At the end of October each year, Dutch Design Week takes over venues throughout Eindhoven, Netherlands. It’s Northern Europe’s biggest design event, presenting the work and ideas of over 2500 local, national and international designers over nine days. The event features exhibitions, workshops, seminars, lectures, ceremonies, networking events and parties all focused on innovative, experimental and futuristic design. For 9 whole days, DDW boasts 100 locations, presenting the processes, experiments and ideas, answers and solutions thought up by 2500 designers. Come and be amazed, surprised or astonished. Ask yourself new questions, draw inspiration for your own answers and allow the power of design to convince you.
DDW first began to select a theme for the week in 2012. The themes serve as the heart of the annual public campaigns developed around the event, and provide designers, companies and other participants with a starting point on which to base exhibitions, presentations, gatherings and the like. This year themed is ‘Stretch’.
By choosing ‘Stretch’ as the theme, the organisation behind DDW (Dutch Design Foundation) aims to encourage both participants and the general public to get involved and dare to break out of their comfort zone. Martijn Paulen, Director Dutch Design Foundation, explains: ‘Today’s world is complex and poses enormous challenges. Designers have revolutionary ideas and innovative solutions for the future. Sometimes inspiring, sometimes confrontational. In this sense, Dutch design is yoga for the brain. Stretching exercises for people who don’t want to get stuck in their ways.’
‘Stretch’ is the essence of design. By stretching your mind, you create space to innovate. To change direction, the way you work, your environment and vison of the world. To transcend boundaries and define the new standard. In cooperation with agency Fabrique a public campaign is developed to support the theme.
André Bouwman, creative director of Fabrique: ‘To create the campaign, we stretched the bounds of key design themes such as uniqueness, originality and ownership. We teamed up with 15 leading designers to transform existing work into new and unknown forms. The result was a series of exciting, aesthetic images. And, sometimes, completely absurd ones.’
The organisation expects 2500 participants to attend this year, presenting work and concepts in more than 100 locations throughout the city. Highlights include the Graduation Show of Design Academy Eindhoven, the award of the annual Dutch Design Awards and Dutch Invertuals. The Van Abbemuseum, Kazerne, MU, Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie, Piet Hein Eek, Sectie-C, TAC and Yksi will be organising exhibitions again this year. For this year’s edition, Het Klokgebouw (under the art directorship of Overtreders W) welcomes, among others, Mind the Step, a collaboration between the Universities of Technology TU/e, TUD and UT.