Het Nieuwe Instituut is looking for a General/Artistic Director


For Het Nieuwe Instituut, we are looking for a culturally and socially committed general/artistic director who will be an energetic figurehead for the innovative ambitions of Het Nieuwe Instituut. A director able to further strengthen Het Nieuwe Instituut with a clear vision of the heritage and design profession, and with a connective and collaborative style.

Since 2013, Het Nieuwe Instituut has stood for strengthening the cultural and social significance of architecture, design and digital culture, with an emphasis on the interaction between these disciplines. In the policy period 2021-2024, the institute will further transform itself into a heritage institution for architecture, design and digital culture, with the three sectors also receiving separate attention in the institute’s programmes. In a period characterised by radical change, Het Nieuwe Instituut aims to moderate, stimulate and facilitate the current conversation about design by means of research and exhibitions. Broadening and deepening public appreciation is a fundamental principle in this respect.

Het Nieuwe Instituut aspires to make the social and innovative value of culture visible to various user groups. As the national memory of the design field, Het Nieuwe Instituut has a management and preservation function; the institute researches and makes accessible. The connection between past and future is central, while research is used to develop innovative storylines. Like no other cultural institution, Het Nieuwe Instituut is capable of identifying, interpreting and questioning and publicising current and urgent issues in a flexible and innovative way, both in terms of content and organisation.

In its policy plan 2021-24, Het Nieuwe Instituut has opted in principle for multivocality (meerstemmigheid) from a social and ecological perspective. In addition, the emphasis is on multidisciplinary knowledge development and connecting this to professional design in the Netherlands and to a broader, engaged public interested in architecture, design and digital culture. The institute manages the national collection for architecture, stimulates scientific and speculative research, programmes exhibitions, lectures and debate programmes at home and abroad. The institute is also responsible for the development of the national pavilion for the Venice Biennale and other forms of international dialogue and knowledge exchange.

Keywords that characterise Het Nieuwe Instituut are: multivocal, social, ecological, experimental, Rotterdam/regional/national/international, (self-) critical, fun, welcoming, outspoken, accessible, a good client, a learning organisation, continuously in transformation.

Organisation and finances

Het Nieuwe Instituut Foundation has a supervisory board and works with a two-member board of directors, namely the general/artistic director and the business director.

The organisation consists of approximately 110 employees, divided over various departments such as collection, programme, agency, marketing communication, research, operational management, HR and finance. In addition, we work with a flexible layer of employees and freelancers on a project basis. Disclosing Architecture is a major project that will be completed in the 2021-24 policy period.

Het Nieuwe Instituut is subsidised by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science through the Heritage Act (Erfgoedwet) and the Basic Infrastructure (Basisinfrastructuur). In addition, it generates income through sources including admissions and the rental of spaces in the building. The annual budget is currently around EUR 12 million. For special programmes and research projects, Het Nieuwe Instituut (in collaboration) applies for contributions from funding organisations. Het Nieuwe Instituut has ANBI (public benefit organisation) tax status.

The board of directors

The two directors of the board, the general/artistic director and the business director, are jointly responsible for the management and organisation of Het Nieuwe Instituut, with the general/artistic director being the chair of the board. The division of tasks between the two directors is such that the artistic/content-oriented employees are managed by the artistic director, and the employees who focus on business management and the collection by the business director. The management strives for collegial decision-making. The management is jointly responsible for drawing up the policy plan and the budget. The combined strength of both directors aims to bring about innovation regarding content, and to guarantee the growth and continuity of Het Nieuwe Instituut and its sponsorships, partnerships and subsidies. Accountability is given to the Supervisory Board.

Who are we looking for? The new Managing Director:

  • Represents the organisation and ensures the positioning and profiling of Het Nieuwe Instituut at home and abroad. Acts as the figurehead of the Institute.
  • Suits the institute’s artistically, culturally and socially committed style and knows how to position social issues from a design perspective.
  • Directs programme, agency, research and artistic advice.
  • Has a relevant, extensive and warm network in the design sector at home and abroad.
  • Has knowledge and a vision of digital and other technical developments and their possible impact on the design sector.
  • Has a clear and proven vision of the heritage profession and the design profession and propagates this.
  • Has a clear vision of research, multidisciplinary knowledge development, multivocality and insight into developments for professionals, and stands for this.
  • Leads the way, is resolute and convincing. Knows how to relate openly and curiously to national and international stakeholders and cooperation partners. Uses a network-like way of working together.
  • Is connective, empathetic and a team player, gives space to professionals and inspires others. Is accessible to the organisation and its employees, is interested and involved. Has an eye for realisation and feasibility and is focused on cooperation.
  • Finds the right balance between renewal on the one hand and perpetuating and expanding the existing on the other. Is open to different opinions and remains curious.
  • Has demonstrable experience in management and has relevant experience in or with the design sector
  • Lives in the Netherlands or is willing to come and live here. Is willing to travel, is fluent in English and Dutch (or is willing to learn Dutch).

As artistic director, you are:

  • Communicative
  • Strategic
  • Collaborative and collegial both internally and externally
  • Curious, creative, innovative and flexible
  • A strong negotiator and mediator
  • Energetic and representative
  • Ambitious

What do we offer?

A challenging position in a special and committed organisation. Het Nieuwe Instituut offers an appropriate and competitive employment conditions package.


Het Nieuwe Instituut is guided in this procedure by the executive search agency Colourful People. For more information about Het Nieuwe Instituut, the position or the procedure, you can contact Naima Azough, senior partner at Colourful People, by email: n.azough@colourfulpeople.nl or telephone: +31 (0)6 4344 9717.

You can apply for this position by sending your letter and CV no later than Wednesday 13th of January 2021 to Naima Azough on n.azough@colourfulpeople.nl

Talks with the selection committee are scheduled for early February 2021 (see dates below). In addition, a meeting will be held with an advisory committee. Het Nieuwe Instituut aims to complete the procedure by the end of February 2021.

Important dates:

  • 1 (and possibly 3) February 2021 - 1st round of interviews with selection committee
  • 4 February 2021 - interview round with an advisory committee
  • February 8 2021 - 2nd round of discussions with selection committee.

Celebrating and stimulating diversity in a broad sense (perspectives, ideas, culture, age, gender, sexual preference, religion, etc) is an important focus of Het Nieuwe Instituut. Het Nieuwe Instituut strives accordingly for a balanced workforce.



Publicatie datum:

23 Dec 2020


Het Nieuwe Instituut


N. Azough
T: (023) 5671 030
M: (06) 4344 9717

Naima Azough
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telefoon (023) 5671 030
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