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A sneak peek into the DDW18 Design Routes

Navigate your way through the wonders of the Dutch Design Week by following one of the eight design routes. This article is regularly updated to provide you with up to date sneak peeks into what each route entails. Pick a design route that resonates with you, find the starting point – and enjoy! No matter which one you choose, you’re likely to experience everything from the work of talented young designers to the latest technical innovations.
Makers and Craft

From Sectie-C to Plan B, the Makers & Craft Route explicitly links design and hands-on creation.

Design is made through hard work with bare hands, and that is precisely what you can see at the Makers and Craft route. Visit the workshops where designers are hard at work on their newest creations, young designers that find new ways to use materials and students that show what crafting new design is all about.

Annemoon Geurts of Kazerne talks about the craft of design: “As a designer myself, I think the making and crafting is where it starts every time. All the designers start with their hands, and this can end up in beautiful Industrial products but also in products that stay like craftwork. For instance, we are handcrafting here day; it’s a social design project. We do have autonomous design, so the crafting is in all of design represented.”

Architecture and Public Space

From the best of what architecture’s young talent has to offer at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) to the Dutch Design Award winners at Veem, the Architecture & Public Space Route contemplates new design concepts for the future of building, urban transformation and public space.

The whole environment around us is designed, from your couch to your car and even the building you live in. The Architecture and Public Space route explores this further and looks at how we will live in the future. From a 3D printed bridge to the imagination of freshly graduated architects, you can look into the future at Dutch Design Week.

Jan Belon of the Embassy of Urban Transformation explains what is so important about unveiling new forms of architecture: “Here at the Embassy of Urban Transformation, we show architecture from the point of view of designers and experimentation. All the work we expose here is focused on experimenting in public space, more participation and a new form of collaboration between governments and designers. I think that is the key to the future of architecture.”

Bio Design Route

From the impressive new BioArt Laboratories to the Embassy of Water at Hallenweg, the Bio Design Route gets you up to speed on this rapidly-developing field.

When design and technology come together, great things can be created, but when they are combined with nature, amazing things happen. New ways of growing food, new sustainable and natural materials, answers on the questions of today’s problem can be found along the Bio Design Route.

Jalila Essaïdi of BioArt Laboratories is one of the designers that is finding these answers: “At BioArt Laboratories we work at the crossover between biotechnology and creative industry, and we look at nature and the beautiful materials nature offers us. So here we have fourteen designers, young talents who are working with future materials and are offering a glimpse into a sustainable world.”

Digital Route

From the site of the famous Philips NATLAB to the new Campina Area, our Digital Route investigates the boundaries of the digital and physical world through design.
From art made with computers to realities that offer experiences far beyond our wildest dreams, the influence of digital technology is clearly present at Dutch Design Week. Along the Digital Route, you can see the future of news, robots that give us a sneak preview of the future and the possibilities that technology has to offer.

Tim van der Grinten, a co-founder of the virtual reality centre Enversed explains the meaning of digital design: “Digital Design for us as Enversed is exploring ways to create valuable virtual or digital experiences and create value for our customers. What you see here in the exhibition, most things are about gaming, so in that sense, our design challenge is to create experiences that are vivid, are fun to do and create social interaction. While in more serious business applications you see that visualisation, realism and for instance, real-time rendering are more important, to people how to use machines or other things, and that is what we show in this expo.”

Social Design Route

From downtown Eindhoven to Piet Hein Eek, our Social Design Route investigates how designers can strengthen our social fabric, raise awareness for social issues, help create an inclusive society and promote new cultural behaviour.
Not only are a lot of designers thinking about circularity, sustainability and the environment, they are also thinking about the social aspect of design. How can you help people with design and how do you involve people in the design process? Discover it along the Social Design Route!

Ron Krielen, of the design studio Bron van Doen, does precisely that, involve people in design: “T-Slagerij is a project where we make rope from old t-shirts. There is a big sustainable part in this project, the way we link it to social design is that we make the process available and educational for a large group of vulnerable people.”

New Materials Route

From the Campina Area to Strijp T+R, our New Materials Route showcases how designers are not only creating new products, but also the materials they are made from.
Faux Leather made from coffee grounds, a chair made out of leftover denim or a sneaker made of chewing gum. There are a lot of new applications for waste products to see at Dutch Design Week. The New Materials route explores this theme and shows solutions to the problems we face today.

Sylvie van Oost of the New Material Award emphasises the importance of this theme: “To me, the new material award is really important because it deals with the question of running out of non-renewable resources that we face in this world today. Designers that take part in this exhibition really think about solutions to deal with that problem.”

Sneak peek into the Future Living Route

From the Innovation Powerhouse to Robot Love at the Campina Area, the Future Living Route captures how technology is helping shape our world into a better, healthier and maybe even more social place – but also how we are shaped by technology.

All designers look at the future differently, they see the future in dystopian robots and interconnected cars. At the crossroads of design and technology is where the future is made. You can see the latest technologies of the three Dutch technical universities and artist impressions of the future along the Future Living route. So do you want a sneak preview of the future? Then explore the future of living at Dutch Design Week.

Annelies Termeer, of the VPRO Medialab, talks about what Future Living could be: “Here at Home Smart Home, a project of VPRO Medialab, we explore the future of living together with smart devices. In the future, we will all have a smart speaker, a smart fridge and a smart TV. How will these impact our lives? At the Van Abbehuis, we present four scenarios, showing how this could work out in the future. We really want people to start thinking how do we want this in our lives, what role do we want smart devices to play and how far should this go?”

Sneak peek into the Art and Collectables Route

From Plan B to Sectie-C, our Art & Collectables Route examines how the borders between design and art are blurring.

When you think about design, you often think about beautiful objects for everyday use. The Art and Collectables Route is a combination of that and art, exploring projects that find themselves on the thin-line between art and design. From unique lighting to an art experience, art and collectables are a vital part of Dutch Design Week (DDW). Visit young designers and experienced artists by walking the Art & Collectables route.

Oskar Peet, one of the founders of design studio Os ∆ Oos, explains the importance of the Art and Collectables route: “Collectables are important for us because when we graduated from the Design Academy, we had to make our work. We had to show the world what we can do, with the hope of later on putting our works into production. So I think it is fitting that we are a part of the Art and Collectables Route, along with the other students that we have chosen to join us, the young generation.”

The routes are a great way to experience DDW, but they are by no means exhaustive. All of the routes are easy to navigate: walk using Google Maps via the relevant route page (Future Living routeArt & Collectables Route, New Materials Route, Digital Route), jump in a design ride or hop on a bus when your feet start complaining.