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World Design Embassies: Step into the world of 2050

04 October 2022

© Oscar Vinck & Jeroen van der Wielen
How does design play a role in finding solutions to the major social issues of our time? To explore this, Dutch Design Foundation initiated the World Design Embassies programme five years ago. Upcoming Dutch Design Week, you can visit eight different themed Embassies that explore the society of the future together with designers and partners. What to expect? The curators shed a light.

Embassy of Food

The new role of the supermarket in 2050
“In thirty years, you may go to the supermarket to boost your immune system or mood.” Food designer and curator of the Embassy of Food, Chloé Rutzerveld, outlines one of the possible scenarios for the supermarket of the future. “I can well imagine that in thirty years' time we will all have smart devices at home that collect personal data all day long, such as a smart toilet and bathroom mirror. This will enable you to measure a great deal of data about your own health. The supermarket could then be a good place to go for interpreting that data. Think of receiving personal nutritional advice or an intestinal flora supplement.” The Embassy of Food will explore three scenarios for the supermarket of 2050. Curious which one you'll like most? Visit the interactive exhibition in the Klokgebouw during DDW.

Want to learn more? Come to the Embassy of Food conference on Monday, 24 October. You can register here.

© Bernard Hermant

Embassy of Water

Living with water
“We seem to slowly be coming to realise that we have to live together in harmony with water again. Not just taking, but also giving back: reciprocity. Achieving this sort of awareness is quite a process.  We at the Embassy of Water are also growing along the way. I want to share our learning process with others.” Drawing inspiration from the term regenerative agriculture, Embassy of Water curator Anouk van der Poll came up with "regenerative housing": constructing a home in such a way that it not only takes from but also gives back to the water system. This year during DDW22, the curator wants the Embassy of Water to be a springboard for housing projects to really include water in their plans from the start. “Because we still flush our toilets with drinking water, even though there have been alternatives for a long time.” You can visit the Embassy of Water in Designhuis Eindhoven during DDW.

Want to learn more? Come to the Embassy of Water conference on Tuesday, 25 October. You can register here.

© Anouk van der Poll

Embassy of Urban Mobility

Quality of life and happiness are important starting points for future mobility
“Isn't it strange that we raise children to believe that streets are for cars rather than for them? That if a street is twenty metres wide, about fifteen metres is meant for the car? We want to inspire people to change their mindset.” In the Embassy of Urban Mobility, curator Rob Adams will be talking about the liveable city of the future, not about more cars and more roads. “From an efficiency perspective, you can widen roads to prevent traffic jams, but there are also other solutions. If everyone would refrain from driving just one out of five working days, we would already solve a large part of the problem. “That's why we came up with the out-of-house workplace, for example,” says the curator. You can see the results of this experiment and many others at the Embassy of Urban Mobility in the Klokgebouw during DDW.

Want to learn more ? Come to the Embassy of Urban Mobility conference on Tuesday, 25 October. You can register here.


Embassy of Safety

Relying on manufacturing power for a safe society
“Trust is essential for a well-functioning society,” says Tabo Goudswaard, curator of the Embassy of Safety. “In a society in which people trust each other, there is more cooperation and people are more likely to help each other. This, in turn, creates a good socio-cultural climate and a well-functioning economy.” According to Goudswaard, strengthening trust is key to many security issues, such as online crime, subversion, and polarisation. That's why the theme of the Embassy of Safety this year is: In makers we trust. During DDW, the Embassy of Safety will show how society can become safer by relying on manufacturing power.

Want to learn more about this topic? Come to the Embassy of Safety conference on Wednesday, 26 October. You can register here.

Embassy of Inclusive Society

Inclusivity as a continuous process of learning and unlearning
What kind of society do you want to live in? How do you want people to interact with each other? And… how many friends do you have who are not like you? “Inclusivity isn't something you just do on the job and then go home to your own bubble,” says Shay Raviv, curator of the Embassy of Inclusive Society. “The question is whether you are also involved as a person.” With this second edition of the Embassy of Inclusive Society during DDW22, Raviv wants to show visitors that inclusivity is a process of learning and unlearning. “While last year we mainly talked about inclusivity, this year we want to create a space for action in cooperation with our partners.” This year you will find the Embassy of Inclusive Society in the Van Abbemuseum.

Want to learn more? Come to the Embassy of Inclusive Society conference on Thursday, 27 October. You can register here.

© Janssen & Adriaans

Embassy of Health

The mindset for a chronically healthy society
Chronic health is the basic premise of the Embassy of Health for the sixth year in a row. Each year the designers highlight a different aspect of this. “We have already showcased many concepts focusing on changes in healthcare,” explains Marleen Van Bergeijk, curator of the Embassy of Health. “But companies and organisations need to adopt a certain attitude in order to actually implement those changes.” When looking at chronic health, preventive care plays an important role. “How do you create the shift in mindset needed to implement such a change?” That remains a complicated question, according to the curator. During DDW, the Embassy of Health will present many interactive installations in the Klokgebouw. Central to these are three key mindsets of companies and organisations: agile, responsible, and learning.

Want to learn more? Come to the Embassy of Health conference on Friday, 28 October. You can register here.



© Eva Glasbeek

Embassy of Rethinking Plastic

Working with nature as an answer to the 'plastic problem'
This year is a special year for the Embassy of Rethinking Plastic, namely its final year. “The main thing now is to show how things can really be done differently. Without plastic and in collaboration with nature. As humans, we are not at the top of the pyramid; we are part of the whole natural system.” At this year's Embassy of Rethinking Plastic, curator Leonne Cuppen will primarily be exploring alternatives to plastic. You will find many designs and products made from renewable, compostable, and biodegradable materials, such as algae-derived yarns, fully plant-based wall paints and water-based lacquers, and 3D-printed products made from ecological materials comprised of residual flows from sewage and drinking water treatment. You can find the Embassy of Rethinking Plastic at Yksi Expo during DDW.

© Zena Holloway

Embassy of Circular & Biobased Building

Circular construction requires a different landscape
The Embassy of Circular & Biobased Building is building a circular and modular exhibition for DDW22 at Strijp-S. “Construction company De Meeuw is working on this. They were inspired by the circular and biobased house that we set up during DDW last year,” says Lucas De Man. He is co-curator of the Embassy of Circular & Biobased Building alongside Pascal Leboucq. This year, it's not just about building but about the entire value chain around it. Other materials are needed for circular and biobased construction. “That means that we will be using the land differently and that value chains will be shaped in a different way. Such changes are not realised quickly or easily. Many parties are involved, such as farmers, builders, designers and policy makers.” This year, you will not find the Embassy of Circular & Biobased Building on Ketelhuisplein but right next to it on the brand new Trudotorenplein.

© Oscar Vinck & Jeroen van der Wielen