Dutch Design Week 2021

The Greater Number

Details

In October of each year, Dutch Design Week (DDW) takes place in Eindhoven. The biggest design event in Northern Europe presents work and ideas of more than 2600 designers to more than 350,000 visitors from home and abroad. In more than 110 locations across the city, DDW organizes and facilitates exhibitions, lectures, prize ceremonies, networking events, debates, and festivities.

Although during the event every imaginable discipline and aspect of the design is on offer, the emphasis is on the experiment, innovation, and cross-overs. Exceptional attention each year goes to the work and the development of young talent.

DDW concentrates on the design of the future and the future of design. It is our objective to show how designers from around the world shape a positive future and to strengthen the position and meaning of Dutch designers

For 2021, Dutch Design Week (DDW) has chosen the overarching theme of ' The Greater Number', the quest for the better number. With this theme, DDW on the one hand calls for less. Less consumption, less production, and therefore less waste. On the other hand, we know less isn't always possible and that when it comes to more, it should be better. In other words, more sustainable products with more value, so that consumers deal with products differently. The theme is about striving to change the behavior of consumers and manufacturers. By looking for renewed value between consumer and product, we can move towards changes in design practices.

Dutch Design Week introduces its 2021 ambassadors
Floris Alkemade, Natsai Audrey Chieza, and Christien Meindertsma are the ambassadors of the 20th edition of Dutch Design Week (DDW). They are developing three unique projects especially for this year's event, giving their own interpretation of the DDW theme The Greater Number – our quest for the "better number" – a response to humanity's rampant addiction to growth.

Christien Meindertsma
Designer and artist Christien Meindertsma has been invited to develop a project that explores the relationship between objects and people. In her work, Meindertsma delves deeper into the origins, value, and meaning of materials and products. Her interactive installation and exhibition Body of Elements can be seen in Microlab (Strijp-S) during DDW21. Meindertsma: "In 2007 I made the book PIG05059 and used it to show the staggering number of products in which an average pig ends up. Now, in the year 2021, I wonder, What am I made of? Where do my elements and particles come from? Where do they go? Without being aware of it in everyday life, we are connected to places all over the world through the very matter from which we are made. Our body—like many products—is only a temporary stopover for the elements that form the universe. With this new project Body of Elements, I want to work with interaction designer Joel Gethin Lewis to show how these elements stay in our bodies for a while and then move on."

Natsai Audrey Chieza
Natsai Audrey Chieza, founder and CEO of Faber Futures, was invited as an ambassador to develop the project Bio Stories for DDW21. In it, she explores the complex dynamics surrounding synthetic biology: the design of living organisms. Chieza: "Technology and design have played an important role in creating a world where nature cannot thrive. But it's in our power to change that. This means that we
have to recognize that synthetic biology is not about designing stuff, but about designing systems in which prosperity, care, and equality are central." This type of design raises strong reactions and various ethical and fundamental questions about the role of design in relation to nature. That's why Natsai Audrey Chieza is presenting the project Bio Stories at DDW21: a three-day forum in which she engages the Dutch design community on what kind of relationships we want to have with nature. Bio Stories is a prelude to the work Chieza is developing at the World Economic Forum Global Futures Council on Synthetic Biology. In this council, she will bring real ideas, insights, and provocations from local dialogues to the table.

Floris Alkemade
At DDW21, architect and former Chief Government Architect Floris Alkemade will present, on behalf of the Board of Government Advisors and together with World Design Embassies, an exhibition in the form of a labyrinth. Alkemade: "The road to the future is not a straight line, but a continuous search, wandering and changing direction. The project is about finding new ways, looking at things differently. Change is an art that requires improvisation, audacity, and imagination." The exhibition is a translation of his essay 'The Future of the Netherlands. The Art of Changing Direction'. In it, he describes the great challenges we face as a country and how we can provide answers to complex issues such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, as well as housing shortages, aging, and loneliness.

About DDW
Over the past 20 years, DDW has made a name for itself as a festival that shows the design of the future and the future of design. An objective that highlights how creative minds from around the world shape a positive future. As such, DDW thinks it’s even more important to show, explore, and discuss the research, ideas, and developments that can impact the years and decades to come. You can read more about this year’s theme, The Greater Number, here.

World Design Embassies
World Design Embassies, a programme of Dutch Design Foundation, deploys the power of design to develop new perspectives and concrete solutions for societal challenges. Together with alliances of partners, we invest in embassies of the future, working on themes such as health, safety, mobility, sustainability, and inclusiveness. World Design Embassies is a year-round programme that culminates in Dutch Design Week.
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