People's Pavillion DDW17 World Design Event Ketelhuisplein

Dutch Design Week 2017 received 335,000 visitors. This is almost 14% more than last year, when a record number of 295,000 visitors could be counted. The proportion of visitors from abroad also increased further (from 12 to 18%), which means that one of the Dutch Design Foundation’s objectives was achieved. Raffaela Vandermühlen, head of brand strategy and pr at DDF, is “hugely pleased” about the increase in visits, “but also about the way we have all accomplished this.”

The growth was partly caused by the World Design Event, which was set up next to Dutch Design Week for the first time. This also led to international growth. Vandermühlen: “This is what you work for the whole year around, with the whole team. You can only dream of such a result and if that dream comes true, then you can only be very happy.”

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    Vandermühlen sees highlights in many areas. “Of course, DDW is and will remain a bottom up festival, the biggest success is in the way all those designers make Dutch Design Week. If they are satisfied, then we are satisfied too. Special extras this year were the contributions of the ambassadors. Marcus Fairs’ talks about “Good Design for a Bad World” in the People’s Pavillion were very popular, as was the (W)Ego installation of Winy Maas on the market.”

    Vandermühlen was also very pleased with the series of programmes that the VPRO broadcasted on NPO2 during the week: “Toekomstmakers“. It presented eight young designers and their solutions for the future. Dave Hakkens was the winner at the end of the series with his project Precious Plastic. “It was a very welcome opportunity for us to get our content to the public in a different way. And of course we were very happy with the review that NRC wrote about it: ‘In two episodes of Toekomstmakers we heard more interesting things than all together in a whole week of tv’, they wrote, yes, of course, that’s what we like to hear!”

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    Author profile picture Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of