Dutch Design Week is back and will take place from 21 to 29 October 2023 in Eindhoven! Always committed to cataloging and presenting the design of the future and the future of design, this year the festival introduces something new: ten programme themes to help all the different types of designers and the great diversity of visitors navigate through the festival. These themes consist of various ‘missions’ and ‘design perspectives’ that shape the entire program and activities of the event. As always, DDW also welcomes group exhibitions, schools and archives. (Cover image, DDW 22, Envisions, ph. Britt Roelse)
The programme themes of Dutch Design Week 2023
To give an idea of the new programme, each theme is associated to one of the many events to visit. Based on what is going on in the design community and within society, DDF has distilled the following missions:
- Achieving our equal society. To achieve equality in society, we must (re)design systems and interactions that value everyone. Safety, inclusiveness and connection are key here. In the city center at the Van Abbemuseum it will be possible to see The space between us – Who or what determines the function of an object? Van Abbemuseum’s exhibition questions the function of design and the role of the museum.
- Boosting our health & well-being. Designs that structurally improve our quality of life – from the food we eat to healthcare and personal well-being – and that contribute to the most precious thing we have: our health. At the Albert van Abbehuis will take place A Bite of Void – this exhibition invites visitors to contemplate the potholes of their lives and what a ‘better future’ would truly look like.
- Challenging our digital future. Our digital realities and future are being explored to the full and influenced by designers, from virtual worlds to artificial intelligence and from global platforms to individual experiences. In the Strijp-S area | Manifestations presents Art Tech Fun AI Robots eGirls – 50 artists of the future show an eccentric examination of the (mis)matches between people and technology.
- Creating our living environment. Designing our living environment, mobility and the materials we use to create them goes hand-in-hand with shaping our own quality of life. At Hallenweg, with From grass to green, Blank Fish presents a green vision of electric cars and defunct gas stations repurposed as urban farms.
- Enabling our thriving planet. For a healthy planet, design must enhance the power of nature, or at the very least not stand in its way. At the Station it will be possible to see Will Water Want, an exhibition that investigates the will and voice of the Dommel river through a series of objects that interact with the flow of water.
The Design Perspectives of the Dutch Design Foundation (which organizes the DDW) aims to investigate the different aspects of the designer’s profession:
- Speculative and social design. In the west of Eindhoven Next Nature and Evoluon present Spacefarming, an exhibition on the future of food and how we can feed 10 billion people in 2050.
- Product & craft design. In the canal zone, with Perpetuum Mobile Kiki & Joost showcase the poetic beauty of creation and the dynamic nature of works in progress
- Service & Innovative design. Location Strijp-S, Klokgebouw. With Kiwi – Ending painful sex, Nienke Helder and Ohnut share their design and research into pelvic health.
- Independent & critical design. Also in the canal area, with Lichtspiel Zalán Szakács invites visitors to descend into the basement of Koelhuis Eindhoven for an embodied experience on the intersection of mysticism and technology.
- Signature & Collectible design. In the Works will take place in the brand-new area of Woensel. It showcases a collection of experiments from the workshop of Atelier Max Lipsey.
DDW is experimenting with this registration method for the first time this year and is researching the possibilities of linking certain themes to specific locations. What is certain, is that the ten programme themes will form the basis for routes, meet-ups, events, tours and all kinds of other activities during DDW for the next three years. This should create more clarity in the overarching programme, the wayfinding and the presentation of what is often an overwhelming amount of work.
There will be no shortage of events that respond to multiple themes, such as the two exhibitions by Isola (back to the DDW for the fifth consecutive year): Nothing Happens If Nothing Happens at the Schellens Fabriek, a former factory space in Eindhoven’s city center, close to the well-known Van Abbemuseum, and Tools&Crafts in Fuutlaan 12c.