The Keep an Eye Grant, by the Keep An Eye Foundation.

When you have completed your studies at Design Academy Eindhoven (DAE) you will have plenty of ideas as a designer. But how to take that one big step from a graduation project to becoming a professional, and how to protect your inventions? Even if you are among the best, you will still have to stay alert to things such as financing the production of a prototype or applying for a patent.
In 2010 the Keep An Eye Foundation approached DAE and took the first steps towards offering financial support to the best young graduating designers, encouraging them with the Keep An Eye Grant.

The Keep An Eye Grant
The Keep An Eye Grant is an annual incentive amounting to EUR 11,000 each for four recent graduates from DAE. The prize is awarded to students whose product development shows the highest social relevance, on the assumption that they will hold onto this relevance, and with it, to this ethical attitude in their future professional careers. The judges for the grant are all professionals from the creative industry and DAE alumni.

Keep An Eye Foundation
The Keep An Eye Foundation supports young artists and creatives studying in the Netherlands to help them realise their ideas. The Foundation’s motivation for its efforts lies in its belief that any form of art, or any creative effort, is important to a person. The importance lies not so much in the enjoyment of the effort, but in the expression of the self; the ‘presentation’ of the entire self and its creative powers in an image and/or sound. The foundation consists of a group of private sponsors who not only value the students’ work, but who also want to offer them personal support in their next step towards a professional career.
The foundation supports students by offering sustained collaborations (at least 3 years) to leading schools and academies. Collaborations in the shape of competitions and festivals organised by Keep An Eye and/or allocating financial support. The Keep An Eye Foundation selects its own causes and monitors the projects from start to finish.

Winners Keep an Eye Grant 2014

Nils Chudy (Man & Activity)

Nils’ presentation was complete, professional and passionate.  The innovative and professional approach of his one cup water kettle convinced the jury to award Nils with the René Smeets Award. The drive Nils displayed in his presentation, the confidence in his graduation project and efforts he already spend to get his project to the market are promising and the jury hopes to see his product in the near future. Nils is one of the first student who completed his patent registration before going public with his idea. He even did the writing himself!

Laura Ferrière (Man and Leisure)
The White Building 

Laura impressed the jury with a very confident and holistic social project. The White Building is according to the jury an example of what designers and design thinking can mean and do to real and relevant societal issues.      
The jury applauded her braveness and the persistence of the project. It is very hard and difficult to work with an institution as the Custodial Institutions Agency (Dienst Justiële Inrichtingen), because of all the rules and laws. But Laura in collaboration with her graduation partner Eleonore, proved that it is possible thanks to their open and bold attitude and the PI Veenhuizen staff who trusted them for doing so.       
The jury hopes that the White Building is the start of more buildings and projects in the whole of Europe.

Sander Manse (Man and Public Space)
Unfolding Structures / Enfolding the City 

Sander started his presentation by explaining how he became a writer in the four years at DAE. Sander is a great story teller and his explanation of his thesis touched the hearts of the jury members. There are not much designers who can think and write in a critical way. The jury believes that Sander can take his writing skills and storytelling to a higher level, not only for Sanders benefit, but for the whole profession. The jury therefor hope he will go for a master degree and convince other people for the importance of good writing critical review.

Gabriël Ann Maher (MA Social Design)  

The thesis of Gabriel made it possible to revive the debate on gender and queerness, being different, from a new perspective. In particular with a focus on the liberal and so-call progressive design world. Our culture is imbued with technological innovations – we embraces these – but innovation in representation is still hard to find. The representation of human beings related to these innovations, is still very traditional, on the field of gender as well as in culture in general.       
To come to new forms of displaying human beings, Gabriel applied the method of deconstruction in order to explore new ways to come to truly new applications of technological innovations . In a public debate at DAE and in a publication in international publication Frame magazine, she made a start in designing these new forms (her graduation project is a choreography) and preparing her plan to start her PhD in two years.     
The jury appreciates her theoretical thoroughness and sees great potential in the application of deconstruction as a method in the design world. The jury is equally curious to see how Gabriel will expand her work in reconstructing the possible new representations of human beings.

Winners Keep an Eye Grant 2013

Luc van Hoeckel (Man and Activity)
Single Spark

The judges see the starting point for Single Spark – a starter kit to set up small-scale production lines for ointments, but also for honey or bread make the user self-supporting – as an example of a social initiative in which the designer gives the initial impetus and then allows the user to specify the kit to suit his own needs.  
The judges were impressed with the model Luc has designed. The design was well thought-out and imaginative. The collaboration with a local entrepreneur which Luc has brought about and the talks he has had with various NGOs have made the judges curious for further developments and products other than the ointment featured in his graduation project. The judges would therefore advise Luc to conduct thorough research into the actual needs of the local population.


