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Contemporary Icons

The following weeks we’ll look back at DDW defining the key thematic storylines and coinciding content of 2020. Let's look back to the first DDW20 theme: Contemporary Icons. 

Now design weeks, festivals and trade fairs have been removed from the agenda, the design community has lost the possibility to showcase its product portfolio and innovations In Real Life. Entering this new reality a model needs to be found to serve the needs of a new generation icons to make a living. What is the new framework, the practical realities and ethics of creative practice now, and what are the futures made possible by the global 'reset' which is currently underway?

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DDW Talks: Contemporary Icons

In DDW Talks: Contemporary Icons, we discussed the world before COVID 19 together with museum director and founder Jeroen van Mastrigt of museum Nowhere, star designer Sabine Marcelis, David Mahyari, CEO of natural stone company Solid Nature and artist Victor Sonna. How can we still experience material tactility in a virtual driven society, a new reality due to COVID 19? Rewatch the DDW Talk below.

The new generation icons

Several DDW20 designers created a 3D Viewing Room to share their view and ideas. One of these is The Care Water Closet (CWC), a toilet that proposes a future scenario of the everyday toilet, mobilised with care tools for the ‘normal human'. The CWC is more than a closet that recycles water and provides new senses of care normality: It also deals with what has been mentally and physically flushed away by humans. The water here is dealt with as a physical entity to care for, and as an abstraction of dealing with distressing emotions.

During DDW20, art and design collective Oost-C presented the immersive exhibition Living Space. Various disciplines and elements came together in an ever-changing composition. Because the composition of the objects changed, a completely new image was created every day. These changes were captured both live (in their movement) and at fixed moments (stills) by a professional photographer / filmmaker.

Furthermore, the online exhibition Relativistic Objects challenged contemporary behaviours and life habits related to the way we conceive and perceive the passing of time. The objects speak to anyone interested in redefining the way we approach and experience our lives, and emphasize the importance of physical interaction.

VPRO Ambassador Talks

For VPRO Ambassador Talks, Pieter van der Wielen spoke with former DDW Ambassador Winy Maas (2018) and DDW Ambassador Sabine Marcelis (2020) about the way their work has been changed due to the corona crisis. Sabine Marcelis immediately explains how she implemented this in her ambassadorship: 'How can I do justice to my objects without physically experiencing them? She collaborated with Dimenco and used an eye tracking technique. Winy Maas used to fly around the world on a weekly basis and shows his interest in communication when you can't (physically) see each other. Check it out below!

DDW20 livestreams

During DDW20, a lot of designers broadcasted their own livestreams via One of these was Karaoke Discourse; three evenings full of ‘misunderstandings’. Through performances, quiz shows, face-swapping, conference calls and group discussions an attempt was made to understand the complex world around us and the role that objects and media play in it. The Master Institute of Visual Cultures by St. Joost School of Art & Design in 's-Hertogenbosch presented Inside Out, a tour through their graduation show. By the way, more talent could be discovered in the Talent Tour by Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie.

Virtual tour

Finally, (IM)POSSIBLE BODIES presented an interactive exhibition experience about cyborgs, data and AI, to be discovered online through augmented realities with (ro)bots, 3D artworks and custom-made virtual avatars that meet in a comprehensive, shared sensory digital experience. (IM)POSSIBLE BODIES is the follow-up of ROBOT LOVE - also from the Niet Normaal INT Foundation - which was a great success in 2017/2018 during DDW in Eindhoven. Check out the virtual tour of all (IM)POSSIBLE BODIES participants below!

All DDW20 themes

Curious about the other thematic storylines of DDW20? View all DDW themes here.