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How will we live in 2040?

06 March 2020

Sebastiaan Sanders, director of Leolux during DDW talks: Future Living at DDW19 © Paul Marques Da Cruz
Last Dutch Design Week (DDW), we joined forces with our partners to organise DDW talks, a new curated talks programme. Together with key figures from the field of design and beyond, we explored a diversity of design disciplines, discussed current affairs, reflected on the past and looked towards the future. On Tuesday 22 October, we teamed up with Frame and Leolux to organise ‘DDW Talks: Future Living'.

DDW talks: Future Living explored the future of living from various angles. The day was moderated by Frame director Robert Thiemann. He too looks back on a great first edition: ‘Frame collaborated with the DDW team on a programme that offered an exciting mix of visions for the future of living. From Winy Maas’s insights into how the architectural production is increasingly becoming the result of co-creation to Anna Dekker’s take on co-living and Paula Strunden’s mixed-reality spaces.

‘Our talks programme at DDW discussed some of the most pressing issues of our time.’ - Robert Thiemann

MVRDV's Winy Maas kicked off the talks programme and shared his vision on architecture and the increasing importance of co-creation. Subsequently, Sebastiaan Sanders, director of Leolux, shared the results of the project with What if Lab about shaping our living environment according to our needs in 2030. Anna Dekker of Studio LONK then gave her view on the concept of co-living. Paula Strunden of Soft Bodies presented mixed-reality spaces to unite the physical and virtual world. Julian Ellerby spoke on behalf of Franklin Till about the positive impact of spaces in which users have full control. And designer Johannes Torpe finally emphasised the urgency of incorporating Storytelling into interior design.

MVRDV - Winy Maas

Winy Maas, co-founder and principal architect of MVRDV, spoke about the shifts in the field of architecture and how architectural production is increasingly becoming the result of co-creation. He illustrated this by means of a recent project that revolves around creating toolkits enabling users to systematically tailor - and adapt - their direct and shared living spaces.

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Leolux - Sebastiaan Sanders | Soft Bodies - Paula Strunden | Studio Lonk - Anna Dekker

Sebastiaan Sanders, director of the family-owned company Leolux, shared his vision of living in 2040. He also shared the results of the What if Lab in which they, as commissioners, challenged designers to think about the way in which the industry can already respond to the needs of our personal living environment in 2030. The different What if Lab projects were elaborated by designers Paula Strunden (Soft Bodies) and Anna Dekker (Studio LONK). 

Co-founder and designer Paula Strunden spoke about Soft Bodies, a project of the eponymous, interdisciplinary design studio based in Amsterdam and London. Soft Bodies is a project at the intersection of virtual reality and craftmanship, and was one of the three finalists in the design challenge of Leolux and What if Lab.

Anna Dekker, sociologist and co-founder of Studio LONK, presented the future of living from the perspective of their Filter Family project. The winning project of the What if Lab with Leolux consists of a 12 metre long Leolux Ponton sofa and 14 built-in sliding panels allowing the user to define his own personal space. By moving the panels, you can hear a matching sound.

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Franklin Till - Julian Ellerby

What is the purpose of a designated workstation if you can work anywhere in the first place? Julian Ellerby, strategic director of research agency Franklin Till, spoke about the positive impact for the user of experiencing more autonomy in the environment in which the user operates.

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Johannes Torpe Studios - Johannes Torpe

Adding personal identity and collective context in spaces and objects is central to the work of Johannes Torpe, creative director of the eponymous design studio in Copenhagen. In his talk he stressed the importance of using Storytelling for architects and designers.

*Due to Copyright issues regarding the use of a Bob Dylan song in the presentation, the final 30 seconds of Johannes' talk have been muted by YouTube. In case you would like to receive the conclusion, please contact us via e-mail

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