Maxima DDW

Dutch Design Week, which had its last day today, atracted almost 300,000 vistors, a record number. “We look back on a successful 15th edition”, says Raffaela Vandermühlen, head of PR. “Eindhoven manifested itself as the centre of design and the future showcasing work of 2500 designers during the nine days of the festival. Their ideas and solutions give us a new perspective on current topics and issues, as well as make DDW an event with global impact.”

Under the banner of the theme ‘The making of’, the 15th edition focused on the making process and the makers. The event showed a lot of work from renowned designers, but also, like every year, allowed young talent and the experiment to thrive. This took place in more than 430 curated exhibitions and presentations spread across 100 locations in the city.

Martijn Paulen, director Dutch Design Foundation: “More than ever, DDW has shown itself to be a manifestation by and for the designers and leaders from the entire (inter)national creative industry. These days, design is both a cultural and an enterprising phenomenon attracting attention and interest across the board. DDW demonstrates that we have to let go of the ‘old’, limited definition of design and approach it as a creative mentality with an impact that is growing exponentially.”

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    The DDW ambassadors made a key contribution to the week. Autonomous designer Maarten Baas explored the possibilities of interdisciplinary working and encouraged visitors and colleagues to look beyond borders with his exhibition Maarten Baas Makes Time. Designer Bas van Abel emphasised the role of design in social issues and the development of sustainable products. With his new exhibition The Making of Your World he focused the attention on new schools of thought that can make the world better and fairer.

    Royal visit

    On Tuesday 25 October, Queen Máxima surprised the week with a visit. She looked at the exhibitions The Making of Your World and Mind the Step by the three Dutch universities of technology in the Klokgebouw. She also talked to ten designers about the status of Dutch design and the development of a new, hybrid practice in which design, art, architecture, communication and gaming can hardly be distinguished from each other anymore. (see main picture)

    Dutch Design Awards

    Christien Meindertsma
    Christien Meindertsma

    On Saturday 29 October the annual Dutch Design Awards were presented. Designer Christien Meindertsma convinced the international jury on all fronts. Her FLAX Chair won the Product and the Future Award (the prize for the most promising design of the future). Prizes were awarded in six categories. The encouragement prize for young talent (Young Designer Award) was for Tom van Soest. Brabantia received the Best Client Award. Crystal Houses by MVRDV won the Public Award.


    New this year was the cooperation between Kickstarter and Dutch Design Foundation. The two launched the very first crowdfunding page for Dutch design, on which acquisition campaigns for 11 design projects were started. All the concepts were on show during DDW in a special retrospective exhibition in the Kazerne. The first alderman of design in the Netherlands, Mary-Ann Schreurs, secured a font designed specifically for people with dyslexia (developed by Christian Boer) for all the schools and residents of Eindhoven during the final auction.

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    About the author

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