Dutch Design Week
Eindhoven, The Netherlands
October 16-24, 2021
Dutch Design Week (DDW) sets a course for a live stage in Eindhoven in 2021, from 16 to 24 October. The biggest design event in Northern Europe presents work and ideas of more than 2000 designers to more than 350,000 visitors from home and abroad. In more than 100 locations across the city, DDW organizes and facilitates exhibitions, lectures, prize ceremonies, networking events, debates, and festivities. Every imaginable discipline and aspect of design is on offer during DDW, but the emphasis is on experiments, innovation, and collaboration. DDW shows how upcoming and experienced designers from the Netherlands and around the world shape a positive future.
DDW looks ahead optimistically and aims for a physical festival in Eindhoven this October. The organization acknowledges that the digital part of DDW is indispensable but emphasizes that the physical event remains the heart of the festival, which is why the organization is working hard to make this happen. Martijn Paulen, DDW Director, explains the decision. “We learned a lot from the virtual DDW in 2020, but it can’t replace the feeling of a live festival. DDW stands for serendipity and chance meetings – new designers, ideas, and vistas that surprise and inspire you unexpectedly. We want to aim for that.” As the organization points out, these relevant encounters are of great importance to participating designers. DDW hopes that in more than six months, they’ll be able to welcome visitors to various locations in accordance with the applicable COVID-19 measures at the time. It is a decision made after consulting with the design community, important partners, and relevant authorities. “Needless to say, alternative plans are in place, but we believe there is a possibility of a physical event by then” adds Paulen. The festival will also be supported by an online program including the 3D Viewing Rooms and DDW TV, which were first introduced in 2020. Both of these will be revised and further developed so that they will work well with the 2021 edition.
After the corona crisis, will we continue on the same road that we’ve been following for the past decades, namely a road built by economic growth? That is a question many people have asked during the last year. DDW doesn’t think so and calls for reflection and change with ‘The Greater Number’. Change should focus more on social values and taking better care of the planet rather than on purely economic reasons. Perhaps less consumption is needed to reduce waste, more sustainable products should be used, or a new change in behavior is required between consumer and product. A future where there is a constant search for a better number – sometimes less, sometimes more but then of higher quality, and sometimes simply different.
Also, when it comes to opportunities and inclusiveness in our society. All of this is captured in the overarching theme ‘The Greater Number’, a quest for the better number. DDW hopes that with this theme, participating designers and partners are inspired to share their vision with the help of various subthemes surrounding the pandemic, wellbeing economy, climate, inclusivity, and the design field.
DDW is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year with a new visual identity that will be developed further in the coming period by Amsterdam-based thonik, founded by designers Nikki Gonnissen and Thomas Widdershoven.