Use me!

How do Technology and Society shape each other?

What are the opportunities or threats that Technology brings to Society?

What do we need to understand better about the influence that Technology can have on humans, groups, organisations, communities, culture, or religions?

This is YOUR opportunity to create and showcase your creative application that inspires people on the questions raised above. We would like to challenge you to be creative. Thus, the creative application can take any form: an information visualisation or an interactive movie, a chatbot, or a collaborative game. You can discuss any aspect at the crossroad/intersection of technology and society. We encourage you to highlight the impacts of technology on human life and society, and the diversity of disciplines and contributors involved.

The winning creative applications will be displayed on VU campus for the next academic year. The creative applications will be displayed in the entrance hall of the NU building on a rotating basis. We will fund the best three creative applications, and we will temporarily exhibit also some of the other participating creative applications, depending on the quality of the submissions. The exhibition will include all the interesting creative applications that our jury will select. The jury consists of active artists, curators, and scientists.

Click here for the complete call for creative applications.
Deadline: May 13 2022

Who can participate?

Anybody at the VU is welcome to participate, from students, to researchers, professors, etc. Participation can be individual or in teams. We encourage interdisciplinary creative applications.
We invite all of you to the launch event on April 13th 2022 where you can meet other participants and perhaps your future teammates!

Use what?

You can use the 65” screen that is now on display in the entrance of the NU building. The screen can be used in any orientation (portrait, landscape, or others). You can use additional hardware, sensors, customised casing for the screen according to your budget (read below).


The jury will fund up to 3 projects. A budget of up to €3,000 is available for each winning project. This budget is intended to enable applicants to realise their proposed creative applications and to cover expenses such as equipment, additional sensors, hardware, subscriptions to external services, enrolment of professional creatives like interactive/UI designers, etc.


Proposals must be submitted to by 23:59 of May 13th 2022. In order to be considered, each proposal must follow the official template of the initiative.

Each proposal has a maximum length of 3 pages in A4 format. A proposal can be proposed by either an individual participant or a team of participants. A participant can participate in more than one proposal.

Important dates

Below we report an indication of the most important dates of the initiative:

  • April 13: launch event with special guests
  • Between April 13 and May 13: interactive workshops for potential applicants
  • May 13: deadline for proposals
  • May 27: notification of the winners
  • September 5: the project is up and running on the screen

Launch event

When: April 13 2022, from 13:30 to 18:00
Where: NU building at VU, NU-2C33 Theater 3

Register to the event

Participation to the workshop is completely free for anyone, but registration is mandatory. Click here to register!


  • 13:30-13:45 – Welcome and gadgets
  • 13:45-14:45 – Dries Depoorter (artist and TEDx speaker): Surveillance Art, Dying Phones and Fake Likes
  • 14:45-15:45 – Sabrina Verhage (creative technologist): Alternative Technologies
  • 15:45-16:45 – Martin Krzywinski (Staff Scientist): Art is Science in Love
  • 16:45-17:00 – Closing
  • 17:00 onwards – Networking with borrel

Bios of guest speakers

Dries Depoorter is a Belgium artist working with technology. His catchy and humorous work addresses themes such as privacy, social media, artificial intelligence and surveillance.
Among his creations are several products such as apps, games and interactive installations. He studied electronics for six years before making the switch to art school. Today Dries Depoorter is exhibiting and holding talks internationally while working as a freelance concept provider that focuses on digital processes.
Dries exhibited at the Barbican London, Art Basel, Mutek Festival Montreal, Bozar, Para Site Hong Kong, Mozilla The Glass Room San Francisco, IDFA Doclab, Mundaneum. FOMU, Ars Electronica, NRW, World Press Photo, WIRED25, HEK.
Dries did talks for TEDx, MoMA, SXSW, Chanel, Adidas, Mutek Festival, STRP festival, Dutch Design Week and web2day.

Sabrina Verhage works as Technologist at Tellart Amsterdam, an experience design studio known for bringing the digital beyond the screen, into the physical objects and spaces around us.
Sabrina is highly fascinated by the influence of modern technology on human behavior. Striving to stimulate diversity and make knowledge more accessible, she co-founded Creative Coding Amsterdam, a meetup for enthusiasts.
Besides organizing events she enjoys teaching creative coding workshops as well as performing at live coding events.

Martin Krzywinski makes people think and feel good by creating visualization tools and information graphics that combine analytical clarity with an artistic dimension. Real science should look just like in movies. His introduction to genomics was as a system administrator at Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Center, where in 1999 he built its first computing infrastructure, and contributed to IT security, optimized keyboard layouts and created database visualizations. During his work on cancer genomes, he created Circos, now a community standard for displaying information in this field. More recently, he introduced a method for rationally visualizing networks using hive plots. His information graphics have appeared in the New York Times, Wired, Conde Nast Portfolio, and on covers of books and scientific journals, like PNAS, EMBO Journal and American Scientist. He has a weakness for espresso, fashion and abstract photography, and the intersection of spam and poetry. He is a former owner of the world’s most popular rat.


In order to inspire potential participants about the possibilities of interactive creative applications, we are organizing two workshops.
The first one is called Introduction to Processing and p5.js and it will give to participants an introduction to programming and the most used drawing technologies suitable for the Use-me project. The second workshop is called Interactive installations and it is meant to train participants about how to program software for an interactive experience and
how to receive and manipulate input from depth cameras or sensors.

  • Introduction to Processing and p5.js
    • April 22, 14:00 – 17:00, room NU-3A-65
  • Interactive installations
    • April 29, 14:00 – 17:00, room WN-KC137

The workshops have limited sits, stay tuned for reserving your spot at one (or both) of them!
Both workshop will be given in person by Sabrina Verhage. Below you can find the flyers of the two workshops.


Selection committee

  • Jeroen Geurts (Rector of VU Amsterdam)
  • Marleen Huysman (Director of KIN at VU Amsterdam)
  • Ivar Vermeulen (Associate Professor at VU Amsterdam)
  • Sabrina Verhage (Creative technologist)
  • Hinda Haned (Endowed Professor at University of Amsterdam)
  • Martin Krzywinski (Staff Scientist at the British Columbia Cancer Agency)


For any further questions on the initiative, please contact the organisers:

  • Tijs van den Broek:
  • Emma Beauxis Aussalet:
  • Bas Becker:
  • Ivano Malavolta: