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Open Call 2021

Photo: Anders Berensson Architects. 2019.

ArkDes is launching Open Call 2021 to promote practice-oriented research in architecture, design, and planning. This year’s theme is ‘shared spaces and interspaces’. The call is aimed at professionals in the design field who want to develop an idea. The maximum amount per application is 250,000 SEK, and we intend to fund 4-6 projects.

We believe that design and architecture can provide solutions for better community development. At its best, design can inspire entirely new visions and show the way forward. Therefore, ArkDes aims to support innovative projects that develop ideas, visions, and methods for better shaping our communities. The purpose of the call is to create financial space for professionals in the design field to further develop or implement practice-based, investigative projects that address challenges and issues related to today’s and tomorrow’s designed living environments.

We are seeking projects focused on challenge-driven architecture and design, where knowledge gaps related to sustainable urban development and designed living environments are identified and explored. In this call, we ask applicants to focus on the following theme:

Shared Spaces and Interspaces:

We are looking for projects that, through creative design processes and innovative architecture, can renew public spaces, whether outdoors, indoors, or in the interaction between indoor and outdoor areas. The projects can be of any scale. Well-designed objects or structures can significantly enhance and transform the experience of a place. At the same time, large-scale interventions, new processes, and experimental designs can set new examples of what is possible. This call encompasses everything from small-scale to large-scale projects and everything in between.

Since the call focuses on challenge-driven design, the project needs to be based on a defined problem statement. This could involve issues such as the need for flexibility, equality, greenery, safety, or accessibility. How can your project inspire solutions through design?

We look forward to your innovative proposals that address these themes and contribute to the advancement of our shared spaces and interspaces.

ArkDes prioritizes projects that have identified socially beneficial exploratory design work, as well as practice-based projects aimed at exploring a specific question and generating new knowledge that promotes sustainability and quality in urban development.

The call is aimed at professionals in the fields of architecture, design, and planning in Sweden. International collaboration is possible, but the project must be based on a Swedish context. An important aspect of the Open Call is that it should be a collaboration between at least two parties from different fields. The project team can include combinations such as an architect, researcher, and artist, or an urban planner, sustainability strategist, and interior architect. The team composition can span public, private, and freelance sectors, and can be carried out within private enterprises, municipalities, academia, or nonprofit organizations. Applications cannot be submitted by individuals or by a single organization.

During the project period, all applicants are encouraged to adhere to the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Sweden and, if necessary, find ways to collaborate that do not require physical meetings.

We encourage you to challenge the conventional forms and processes of creating public spaces, their content, and their functionality. You are responsible for formulating the challenges that your projects address. What is missing? How can our shared spaces and interspaces be strengthened, made more beautiful, sustainable, and inspiring? What are your visions for the future?

  • The maximum amount per application is 250,000 SEK, and 4-6 projects will be funded.
  • Funds are provided to carry out the project at your respective workplace(s). ArkDes does not provide workspace or equipment.
  • Expanding the scope of the project with additional funding is permitted. Co-financing must be detailed in the budget and project description.
  • The approved amount will be paid to a bank or postal giro account. To be eligible to receive funds, you must be an organization, institution, or company with an F-tax certificate in Sweden. Funds are not paid to individuals.
  • The project should be feasible to conduct within 3-6 months.
  • Call Opens: December 8, 2020
  • Application Deadline: February 14, 2021, at 11:59 PM
  • Decision on Funding Allocation: March 26, 2021
  • Mandatory Kick-off Meeting: April 15, 2021
  • Project Completion Deadline: November 1, 2021 (Final report must also be submitted by this date)
  • Mandatory Final Presentation: November 9, 2021

Applications are to be submitted via email to with the following documents:

  1. Project Description: (maximum two A4 pages) Describe what you want to explore and why. Who will participate in the project? Outline the methodology and the expected final product. The description must include a budget for the project.
  2. References: Attach between 1–4 references of previous projects and assignments, which can be images, publications, films, or other digital media.
  3. CVs: Attach CVs of the participating individuals.
  4. Contingency Strategy: Include a brief strategy for how your project can be executed if restrictions prevent physical meetings.
  5. Language: Applications must be submitted in Swedish, but references can be in English.

Submitted files should be saved with the applicant’s name/organization at the beginning of the file name, for example, lisa_karlsson_ansokan.doc.

Applications must be received by ArkDes no later than 11:59 PM on February 14, 2021. Incomplete applications will not be considered for evaluation.

  • File Format and Size: Attach text documents in Word or PDF format, with a total file size not exceeding 10MB.
  • Presentation Files: Do not send PowerPoint presentations.
  • Video Links: If submitting videos, provide links to platforms such as Vimeo or YouTube.
  • Collaboration: Projects must be a collaboration between at least two parties.
  • Report: The project process and results should be summarized in a simple report to be submitted to ArkDes Think Tank by November 1.
  • Final Product: Specify the type of final product the project aims to achieve, such as a design prototype, toolkit, handbook, collection of examples, design proposal, etc.

Note that this call does not cover exhibition projects.



Open Call 2021

Click here to read the full Open Call text. In Swedish.