Dutch Design Week will stretch creative boundaries

Stretch’ is the theme of the 16th Dutch Design Week (DDW), taking place in the city of Eindhoven from October 21 – 29. By choosing ‘Stretch’ as the theme, the organisation behind DDW (Dutch Design Foundation) aims to encourage both participants and the general public to get involved and dare to break out of their comfort zone.


Martijn Paulen, Director Dutch Design Foundation, explains: ‘Today’s world is complex and poses enormous challenges. Designers have revolutionary ideas and innovative solutions for the future. Sometimes inspiring, sometimes confrontational. In this sense, Dutch design is yoga for the brain. Stretching exercises for people who don’t want to get stuck in their ways.’

‘Stretch’ is the essence of design. By stretching your mind, you create space to innovate. To change direction, the way you work, your environment and vison of the world, to transcend boundaries and define the new standard. In cooperation with agency Fabrique a public campaign is developed to support the theme.

André Bouwman, creative director of Fabrique: ‘To create the campaign, we stretched the bounds of key design themes such as uniqueness, originality and ownership. We teamed up with 15 leading designers to transform existing work into new and unknown forms. The result was a series of exciting, aesthetic images. And, sometimes, completely absurd ones.’

There will be around 2500 participants in the week-long event, presenting work and concepts in more than 100 locations throughout the city. Highlights include the Graduation Show of Design Academy Eindhoven, the award of the annual Dutch Design Awards and Dutch Invertuals. The Van Abbemuseum, Kazerne, MU, Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie, Piet Hein Eek, Sectie-C, TAC and Yksi will be organising exhibitions again this year. For this year’s edition, Het Klokgebouw (under the art directorship of Overtreders W) welcomes, among others, Mind the Step, a collaboration between the Universities of Technology TU/e, TUD and UT. For a sneak peek, go to: www.ddw.nl.

Architect Winy Maas MVRDV), designers Lonny van Ryswyck and Nadine Sterk (Atelier NL) and journalist Marcus Fairs (Dezeen) are the ambassadors for this edition of DDW.

With more than 600 exhibitions, presentations, lectures and network meetings the event is rich in content and diversity. Apart from the regular features, a significant part of the programme has been reserved for ideas and innovations to improve the world. This ties in perfectly with the theme ‘Stretch’, an appeal – to both participants and the public – to venture out of their comfort zones and to reach for the skies.

The programme management sees multiple trends this year. Hot items are the influence of digitalisation on and robotization of our society. Social issues and the circular economy also get plenty of attention and there is a special role for crafts: the rediscovery of old manufacturing methods or the development of entirely new applications for them.

Twelve design projects have been selected for the second edition of Crowdfunding Dutch Design, kitckstarted via the online platforms Kickstarter and Voordekunst and displayed in the Klokgebouw, Eindhoven, throughout the event. Various trends are apparent in this year’s submissions: the increasing importance of technology and robots in society, new forms of craft (with for example bio-materials) and the future of our food. This and more is expressed in the selection for the second edition of Crowdfunding Dutch Design:

This year’s 12 chosen projects are: Evoke – A collection of cutlery (VoordeKunst),  Hugsy BV – Hugsy home (heartbeat, pouch & cuddle) (Kickstarter), Ikonic Toys by Floris Hovers – Wooden animals (Kickstarter),  OWOW – Wiggle Kit (Kickstarter), Rosalie Bak – Myco-paste (voordekunst), Sander Lorier – Hybrid Chair (Kickstarter), Schueller de Waal – Compulsory Shenanigans (voordekunst), Petra Janssen (Studio Boot) & Simone Kramer (C-mone) – Social label, Somnox BV – Somnox world’s first sleep robot (Kickstarter), Studio&Lotte – Your Story Through Senses (voordekunst), Form&Seek – 7 unique products by global designers (Kickstarter), Robert Bronwasser and Yannick Brouwer, Daan Weijers – Circa (Kickstarter).

Crowdfunding Dutch Design gives designers the opportunity to present their ideas and approaches to a large audience, with the objective of finding finance for development and production. This is commonly for non-commercial projects that, for all sorts of reasons, cannot be developed without external finance. Dutch Design Foundation offers supervision with its partners Kickstarter, VoordeKunst and Douw&Koren which comprises: campaign supervision, PR and communication and a physical platform during DDW (exhibition in the Klokgebouw.)

Crowdfunding Dutch Design is a Dutch Design Foundation initiative. Following the pilot in 2016 it was decided that the cooperation with the international organisation Kickstarter should be expanded to include the Dutch platform Voordekunst. The first cooperation is focused on internationally saleable products with an innovative (technology) twist; the second on the home market, with a main role for the process, the craft skills and the autonomy of the designers.

All participants are assisted throughout their crowdfunding campaigns by the consultancy Douw&Koren. The design of the exhibition in the Klokgebouw is in the hands of design studio Alissa+Nienke (www.alissanienke.nl).

For more information visit the website.

Images from top to bottom:  Designcollectie Social Label, How&Wow by Crafts Council Netherland, soci.bike, Dutch Invertuals, Creative Ukraine, Spruitje Glowing Roots, Ikonic Toys by Floris Hovers, Somnox Sleep Robot, Strietman Espresso Machine, Carolijn Slottje’s Quilt Garden, Farm of the World Natural Forces

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