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Het Nieuwe Instituut sees innovation from a cultural perspective. Our ambition is to further exchanges with parties previously unknown to us, in order to tap into and develop potential that is equally unknown, leading to new insights for all involved.

In other words, innovation is not based on the status quo, but is the result of a dialogue and exchange through which people are confronted with ideas, desires, and ambitions that do not necessarily coincide with their usual values or thinking patterns. Innovation based on dialogue – and confronting one's own value system – enriches a finely tuned network and its related working habits. The international position of the institute and its associated networks form the preconditions for this working method.

On the basis of these notions, Het Nieuwe Instituut collaborates with Dutch designers and various international partners on programmes concerning the social issues of inclusiveness, housing, sustainability, automation, and the cyclical use of heritage.

Promising Young Architects

Promising Young Architects brings together Dutch and Belgian architects.


Nine research-based artists based in the Netherlands work together with scientists, experts and theorists to expose new perspectives and meanings within themes such as migration, (urban) liveability, identity and ecology.

The Travelling Academy

The Travelling Academy visits locations in Europe and on its fringes, bringing together local designers and their Dutch counterparts to explore how formal and informal forms of knowledge development can reinforce each other in tackling social and spatial issues. The embassies in each participating country are important partners in this project.


A collaboration with See (Capetown, South Africa), RCMC (Research Center for Material Culture, Tropenmuseum Amsterdam).

Designing Convivial Futures

Transnational Workshop

Activists, artists, designers and urban planners from South Africa, Brazil, Suriname and the Netherlands came together to exchange ideas during Designing Convivial Futures, a multi-day workshop organised by Het Nieuwe Instituut and the Research Center for Material Culture (RCMC), which took place from 1 to 4 October 2019.

Round N Around

São Paolo

How can we further improve the ‘bikeability’ of São Paulo and increase the use of bikes as alternative means for transport? Round N Around is a collaborative research project by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA Citizen Data Lab), the University of São Paulo and Het Nieuwe Instituut.

Reading Sites

Reading Sites is a series of written perspectives on the broader field of design. Taking events, from design weeks to biennials, as its starting point, the series invites designers, writers and critics to reflect on emerging tendencies and design ideologies, arriving at new narratives that can foster alternative, shared and non-exploitative futures.