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Jos Brink and Joke Smit Emancipation Awards

Project Artworks for the Jos Brink and Joke Smit emancipation awards
Partner Ministry of Education, Culture and Science
Afdeling Interior Architecture and Furniture Design
Jaar 2016/2017

The assignment

In reply to a call from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (Ministerie van OCW), seven of our 4th year Interior Architecture & Furniture Design students are working on concepts for a new design for the Jos Brink award (for LHBT emancipation) and the Joke Smit award (for gender equality), both to be awarded in 2017.

The winning concept for each award was selected by Minister Jet Bussemaker on the 13th of December 2016 to be further developed in the actual artwork. The winning concepts were of Zsofia Kollar (for the Jos Brink Award) and Noortje de Brouwer (for the Joke Smit Award). The artworks will be awarded next to a cash prize to the winners of the Jos Brink and Joke Smit awards, both initiatives of LHBTI - ministerie van OCW.

Participating students 

Zsófia KollarLieke VernooijJasmijn Muskens, Nienke Sikkema (concepts for the Jos Brinkprijs) 
Bianca MeilofNoortje de BrouwerTommy de Moor (concepts for the Joke Smitprijs)

The students work under the guidance of Maarten Kolk, teacher at the IAFD department.

All concepts for the Jos Brinkprijs

Zsófia Kollar  
“The Jos Brink Prize is given to a person or to an association who achieved a fundamental contribution to the acceptance of the LGTBQ community. The contribution of the winner was social, the winner did not achieve for his own good, but for a collective goal. Therefore, the aim of my design is to represent this social effort and create a prize that can be shared amongst the people of the community or those who supported the winner’s intention. With my project I intent to involve the whole of the Netherlands and its population. I would like to cherish the diversity in people and point out that every human touch leaves traces in others. It’s important that we treat each other without any judgment on their sexual preference. Based upon a grid I’ve put over the Netherlands, I’m visiting 109 different coordinates of the country and asking 109 different people to treat a soft porcelain as it would be another human being.”


Lieke Vernooij

“For me this project started off with a personal research into body and mind. What determines who you are, your body or your mind? Can my female body also look like a male body? Does my physical body always feel like my own body? As soon as I started to take pictures of my body I did not see my physical body as my ‘real’ body anymore. Although our physical body is a point of departure for all of us, our perception of this body – the ‘mind’ body – can become more dominant. Ultimately, it can also shape the physical body. In my design, I translate this notion by melting a piece of wax and foam live on stage during the award show. When the ‘mind’ body appears, the prize is ready and will be handed to the winner.”


Jasmijn Muskens

"Working on the Jos Brink prize, I did a research on identity and more specifically gender identity. The LGBTQ list is adding more and more letters, and you can see a whole new wave of people questioning and redefining what gender is. I tried to define what is stereotypically seen as masculine and feminine, and by transforming, distorting and re-shaping I blur these lines, showing sexuality is something fluid."


Nienke Sikkema

“Other than humans, animals don't judge each other, don't think in boxes and don't standardize. Because of this they are free to behave in a way that feels natural to them. This is why sexuality and role patterns come in all sorts and sizes in the animal kingdom. And while our thoughts on sexuality get stuck in categorizing and labelling, animals go their own way. Clownfish for example can change sex, male dolphins stay together their entire lives and sea slugs are both male and female. And not an animal that is bothered by it. Just imagine if people could be as open-minded as these animals... For my design I Iooked mainly underwater, where sexuality takes more shapes and forms than I could ever imagine. This I want to translate in glass objects that are as free in shape and form as the life in the sea. The light that will reflect from them will be as unframed as gender and sexuality can, and ought to be. An ode to freedom.”

All concepts for the Joke Smit-Prijs

Bianca Meilof  
'Men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at.' "When reading this statement by John Berger, I realized that something felt familiar. From a young age we are taught how to dress, sit or behave properly. We are accompanied by our own image of ourselves and force ourselves to be constantly aware of how we appear to others! Using this as a basis for my project, I started exploring the fine line between forced appearance and natural behaviour. I have created blown-up objects that are forcefully shaped when a person carries them and regain their soft former shape when released.”


Noortje de Brouwer

“I personally never even questioned whether I was equal to men, I just assumed. I grew up in a society where women can study, work and have autonomy. The fact that all if this was so self-evident to me is thanks to the work of all the women that fought so hard for this in the past. This process of hard work, moving forward step by step, I wanted to give shape in a trophy. Starting from nothing I slowly built up the trophy. Struggling from one material to another, all done with my own hands. Almost arriving at where we ended up now, I am aware there is still a lot of work to be done. This is why the trophy will not be completely finished. There is room for growth, for the next step and for the next generation.”


Tommy de Moor

'Children base their view on the distinction between man or woman on having a penis or not. At least that’s what the castration theory of Sigmund Freud describes. Boys think something is taken away from girls. Because of this, there is a fear in boys about losing their phallic symbol. With the loss of a phallic symbol an incomplete vagina is now taking its place. The unmistakable difference between men and women becomes an illustration of a devilish story. Where the contrasts are strengthened between positive (men) and negative (women). Improper about it, is that women will get pushed into a victim role, because they are stripped of their matter. This deprivation of matter is reflected in the use of Alum. Alum is a kind of salt that can be completely dissolved until it disappears. Although alum is not visible, alum molecules cannot be deprived of being alum. As a result, it will form back into its original solid matter. This process refutes the victim role, because nothing can be taken away that never has been there.'

About the awards

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Last updated: 2017-03-03

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