Dutch Design Week (DDW) looks back on a successful 15th edition. Eindhoven manifested itself as the centre of design and the future showcasing work of 2500 designers during the nine days of the festival. Their ideas and solutions give us a new perspective on current topics and issues, as well as make DDW an event with global impact. Due to the comprehensive programme of talk shows, debates and live music, visitors were able to reminisce long after closing of the exhibitions. The event attracted an estimated record number of 295,000 visitors.


Under the banner of the theme ‘The making of’, this anniversary edition focused on the making process and the makers. The event showed a lot of work from renowned designers, but also, like every year, allowed young talent and the experiment to thrive. This took place in more than 430 curated exhibitions and presentations spread across 100 locations in the city.


Martijn Paulen, director Dutch Design Foundation: “More than ever, DDW has shown itself to be a manifestation by and for the designers and leaders from the entire (inter)national creative industry. 

These days, design is both a cultural and an enterprising phenomenon attracting attention and interest across the board. DDW demonstrates that we have to let go of the 'old', limited definition of  design and approach it as a creative mentality with an impact that is growing exponentially.” 


Ambassadors

This year, again, the DDW ambassadors made a key contribution to the week. Autonomous designer Maarten Baas explored the possibilities of interdisciplinary working and encouraged visitors and colleagues to look beyond borders with his exhibition Maarten Baas Makes Time. Designer Bas van Abel emphasised the role of design in social issues and the development of sustainable products. With his new exhibition The Making of Your World he focused the attention on new schools of thought that can make the world better and fairer. 


Royal visit

On Tuesday 25 October, Queen Máxima surprised the week with a visit. She looked at the exhibitions The Making of Your World and Mind the Step by the three Dutch universities of technology in the Klokgebouw. She also talked to ten designers about the status of Dutch design and the development of a new, hybrid practice in which (inter alia) design, art, architecture, communication and gaming can hardly be distinguished from each other anymore.


Dutch Design Awards

On Saturday 29 October the annual Dutch Design Awards were presented. Designer Christien Meindertsma convinced the international jury on all fronts. Her FLAX Chair won the Product and the Future Award (the prize for the most promising design of the future). Prizes were awarded in six categories. The encouragement prize for young talent (Young Designer Award) was for Tom van Soest. Brabantia received the Best Client Award. Crystal Houses by MVRDV won the Public Award. All award winners are published on the Dutch Design Awards website.


Best of DDW 2016

Extra appreciation for the designers that make DDW a success was expressed, for the second year running, by the Best of Dutch Design Week (the most surprising project or the most impressive presentation). During the week, a panel of 7 designers and visitors compiled a shortlist of 16 projects. On Sunday 30 October ambassadors Baas and Van Abel awarded an encouragement prize to Forest Wool by Tamara Orjola (Design Academy Eindhoven) out of these highlighted projects. She received € 2,500 from a private benefactor and a presentation venue during the next edition of DDW.


Kickstarter 

New this year was the cooperation between Kickstarter and Dutch Design Foundation. The two launched the very first crowdfunding page for Dutch design, on which acquisition campaigns for 11 design projects were started. All the concepts were on show during DDW in a special retrospective exhibition in the Kazerne. The first alderman of design in the Netherlands, Mary-Ann Schreurs, secured a font designed specifically for people with dyslexia (developed by Christian Boer) for all the schools and residents of Eindhoven during the final auction.


Network for design

The design world, but also commerce and the media (a.o. from the USA, Canada, Israel, UK, Ireland, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Luxemburg and Germany) found their way to DDW this year. Partly through their attendance, DDW was able to demonstrate, again this year, its function as an international stage and platform for design. In an extensive programme of lectures, seminars, workshops, network meetings and talk shows, good contacts and links were laid for the future.


Highlights 

Visitors, designers and media partners this year were very enthusiastic about A home away from home, VPRO Hololens, Manifestations, Pinar & Viola for IKEA, Trending Terrazzo, design challenge in cooperation with the NS, Envisions and the transformation of the Ketelhuisplein with Bambooh Lala.

Other yearly highlights were: Design Academy Eindhoven, Creative Industries Fund with In No Particular Order, Making School and Intensive Care, MU, Sectie C, Dutch Invertuals, Age of Wonderland, Brabant Living Lab, ABN AMRO with Driving Dutch Design and the Hotspots, Kazerne, Modebelofte, BioArt Laboratories, Transnaturals, New Material Award, Zuiderzeemuseum presents Thomas van Eyck, Piet Hein Eek, Kiki & Joost, Van Abbemuseum, Fontys tours, Yksi, TAC, Social Label, Baars & Bloemhoff, Dutch Digital Design, Textielmuseum, VPRO Now Future Evening, Volvo and Click.nl.


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