TEXT BY DDW | PHOTOGRAPHY ALAÏA FONK

Dutch Design Week (DDW) reflects on a successful thirteenth edition. In spite of the autumnal weather, the nine-day Week retained an optimistic atmosphere. It is estimated that the event attracted more than 250,000 visitors.

International stage
Under the banner of the energetic and positive theme UP, the programme showed off work by renowned designers and, following tradition, also offered plenty of space for young talent and experiment. Partly thanks to attention from a large number of professionals from the design world, commerce and media partners, the event demonstrated its purpose as an international stage for design. The weekends were especially busy. The thirty-five VOLVO Design Rides were very popular with the visitors: the free taxis transported approximately 10,000 people each day.

Ambassadors
This year, the DDW ambassadors again made a significant contribution to the week. Artist Arne Hendriks played an active role and, with the projects ‘FATberg’ (mountain of fat) and ‘Age of Wonderland’, showed his strong social engagement. Scholten & Baijings made an intrinsic contribution to the exhibition ‘Design in Full Colour’ and inspired 150 young designers during a successful college tour in the Klokgebouw.

Content
This year, there was a strong focus on the use of existing raw materials and material research. Remarkably enough, this often happened in cooperation, mainly in (temporary) collectives. There was a leading role for social design, a movement offering sustainable alternatives for all sorts of aspects in our society. Martijn Paulen, Dutch Design Week director: ‘During DDW, designers’ drive to create a better world appears to influence other configurations. Designers, but also scientists, artists, inventors, students and other creatives have ideas about and solutions for today’s challenges. They proved that again last week. This is very encouraging.’

Intrinsic connection
Even more so than in previous years, business tours were part of the business package, as well as an elaborate programme including lectures, seminars, workshops, network meetings and talk shows. Personal contacts and intrinsic connections for the future were made between creatives, commerce, manufacturing industry, knowledge institutes and authorities. New this year was ABN AMRO | DDW Business Lounge on the Ketelhuisplein, which acted as a starting point for business tours and a meeting place for knowledge exchange and networking. The business community, among which Volvo, Philips, ABN AMRO, Eneco and Vlisco, literally linked their contacts to the design world.

DDW in figures
Visitors: 250,000+
Designers: 2,400
Events: 387
Locations: 86