Craft and material as guiding principles

Last Dutch Design Week (DDW), we teamed up 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 Saturday 26 October, we joined forces with Crafts Council Nederland and Ma-tt-er to organise 'DDW Talks: Craft & New Materials’.


During the programme of DDW talks: Craft & New Materials, we talked about the meaning of craft and materials, their key role for the development of design products and the challeges designers face when upscaling experiments for industrial applications. The day was moderated by Oli Stratford, editor-in-chief of Disegno Magazine, media partner of the talk. 

'I think it's really important to raise awareness on materials and the value they bring to design and craft.' - Seetal Solanki, Ma-tt-er

Writer an curator Delany Boutkan kicked off the day by sharing her perspective on how the meaning of design, craft and materials is shaped by popular media such as Netflix. Her talk was followed by designer Marijke Griffioen, who shared all about Forbo's approach to materials and the way they implement material research in their industrial processes. Third speaker of the day was material designer and researcher Tamara Orjola, who talked about her project Forest Wool and her learnings in going from design experiments to upscaling for industrial purposes. Tamara's talk was followed by Lawrence Theunissen, who shared DSM Decovery's take on material research and how they, as a multinational corporation, deal with experimental innovations by designers to create more sustainable sollutions. And finally, designer Audrey Large presented her view on dealing with craft and materials in a non physical environment: the digital world.

Delany Boutkan

Delany Boutkan writes and curates programmes based on her fascination with the economic systems that underlie the current production of design. According to her, most of these systems are closely related to popular media. In her talk she explains her perspective on people's ideas and prejudices on craft and design by means of the Netflix series Abstract: The Art of Design. Besides her work as a writer, she is actively involved in the project 'For the Record' at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam. 

Forbo - Marijke Griffioen

Forbo Flooring B.V. produces and supplies floor coverings made from linesead oil for the project and consumer markets worldwide. Marijke Griffioen is head of design at Forbo and has worked on several projects in which they have experimented with natural dyes and material waste. In  She also initiates collaborations with international educational institutions, independent designers and international furniture manufacturers. In her talk she elaborated on Forbo's sustainability policy, how they work on material research with designers and what challenges they face during these collaborations. 

Tamara Orjola

Materials play an important role in the work of designer Tamara Orjola. Living in the midst of consumerism, a growing population and climate change, she prefers to looks at the whole cycle of materials and sees the potential value of waste. A good example of her work is her graduation project Forest Wool, a material focused research about existing agricultural and industrial processes, identifying new opportunities and unexplored potential application of abandoned by-product: pine needles. After her graduation in 2016 the project received a lot of interest by different corporations. In her talk she shares her experiences in dealing with upscaling, industrial regulations and larger interests.

DSM - Lawrence Theunissen

Lawrence Theunissen works as Business Development Manager for DSM Decovery®, the department that focusses on sustainable resins for the paint and coatings industry. Lawrence's main job is to increase awareness involvement and acceptance of sustainable paint and coating products made from renewable raw materials (biomass). These paints and coatings are safe for people and the environment. In his talk, he explained more about the different origins of these materials and shed his light on how complicated it can be to translate experimental material innovations by designers to large industrial applications.

Audrey Large


French designer Audrey Large has settled in the Netherlands ever since her studies at Design Academy Eindhoven. She graduated Cum Laude (MA Social Design) in 2017 and is currently part of the design collective Dutch Invertuals. Audrey investigates the possibilities of digital image manipulation processes that are applied to the design of our material environment. Her work is at the intersection of art and design. She considers objects to be images and images to be objects, but ultimately considers herself to be an image-maker. In her talk she explained more about looking at craft and materials from a digital point of view.