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The Dutch Design Week 2018 has been opened at the old Campina factory yesterday. The theme of this edition: If not us, then Who? Until Sunday the 28th of October, the city of Eindhoven is all about design.

Martijn Paulen, Director of the Dutch Design Foundation, explained this year’s theme: “If not us, then who? It is about our world. Everything around us is designed. Streets, buildings, bikes, cars and clothes, you name it. We live in an entirely designed world. That means it is up to designers to create this world because if not you, then who? But it’s also up to us, the consumers, we make decisions every day in what we buy, because If not me, then who? So it is really up to us to design our future, because If not us, then who?”

While the host of the evening, Lucas de Man, put everybody on stage on the spot with a rapid fire of questions, the mayor of Eindhoven, John Jorritsma, talked about the position of design in the city of Eindhoven: “Design is inexplicably connected with Eindhoven, it’s in our DNA. Design, technology and knowledge are vital for our city, the smartest region of the world. We are working on the future of our citizens; we create their future here.”

Ingrid Van Engelshoven, the minister of Education, Culture and Science, discussed the importance of design: “Education, culture and science all come together in design. When I look at Dutch designers, I see that they are good at cooperation and making design accessible to anyone. We have a lot of big challenges ahead, climate change and reinventing education for example, and designers are finding solutions.” She also spoke about what she does to help young designers: “It is a long way to go from the design academy to being a great designer, so I want to support new talents and give them space to be creative without needing to be successful from day one. We need to give them space to fail sometimes. We are creating new funding for young talent and are Also creating an atmosphere where creative people and artist can be appreciated for what they do. In the end, it is about adding beauty to society.” Asked about what her role is she answered: “It’s kicking some ass sometimes, that is what a minister needs to do, that’s why I wear high heels, for kicking some ass!”

Read all our stories about Dutch Design Week 2018 here: