘DIGI-GO’ (a virtual outdoor experience) was a good solution for the museums being closed. I have a similar project scheduled for next summer. At the moment, I am taking a break from work and I am using this quiet period to reflect on the projects I have worked on so far. Doing so allows me to take more responsible steps with the help of the financial support from Keep an Eye Foundation.

Katinka: I deliberately chose to professionalise my practice to see what the corona times, and the post-corona times, would mean for my business and the possibilities in the future. Besides, given the fact that we spend much more time in front of our computers, it seemed logical to me to also improve my communication tools, which is why I invested in a website and an online presence.

Check out the winner’s Close-up with Simon Dogger

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