During my stay in the Netherlands, I took the opportunity to attend Dutch Design week. Now in its thirteenth edition, Dutch Design week is an annual event that takes place in Eindhoven from the 18th to the 26th of October, displaying innovations in design, from freelance individuals, to companies and educational establishments.
Dutch Design Week
“I’ve seen the future…. I’ve been in Eindhoven for Dutch Design Week for the past few days and the energy, creativity and imagination I’ve come across has been a revelation.”
– Marcus Fairs, Dezeen. October 24. 2013.(Quote courtesy of http://www.ddw.nl)
UP – Smart solutions. Inventive design. New perspectives. Discover the upward force of design; seek inspiration in the ground-breaking work of a staggering number of designers, optimistic buzz guaranteed
Upon arriving in Eindhoven, my first stop was to a unique store known as ‘onigiri’. Onigiri provides a plethora of products from up and coming artists and designers alongside a wide variety of humorous, inventive and witty gadgets, homeware and their own line of Dutch designed t-shirts
In addition to their stock, the store also offers laser cutting and 3d printing services to produce one-of-a-kind gifts for customers.
This store immediately caught my eye, not just because of the Ultimaker sitting in the window, but because they also had some of Michiel Cornelissen’s jewellery pieces as part of the window display. Overall, I was really impressed with the store and I felt it displayed a great balance between unique designs, quirky gifts and CAD/CAM services.
Another pleasant surprise during ‘Dutch design week’ was the Nano Supermarket; a vehicle that travels around a variety of design events, presenting speculative ‘nanotech’ products to the public. The concept behind the Nano supermarket is not to display products that are currently for sale, but to provide some potential examples of what technological products could be in our shops in 10 years time!
I must admit, a few of the ideas were quite far fetched, including the ‘Menoé uterus pearl’ a contraceptive pill that, over time, would mature into a pearl. However, a lot of other ideas had plausability such as: The Nano ‘Wallsmart’ paint; an interior paint that is supplied with its own phone app, making redecorating a thing of the past and allowing you to change your walls at the touch of a button. We already have lighting that can change via smartphone apps, why not a wall?
To me, Nano supermarket has allowed designers and individuals to think freely about the future of technology and design. Without any of the current constraints of certain processes and materials, this way of thinking really broadens one’s imagination about future products and breaks away from our own mental boundaries when formulating ideas.
Our next stop was ‘Ontdek Fabriek’, an old factory that had been turned into a facility specialising in educating and inspiring students, children and even groups of business men / women to think creatively and explore a hands-on approach to design and craftsmanship.
The factory itself was decked out with a small cafe, green screen, workshop tables and many unique constructions dotted about, such as swings and tricycles. Although this facility was mainly aimed at children and families, it also offered team building courses for companies and schools and the atmosphere was brilliant to experience.
I also visited one of the larger DDW venues ‘Klokgebouw 2014’ which consisted of 4 different themed zones, all demonstrating the future of contemporary design through special projects.
These projects ranged from interiors, to industrial design, platforms in the creative industry and new materials / experimental applications. One of the main projects featured three completely solar-powered racing cars and I was also very interested in the projects that specialised in using new technologies and 3D design to aid medical care for children. One in particular ‘Designed to fit’ used 3D images of children’s faces, compiling data to produce a more ergonomic, mechanical ventilation mask.
In addition to that, I also got to view some of the top 3D printed jewellery companies, including : Olajewelry, dyvsign and oform. These were very exciting for me, as I got to compare the variations in 3dprinted jewellery styles and inform myself more about the direction of CAD/CAM in jewellery.
Unfortunately, I was not able to attend every stall or venue, but from what I did see, I was amazed by the diversity of the projects presented and it has definitely broadened my perspective of contemporary design, as well as highlighting to me that 3D technologies can provide so much more than just an accurate and precise print.
To top off the day, I also got to pay a visit to Eindhovens largest skate park, Area 51!