Creative Forward Fund: Designing Inclusive Public Spaces

Creative Forward Fund

The Goethe-Institut Jordan in cooperation with UN-Habitat is launching a fund for designers in Jordan to promote cross-innovation and sustainable approaches for inclusive public spaces.
The fund is launched as part of the Culture and Creative Industries project “takween” which is part of the Global Project CCI which is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut.

The challenge of inclusivity and accessibility in public spaces is a prevalent issue in many parts of the world. In Amman, Al Hashmi Al Janoubi neighborhood has been identified as one of the most affected neighborhoods by the influx of refugees, according to Amman’s spatial profile developed by UN Habitat’s program »Urban Planning and Infrastructure in Migration Contexts« - to download click here.

This area requires innovative and sustainable design solutions to make its public spaces more inclusive. This is particularly important for women and people with disabilities, who face various challenges in accessing and participating in public spaces due to factors such as safety concerns, lack of disability features like ramps, and gender-insensitive designs.

The neighborhood is densely populated, with a total population of over 14,000 inhabitants living in an area of 0.43 km2. Its infrastructure networks are overloaded, with accessibility and available facilities for women, children, and people with disabilities being a major concern. The spatial analysis also revealed the need to beautify the neighborhood to create a more pleasant environment for its residents.

Design can play a significant role in creating safer, more accessible, and user-friendly public spaces for communities. This open call is focused on finding solutions to public space challenges in Jordan through creative innovation and experimentation while relying on methodological processes in urban design and social engagement. Designers from various fields such as architecture, urban design, graphic design, and product design, as well as other creatives are invited to submit proposals that offer innovative design solutions to create more inclusive public spaces prioritizing the needs of women and marginalized groups.

The grant seeks to support and encourage designers to utilize their design thinking approaches to prototype ideas to contribute a positive impact on society. Successful proposals should demonstrate the potential and the ability of designers to propose enhancements to public spaces, by designing urban products, such as furniture, fixtures, signage, shades, games, interventions or other small-scale design solutions that make a difference. 

Throughout the grant period, grantees will also receive input sessions as well as mentorship and feedback from experienced urban planners/designers from the UN-Habitat Jordan team.
At the end of the funding period, there will be a presentation for the most innovative projects to be showcased to the public and potential stakeholders.


  • Project grant: up to € 7.000 per person/team.
  • Input sessions on participatory design methodology and urban design approaches.
  • Mentorship and feedback sessions.
  • Access to local and international networks.
  • Visibility through project presentation, public / digital events and local press and media.


  • Projects supported by the Creative Forward Fund must result in developed prototypes, small-scale implementations or scaled models.
  • The Creative Forward Fund covers project-related costs such as transport, materials, rent of equipment needed for prototyping the proposed designs. The fund covers also designer fees of up to 30% of the total fund amount.
  • Proposals can be accepted from individuals as well as collectives. However, the limit of the fund remains the same.
  • A jury panel from the Goethe-Institut and the UN-Habitat Jordan Team will select the project proposals and award the final grant amount on a case-by-case basis. 
  • The final grant amount may differ from what is proposed.
  • Proofs of payment (invoices, receipts...) should be recorded and kept for audit.
  • Expenses and activities should be documented in an interim narrative and financial report.
  • Third-party funding, especially from German public institutions, is not permitted during the period of Creative Forward Fund program.


  • Duration of the grant: June 2023 – October 2023 
  • Open call: May 3, 2023 
  • Application deadline: May 22, 2023, at 23:59
  • Announcement of grantees by: End of May 2023
  • Kickoff meeting with UN-Habitat: beginning of June 2023
  • Sessions with UN-Habitat and grantees: Mid of June 2023
  • Research/site visits phase: Mid of June 2023 till Mid of July 2023
  • Participatory sessions with local communities: End of July 2023
  • Design development: Beginning of August 2023
  • Feedback sessions/jury: End of August 2023
  • Prototyping: September 2023
  • Final presentation: October 2023
The implementation period must be completed by the end of October 2023 at latest.


Individual designers, design collectives, or design studios 
with work experience in:

  • Product and furniture design
  • Graphic and type design
  • Interior/architecture, urban or landscape design
  • Digital fabrication and UI/UX design

Applicants must meet the following criteria:
  • Based in Jordan.
  • At least 3 years of work experience as a creative professional in one of the abovementioned fields of design.
  • Aged between 25 and 45 years old.
  • Motivation and willingness to actively participate as a multiplier in projects of takween as well as motivation to cooperate with fellow designers.
  • Willingness to report, document and present the project, as well as to cooperate with mentors and to provide written evidence of the use of the grant.
  • Willingness to respond to interviews and take evaluation surveys during and after the program.
  • Willingness to participate in alumni activities in the future and be presented on social media.


Eligible project proposals must meet the following criteria:

  • Innovative design ideas contributing with solutions to the challenges of this open call. 
  • Reference to ecological, social or economic sustainability (e.g. green design).
  • Proposals must address inclusivity in design.
  • Project continuity and impact after the funding period.


To apply for the Creative Forward Fund whether as an individual designer or as design collective/studio, please fill out this online application form in English or Arabic.

Required information to be provided in the application are:

  • Relevant CV.
  • Portfolio or career references: qualifications and previous activities/ projects performed in the last 3 years as a proof of expertise in the creative industries.
  • Letter of motivation max. one page.
  • Description of the project idea with reference to the above-mentioned criteria and that responds to the specific needs of the open call.
  • A detailed budget plan in EUR highlighting the spending plan over two installments and in line with the project timeline.
  • Project timeline from 1 June to 30 October 2023 showing the activities needed to realize the project in connection with the program’s timeline stated above.

Apply here