about open set

Open Set is a design and education platform located in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, that operates internationally. It was initiated as an independent summer school in 2012.

Our organization applies design thinking to education, while facilitating collaborations, knowledge, exchange of experience and building new networks of young creatives.

Open Set’s programs introduce participants to different schools of design as well as broader cultural fields: from graphic design to performance art, urbanism, media art, curation and also academic research on literature, cinema, media, sociology, ethics and history. Through this the programs aim to create bridges between the debates inherent in the subjects of its annual investigation.

We see design as one of the cultural agents which shape and structure the world we live in. Design (wether it deals in imageries or processes) does this by first of all influencing relationships — between individuals, groups, environments, institutions and systems.

Open Set offers a perfect opportunity for young talented people to work closely with international multidisciplinary groups and challenge their definitions of contemporary design practice and their visions for its future.


The independent summer school Open Set was initiated in 2012 by Vlad Butucariu and Irina Shapiro, both co-founders and designers at Studio Squash. Open Set has the legal status of non profit Foundation (Stichting in Dutch), with the following board members: Max Bruinsma (chairman), Joanna van der Zanden, and Vlad Butucariu.


Irina Shapiro – initiator and artistic leader
Susana Pedrosa – production manager
Noortje van Eekelen – editor of publications
Adrien Borderie – graphic designer
Sarah Louise Lancelin – project manager

partners and collaborators

Open Set 2013-2016 was generously supported by Creative Industries Fund NL and from 2014 by the cultural institutions which form Kunstblock Rotterdam. During its 4 years Open Set has established collaborations and partnerships with international educational, professional, media organizations and institutions. To name a few: Graphic Design Festival Breda, Eye, Etape, Slanted, CA Korea, Dafne, Dutch Design Daily, Fontanel, RGD (International association of registered graphic designers), Australian Graphic Design Association, AIGA, Kookmin University, The Book Society (Seoul), Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, and many others...

media partners:

© Open Set 2012-2016