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Marian Duff appointed as Talent Development scout

08 april 2019

The Creative Industries Fund NL has appointed Marian Duff (founder of MAFB and OSCAM, read more) as its Talent Development scout. The Fund has given her the task of selecting four talented designers or makers who have developed outside the regular art or architecture education system and who work on the boundaries between the creative industry, street culture and metropolitan dynamics. These makers often work with new frames of reference that question the status quo of the creative industry. With this procedure, the Fund aims to contribute to a more inclusive design sector. In addition to Marian Duff, the Fund intends to appoint a second scout.

Under the current structure of the Talent Development grant programme, only designers and makers who graduated no more than four years ago from a relevant study in the field of architecture, design or digital culture can apply. This means that applicants without a design degree cannot submit a proposal to the advisory committee. The Fund recognizes that a large number of promising makers are following a different route towards the professional design sector. In order to give this group the opportunity to professionalize further, the Fund will be experimenting with this procedure in 2019.

method and budget
The scouts each select four makers who receive € 1,000 from the Fund to draw up a development plan. The selected people can submit this plan in the second Talent Development round. A total of 60 development plans are submitted to the Talent Development advisory committee in this round. So, 8 of these plans come from makers who have been nominated by the scouts. The other 52 have already been selected by the committee in the first Talent Development round. On the basis of the plans submitted, the committee selects a maximum of 35 makers who receive a grant of € 24,000 from the Fund. At least two of these grants are reserved for the makers nominated by the scouts.

A budget of € 56,000 has been reserved for this procedure within the Talent Development grant programme. This sum comes from extra funds that the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OC&W) made available for talent development in September 2018.

procedure and criteria
The procedure focuses specifically on designers, makers or researchers living in the Netherlands who are not following a course of study in art or design and who have not graduated from such a study with a BA or MA degree in the past four years.
The talents to be scouted are in addition:

18 years of age or older;
active within the metropolitan maker culture;
potentially a distinctive role model within the Dutch creative industry; and
have never before received a grant from the Creative Industries Fund NL.
Both scouts will issue a call within their networks. In this way they aim to give as diverse a group as possible the opportunity to focus attention on their design practice.

more about the scouts
Marian Duff (1977, Paramaribo) is the founder of the international fashion community MAFB. The pretext for the creation of MAFB in 2008 was provided by the answers to the following questions: What role does diversity play in our perception of fashion? And is there such a thing as inequality in the world of fashion?

'Our view of fashion is determined by diversity, or even more so, by the lack of diversity. There are plenty of challenges ahead of us.'


In November 2017, Marian founded the Open Space Contemporary Art Museum (OSCAM), a museological platform for art, fashion, design, craftsmanship and development in Amsterdam with a focus on the Bijlmer district. OSCAM has evolved into a creative meeting place where a broad audience meets and where a high-quality exhibition and activity programme is shown. In the coming years, this special place will be preserved by a wide range of partners that Marian Duff has linked to OSCAM: Decoratelier Nationale Opera & Ballet, Amsterdam Museum, OBA, Municipality of Amsterdam, CEC and advisory organization B&A Group.

scout night
Marian Duff is organizing a scout night in Soho House, Rotterdam on 1 May from 19.00-21.00. If you would like to show your work here, please register via opencall@mafb.nl. After registering you will receive additional information.

Photo above: Les Adu