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open set
dutch graphic design
summer school
26.07 — 08.08.2015

theme 2015
designing experiences:
moment, stage, memory

Open Set is a two-week summer event directed towards young graphic designers, creators, thinkers and innovators. Our goal is to promote and enhance the social value of design by facilitating debates around the chosen theme from a rich diversity of perspectives, design traditions and socially engaged cultural practices. We advocate for design which equally can have a tangible shape as well as being a hidden process, but always remains powerful enough to make an innovative change. The event aims to offer our participants a studio environment where they are inspired to step out of their comfort zone and question the conventional ways of working, experiment with different strategies, techniques, ideas and cross-sector collaborations in order to develop their own practices with confidence.

experience: moment, stage, memory

The Open Set 2015 edition under the theme ‘Experience: Moment, Stage, Memory’ examines creative strategies of staging new experiences and their capability to provoke and influence the construction of individual and collective identities.

Experience may be appropriated as a product by itself or a tool to manipulate society by influencing the actions and choices of the masses. This term can be understood also as a facilitator helping to distinguish the value of an individual experience from the established behavioural patterns. In other words new experience can stimulate a sense of individual (self) recognition, as well as collective belonging. It acts as provocateur to spark critical and creative thinking and making, and is an essential instrument towards social innovation. These two opposite effects of staged experiences can be equally observed in visual communication and cultural practices, education, urban planning, economical and marketing strategies, all being supported by fast technological growth.

The focus of the Open Set 2015, is to look at the design discipline as an experiential one within the larger cultural context. During these two weeks, the international group of participants will reflect on the ethics and experiment with the strategies of how to stage new experiences (moments) and incorporate them in the gathered and shared experiences (memories) of the community. The program identifies four inter-related angles of research: Body, Environment, Interaction and Medium.

tutors & speakers
This year we invite designers, artists and researchers to contribute to the event with simultaneous workshops, public interventions, film-screenings and lectures, representing various kinds of expertise as: graphic, interactive and critical design, curating, participatory design and art.
tuition fee & application
Full course fee: €800 early birds (before 1st of May)
€900 (after 1st of May)
3 days workshop: €300 early birds
1 day workshop: €100 early birds

The deadline for applications is the 1st of June, 2015.
Application requirements: portfolio and CV

Send your application at: apply@openset.nl

For the full summer school you'll have to choose between parallel workshops where it is the case. It's not possible to attend to both workshops which take place the same day. Places for single workshops are limited in favour to the full summer school applications. All workshops will be held in english and participants will have to bring their own laptops. More details about the schedule to be announced soon.


Open Set is hosted by Kunstblock Rotterdam , – a cooperation between different cultural institutions located on the Witte de Withstraat (Showroom MAMA, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, TENT, WORM, V2_Institute, CBK Rotterdam).

What these institutions have in common is that they all are focusing on the contemporary cultural debate in relation to social realities, and at the same time, focusing on completely different mediums, means of production, professional networks and target audiences. Using art and culture, Kunstblock aims to make new connections on both Witte de With street, municipal, national as well as international levels, engage various interest groups with the street and contribute to the street’s extraordinary character.

previous editions

For a visual resume of the past editions, check our Flickr page.

open set 2012 – utopia
open set 2013 – commonomy
open set 2014 – social game

During the last three editions we were honored to host workshops by 31 tutors, including: design critic Max Bruinsma, designers Thomas Castro (Studio Lust), Annelys de Vet, Daniel Gross and Joris Maltha (Catalogtree), Liza Enebeis and Erik de Vlaam (Studio Dumbar), Andy Altmann (UK), Jonathan Barnbrook (UK), Andreas Gysin (CH), Karin Langeveld and Cuby Gerards (Trapped in Suburbia), Jan van Toorn, artists Martijn Engelbregt, Jeanne van Heeswijk, Christian Nyampeta (UK), curatorial duo Latitudes (UK-ES), and researcher Karel van der Waarde. We also had lectures devised by: art historian Els Kuijpers, Marleen Sticker – Director and founder of Waag Society, Binna Choi – Director of Casco, Wilfried Hou Je Bek, and Geert Lovink – Director of the Institute of Network Cultures.

organizers and partners

Vlad Butucariu - initiator and director / co-founder Studio Squash
Irina Shapiro - initiator and artistic leader / co-founder Studio Squash
Susana Pedrosa - production manager
Germa Roos - location coordinator
Max Senden - graphic designer

Open Set 2015 is made possible with the generously support of Creative Industries Fund NL and Kunstblock Rotterdam.

© Open Set 2012-2015