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During Dutch Design Week, E52 will be introducing you to the festival’s Hidden Gems. Ten special designers who we feel are the stand-outs of this edition. A different Hidden Gem will enjoy the limelight each day of DDW. Today: Hannah van Luttervelt (designer and board member Sectie-C)

What Human Browser
By Hannah van Luttervelt and Michèle Degen
Where Sectie-C

“What is value? We’re used to put a price tag on everything. I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing, if everything is becoming a transaction.” Hannah van Luttervelt, designer and board member of Sectie-C, is speaking. Once again, she’s on DDW this year, together with Michèle Degen.


“What is actually a good question?”Hannah Luttervelt, Human Browser

The collaboration with Michèle often focuses on the question: what is value? Last time (two years ago) the two of them were there with ‘Steenrijk’. An experiment to go deeper into the concept of value. Visitors could buy lemonade with rocks. The value of a rock was determined by means of a score form on which points could be obtained based on shape, colour and weight. But the story also plays a part in the valuation. The pebble your grandmother gave you when you were a child has a totally different ‘price’ than the pebble you found on the road yesterday.

For Hannah and Michèle, it’s all about the value of truth during this DDW. Everything can be googled and everyone connects it with his own reality. The information we’re thinking to look for reaches us through algorithms. Hannah: “It seems like information is no longer something that’s stored in our brains, but that is has been completely outsourced to the internet. How critical are we of the answers we obtain this way? And, maybe even more interesting: why is the question you’re asking so important to you?”

“During the DDW, we present an analogue search engine. You go into a booth with a headset on and with a screen in front of you. You first choose Dutch or English, then a brief explanation follows. What, for example, is a good question? When you’re ready, you’ll be connected live to the back office. One of us will answer your question as well as possible. But we’ll especially focus on: what are you asking exactly? What do you already know about it yourself? And is there an even more important underlying question for you?”

The Human Browser can be find at Sectie-C, the home base of Hannah. There are working around two hundred designers, entrepreneurs and makers on the site. That is noticeable during the telephone interview which is interrupted every now and then with: “Hold on, someone’s using a saw!”.

There will be around twenty five exhibitions at Sectie-C during DDW. “The design is a bit different from last year. First, everyone enters through a big hall. Here is an exhibition of Sander Wassing and Jelle Mastenbroek as an introduction to the diversity of the works made on Sectie-C. On the site, you can find 3D printed carpets and a project with eight Human Right Defenders, to a shop that buys special museum pieces.

Everyone is welcome, but remember, the analogue search engine has limited opening hours: you can submit your question every day between 1pm and 5pm.

The ten hidden gems of DDW came about in collaboration with Dutch Design Daily and curator Katja Lucas of DDW. Do you want to admire the hidden gems yourself? Every day, Urban Exploring Tours and KOGA bikes organize a special bike tour along the selected designers. Find out more here.

Translation by Anneke Maas