Author profile picture

What is the future of technology and what does this mean for our daily lives? How do technological developments take place and how can we all play a role in this? From 6 June onwards, the ground floor and first floor of the former V&D building in the city center will be transformed into the Warehouse of Innovation for 7 months.

Six weeks ago, initiators Harm Rensink, Ellen Albers, and Nicole Dillisse were told that a programme could be developed in the 1700m2 of available space until 31 December. A mega project in which many parties are now involved and for which three themes have been developed: Energy, Mobility and Smart city.

“Our aim is to introduce the latest innovations from the region to a wider audience within these themes. And not in locations like the High Tech Campus or the TU/e, but in the middle of the city for a longer period of time. Open, accessible, soft, playful and adventurous. Literally between people and aimed at all ages. By doing so, we also want to make the city more attractive as a progressive place to live in.”

In addition to lectures and presentations, visitors can also expect new introductions to technological and innovative highlights with pop-up exhibitions.

“Because we as initiators offer space to the business community, government institutions, tech students, designers, startups and partners from the education and technology sectors, an interesting mix will be created, in which new relationships and connections can ultimately be made”, Harm Rensink expects. “Warehouse of Innovation will be a journey of discovery along a testing ground for new developments with the possibility for participating companies to see how people react to them.”

That insight and the interaction, connection and awareness about the developments in Eindhoven is an important pillar for the initiators. Rensink: “Just as the electronic music of the future took place at the Natlab in the 1950s, there is now also a lot of invisible what deserves a place in this department store”.

On the first floor the Ministry of Defence with 20 men and women is already busy preparing for the development of a boot camp with the latest military techniques, a climbing wall to go from ground floor to first floor, VR, a flight simulator and an observation deck to look outside. This exhibition will be on display for four months.

V&D buitenkant

Brainport Development, TU/e, Eindhoven Airport, Philips, Dutch Design Foundation, Fontys Art Code and the Design Academy have also joined the programme development programme. Expect the Stella Lux, for example, a speaker corner, an interactive installation to walk through and the exploded car: where all parts hang in the air as frozen before they come together. Other tech start-ups, companies and schools will be announced in the coming weeks.

Artist Piet Berman will provide the hospitality industry with a focus on healthy eating and exercise. Free pop-up workspaces, open-source meeting spaces and exhibition spaces can be booked during the whole process. The Dutch Design Week and Dutch Technology Week – both major crowd-pullers – are connected.

Rensink sees Dutch Technology Week as an excellent opportunity “because the event still has few satellite exhibitions and because we are working with schools that we would like to invite for a visit. We hope that children will be inspired by everything they see and will want to work in the high-tech sector later on.”

If it turns out that there is a continued need after 31 December, the initiators will try to make it work. “We will then take a serious look at where we can go on with it.” They don’t exclude the Stationsplein where there are plans for a Brainport Experience Centre, “we call on real estate owners to keep an eye on us in the coming months!”

trappengat V&DThe owner of V&D plans to redevelop the property into retail, homes and offices in 2019. But for now it is still empty, raw and especially dark with a pigeon colony as inhabitants. From the ground floor, one can look five floors to the roof, through the opening where once the escalators were. Rensink does not see this as a problem at all. “No worries, we give everything a color with cool walls and a decoration that fits the themes. It will be an exciting temporary arena, which will really come alive and where we will make a programme with each other and with you. Just wait, join, see and experience!”

Warehouse of Innovation is open in the former V&D from 6 June to the end of December 2018: Wednesday to Sunday from 11:00 to 18:00, and Fridays until 21:00.

On other evenings, the warehouse is normally not open, unless there is a theme evening, such as a LadiesNight from the Ministry of Defence or a brainstorming evening with technical students and all parties.

Interested companies, initiators and anyone who feels attracted to make a contribution within the pillars Mobility, Health and Energy can report to: [email protected] 0618809352.