Joanna van der Zanden works as an independent curator with a focus on socially engaged arts and design projects and participatory practices. She has gained a lot of experience in cultural formats where the public at large gets involved in the process of research, questioning and/or making. It is her view that contemporary cultural institutions should – at the best – function as catalysts to stimulate critical and creative thinking and making. Especially in times of paradigm shift, we need to re-educate each other and find new common grounds. Therefore we need open spaces for experimentation and reflection.
As an initiator Joanna develops concepts that contribute in a positive way to society and nature. Within these initiatives she seeks for various collaborations. An ongoing research theme is Repair Society, which investigates the question: “What would a society look like if repair is central in our thinking and doing?”
Joanna is educated in design and fashion and holds a Master Degree in Art History of the University of Utrecht. From 1996 – 2001 she was a member of the pioneering team of KesselsKramer, a well-known communication agency, where she was creative manager on several projects, and in particular ‘do’, KesselsKramer’s own brand. From 2006 until 2010 Joanna was Artistic Director of Platform21, the incubator of a new design museum to be built in Amsterdam.
As an independent curator Joanna works with different museums and cultural organisations, both national and international. She is a regular lecturer and workshop leader and she is member of the advisory board of the Amsterdam Fund of the Arts and The Creative Industry Funds.
Since 2016 the home office of Throwing Snowballs is based in Spring House, an experimental co-working space in Amsterdam of which Joanna is a founding member.