In five weeks time, Eindhoven will be transformed into one big design exhibition. At the Dutch Design Foundation (DDF) the preparations are already in full swing. However, besides organising Dutch Design Week, DDF is also busy with other projects. One of them is the What if Lab.

In What if Lab, designers are linked to questions from various parties, such as the NS and Marathon Eindhoven. This edition, called Smart Society meets Design, it was with the Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG). During the Demo Day last Thursday, three designers presented their solution to a social issue.

E-Health: ‘Google Maps for the Youth Care’

Together with the municipality of Amsterdam, the design studio Greenberry started working on the question: How can we use technology and data analysis to reduce the chance of being placed out of home?

After a study and a data analysis, the municipality of Amsterdam was able to make a risk profile of young people who are placed out of their home. “It is great data, but we wanted to make an application for youth workers so that they can ensure that fewer young people are actually placed out of their house”, says Arjan de Jager of the Municipality of Amsterdam.

The designers continued with this approach. The end product is ‘an extra team member’, a physical game board where the treatment methods a client has had are placed in a timeline. You take a picture of that in the app that comes with it, which is analysed and finally the app gives the best treatment methods for the client. The aim of this is to ensure that the youth workers also consider other treatment methods, which they may not have thought of themselves, but which do work.

The municipality of Amsterdam plans to support the project further and is in the process of creating a consortium in order to carry out a large-scale pilot project.

Resilience: ‘Nearby’

The Morgenmakers design studio started work in Hoeksche Waard, where five municipalities will be merged as of 1 January 2019. The question that arises here is: ‘How do you make these people feel a part of their municipality and connect with each other?

The solution? A social platform that is both online and offline. With ‘Formula V’, as the designers call the platform, the residents of the island of Zuid-Holland receive a ticket at home for events they would not be taking part in normally. The team behind Formula V makes programmes and invites different types of people every time so that you do not end up in a social bubble. The digital platform serves to support and reflect on the initiative.

The first tests will be held in October and residents of the future municipality will be invited to collect feedback about the platform.
Morgenmakers wants to run a pilot in two municipalities from January to June 2019.

Urban Poverty: ’18+ Box’

As soon as you turn 18, you suddenly get more responsibilities and obligations, which is why Stichting Zwerfjongeren Nederland and Eindhoven designers Eric de Haas and Lucas Maassen want to celebrate that birthday with the 18+ Box. Not with the emphasis on education, but as a congratulation.

The aim of the box is that young people immediately feel taken seriously and receive information in an unconventional way. This should then lead to better-informed youths.
To determine what should be in the box, the designers interviewed 17-year-olds. They received answers ranging from ‘a beer’ to ‘a free driving lesson’. Although the content of the box is not yet definitive, the designers have put several things into the prototype:

  • A beer
  • A business card for a job
  • A form to register for housing
  • An overview of driving schools
  • Forms for insurance
  • A condom
  • A ‘Goldcard

With the Goldcard, young people can choose what they want to do, from a gym to a visit to a psychiatrist, anything is possible.
The information that can be found in the box comes together in a small booklet because as the interviewees themselves say: “There better not be too many leaflets, I will not read them anyway”.
The designers want to do a pilot in Eindhoven with 500 young people.