Renee Scheepers (Man and Well-Being)
Revealing Maps of Cancer Care

It is quite rare for the judges to find a project that is so complete. Renee’s view on care and her approach to the assignment she was set by the Verbeeten Instituut have impressed the panel. This is a clear demonstration of the relevant role design can play in healthcare.     
The judges were particularly impressed with the way this project links analysis and visualisation in the path a patient travels during treatment and the use of illustrations instead of photography. But Renee’s intensive collaboration with the institute and her professional approach have also contributed towards the comprehensive nature of this graduation project. The judges were impressed with the business plan as well, which reflects an elaborate detailing of both Renee’s interests and those of the client.    
The judges are looking forward to future contributions from Renee in the field of wellbeing and care.


Martijn van Strien (Man and Identity)
Dytopian Brutalist Outerwear 

Martijn is a designer who seduces. He was able to draw the judges effortlessly into a dark and heavy world filled with powerful architecture, to then take them by complete surprise in a world of baroque, history and light. The one thing both atmospheres had in common was the use of material, combined with technology, applications and solutions, wonderful photography and styling. In addition, Martijn was able to indicate very clearly which role he wishes to fulfil in the future as a designer. The judges are looking forward to Martijn’s next project in 2014, for which he intends to use his Keep an Eye Grant.


Dave Hakkens (Man and Activity)
Precious Plastic 

Dave’s presentation was a statement of the way he wants to lead his life and how he sees the process of product design, i.e. as an open-source process, one which welcomes anyone who wants to acquaint himself with it. With his installation Dave visualises the recycling of plastic, and it is also a wonderful example of how to teach a wide audience about the recycling of materials. The installations have been well-constructed; they display craftsmanship, appeal to the imagination and reduce technology to its barest essence. The judges therefore view Dave’s design as a finished product and hope that Dave will use his Keep an Eye Grant to further the development of his installations and his career at large.


Winners Keep an Eye Grant 2012

Pieter-Jan Pieters (Man and Mobility) 
Sound On Intuition

Music of Intuition is a project from the heart, and it was created out of a sense of wonder. The way we create electronic music is a continuation of the way we used to  make music. This applies to synthesizers, but also to other electronic instruments. Like in the past, the crux of mastering these electronic and digital instruments is in mastering a movement that requires a lot of practise. Music on Intuition is Pieter-Jan’s way of letting people use their own gestures and limbs to create rhythm, melody and compositions. And suddenly, making music becomes much more easily accessible. Everyone can do it and master it in his own way. The judges are looking forward to seeing how Pieter-Jan will be adapting his concept for the consumer market and hopes he will be extending the concept and infect the various channels in social media as well.


Lisa Vergeer (Man and Mobility) 
We've Collection

The judges were thoroughly impressed with Lisa’s presentation and her drive to become an entrepreneur. The We’ve Collection, a collection of contemporary bags inspired by historical solutions for carrying things around and habits from different cultures, came with a uniquely sound research plan which included SWOT analyses, an overview of competing manufacturers, target groups, a marketing plan, prognoses, etc. As she is a designer who focuses on entrepreneurship but also on promoting well-designed, refined and elegant products for women, and in future also for men, the judges are keen to boost the start of her career.


Sebastiaan Sennema (Man and Mobility) 
Urban Harvest Series and Seed Savour

The judges were pleasantly surprised by the level of completeness of these two projects. Fundamentally, the idea is a product. But it is so much more. Most important is the way people communicate with each other, try to contact each other, swap and collaborate; it is tangible and also virtual, it is local and at the same time it is relevant to the entire world. Sebastiaan has not only thought about the aesthetic value of the product, but has also taken into consideration the functional demands such as shipping weight, producibility, and sustainability. All these aspects are featured in the extensive system he has devised. Sebastiaan’s projects tie in with a trend in urban farming. More and more people are growing vegetables on a tiny scale. Sebastiaan has responded to this trend and hopes his products will promote awareness of biodiversity in local vegetables and the recycling of organic waste.


Mickael Boulay (Man and Well Being) 
Measuring Less To Feel More


Mickael’s professional and consistent approach in every phase of his design was recognised and applauded by all the judges. Throughout the design process Mickael has worked with professionals and people with diabetes, the users, in order to gather feedback on his research, analyses and conclusions. He gives an overview of the process in his film. The product, eventually, the Glucometer, is well thought out, easy to realise, and most importantly, a very friendly product. The judges hope it will be introduced to the market soon, as it is so relevant for the target group, sufferers of type II diabetes, and causes them no additional stress. Mickael has worked with the De Waag society on his project, and he has appointments coming up with companies such as Bayer.

Winners Keep an Eye Grant 2011

Dennis van Melick (Man and Mobility)
Three to One: Traffic Display

The judges were, without exception, impressed with Dennis van Melick’s professional and comprehensive approach, especially with regard to the contacts he has managed to establish and develop during his graduation project, with the industry and governments on both a national and an international level. His design shows that he is able to transform the current standards, demands and values of design into an innovative system. He is capable of supporting questions with regard to sustainability, safety, applicability, producibility, maintenance and possible derivatives of his system by supplying facts, which testifies to his awareness of the potential and scale of his design.
The judges hope that Dennis will indeed get through to the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment to present his project, and that his traffic lights will be installed nationwide at one point in the future.


Maaike Fransen (Man and Identity)
The Future Will be Functional

The wealth of colours, the materials used, the creation of a set of appealing images and the inspiring mix of existing objects to create a new object; these are the judges’ reasons for granting Maaike Fransen this award for “The Future Will be Functional”. In a theatrical and captivating presentation Maaike demonstrates how she (in spite of her shyness) is able to create an imaginative world of her own in this society, with self-assuredness, a good sense of humour, and self-knowledge.


Philip Lüschen (Man and Well-Being)
Wait Here

With a poetic sensitivity Philip Lüschen tackles a very topical theme in a light-hearted fashion: waiting in spaces where people need to be. By awarding “Wait Here” with a grant the judges wish to demonstrate that design is not just about shaping tangible objects, but that it can also be used inside the user’s mind. Philip’s signature is visible in every detail and the judges believe that his way of working and of approaching a problem is an asset to the design profession.


Rianne Koens (Man and Activity)

The hidden powers of “Schillenpracht” is how the judges refer to Rianne Koens’ concept. She has proven that she is able to design an overall concept in which she has placed the consumer centre stage. Her series of products fits in with a trend; it is decorative and applicable at the same time. Rianne uses rituals that the consumer is able to shape to his own tastes. More importantly, Rianne offers plenty of opportunity to extend her concept into related products.

Winners Keep an Eye Grant 2010

Tim Enthoven (Man and Communication)

The judges were all very impressed with Tim Enthoven’s work. Tim has designed his book Binnenskamers as a product, and has tried to find ways of optimising his storytelling while steering clear of any clichés. It is a new way of imagining a story. Adventurous and daring, but at the same time very much ‘in control’, with a good mix of the person and the story. The judges think of him as a theatre maker: “The table present is a replica!” The book has been designed page by page and displays a considerable level of accomplishment. The judges believed it was highly original, autonomous and authentic. The product is ready for the market. Tim has indicated he is planning to publish it himself and is looking to collaborate with publishers.


Lucas Mullié (Man and Public Space)
Het geïndustrialiseerde ambacht

The judges feel as if they have been pulled into a separate universe and regard Lucas as a sympathetic designer and food curator. His work was magnificently executed and the presentation was top-notch. It was a performance; highly original and very complete. Person + work/product formed a unity.
The links Lucas has found are wonderful and it has been a great process to experience. It is an ongoing research that has not been pre-produced and that does not set out from a preconceived ending.
The judges thought it was fascinating to see how perfectly every step in the process had been executed. Like cooking. Lucas has a sense of humour and uses it, like he did with the box of golden eggs which was magnificently staged. The judges were impressed with Lucas’ passion for his craft, which cheered them right up.


Jens Dyvik (Man and Leisure)

The judges thought Jens’ form of registration and his steering mechanism were extraordinary. His design offers feedback to certain signals. The judges thought of Jens as a sympathetic designer with some good views. They see the new entrepreneur in him, with him intending to introduce a new business model in which open sourcing is an important premise. He has made good use of technology and the design is a step towards a new world. Jens has created a wonderful Flash presentation which proved he is master of this medium. Jens uses mind mapping and represents the spirit of our times. Jens is smart, businesslike and sympathetic. He lives everything, which is why the judges have awarded him a Keep an Eye Grant.


Remi van Oers (Man and Activity)

The judges believed Remi’s was a very professional presentation! Although they would have liked to see a little more ‘madness’… This is true, hard-core, industrial design. We believe Remi is a hard-working all-round designer.
The judges are confident he will have a great professional career and thought he was very clever in taking that extra step, even though they did miss a ‘spark’. His views on entrepreneurship and his very professional presentation have earned him his Keep an Eye Grant.