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What if Lab at Dutch Design Week

14 October 2022

LookBack prototype © Greenberry
What happens when you pair designers with major parties from the business world? In What if Lab, designers get to work on questions from different organisations. By joining forces, together they come up with valuable new perspectives or concrete concepts. At Dutch Design Week, you can come and see the results of some of these Labs with your own eyes. We have listed the Labs and their locations for you.

What if Lab is a programme of Dutch Design Foundation, which focuses on gorging and driving long-term collaborations between designers and business. They are linked together and collaborate in the form of labs centering around a question the organisation involved has. The design studios then works on specific design tools, such as visualisations, research, prototypes, etcetera. Organisations what engaged in Labs this (past) year, are SWECO, ReumaNederland, municipality of Amsterdam, municipality of Eindhoven and Taskforce RIEC.

© Muzus

What if Lab: Rheumatism (in)visible

Rheumatism is a collective term for more than 100 different conditions of your joints, muscles, tendons and bones, not caused by an accident. In collaboration with ReumaNederland, the What if Lab: Make rheumatism (in)visible was launched. Design studio Muzus set to work on the question: How do we make life with rheumatism experienceable? You can find Muzus' interactive installation at the Embassy of Health at Strijp-S in Klokgebouw (Hall 2).

What if Lab: Totally Local

What role does sustainability play in the city of the future? What do new living environments look like? And what about energy, food, clean water, nature, materials and living? Sweco, Europe's largest architecture and engineering firm, challenged Bram de Vos, Floris Schoonderbeek and Tjeerd Veenhoven to work with different concepts involving the design question: What if... our cities were fully self-sufficient? Curious about the results? You can find Totaal Lokaal at Strijp-S in Klokgebouw (Hall 2).

Embassy Labs

In addition to all the What if Labs, there are also a number of Embassy Labs at DDW, the result of a long-term collaboration between Dutch Design Foundation's programmes What if Lab and World Design Embassies. In the Embassy Labs, participating designers explore possible concepts for a better world. They use the methods of What if Lab to do so. The Embassy Labs test World Design Embassies' visions of the future in practice, yielding surprising results. Check them out:

Green for Gasoline
In Embassy Lab: Green for gasoline from the Embassy of Urban Mobility, Studio 1:1 explores the possibilities of a greener city centre. An (extra) garden in front of your house, a greener street and a greener neighbourhood. That sounds fantastic, of course. But what would you be willing to do yourself when it comes down to it? For instance, would you be willing to park your car somewhere else? For this Embassy Lab, the possibilities were tested in a neighbourhood in Eindhoven. You can find the results at the Embassy of Urban Mobility in Klokgebouw.

Third Office © VEVDL

Third Office
In Embassy Lab: Workplaces away from home, Van Eijk & Van der Lubbe (VEVDL) tackled the design question: How do we facilitate good workplaces close to home so that commuters don’t need to make as many transport movements? Their answer: Third Office! A professional environment, within cycling distance from home, with all the facilities you have at the office. In Embassy Lab 'Workplaces away from home', VEVDL explores the possibilities of this type of workplace. You will also find these results in the Embassy of Urban Mobility in Klokgebouw.

WHITE WAS®, criminal goods!
In Embassy Lab Cashback, Taskforce-RIEC and Province of North Brabant together with Studio Sociaal Centraal are looking for new ways to 'give back' criminal money and goods that have been 'taken away'. How can we give this back to society in a positive way? For example, can this be used in crime fighting and social strengthening? Studio Social Central presents WITTE WAS®, criminal goods!, a collection of seized criminal goods. This collection will be shown and auctioned exclusively to DDW visitors. Bid on these collectors' items, and help decide where the money raised will be returned to society. If that's not a criminally good deal!" You can find this lab during DDW at the Embassy of Safety in Klokgebouw.

LookBack prototype © Greenberry

In Embassy Lab Jonge Aanwas ('Young Accretion'), the municipality of Amsterdam and design agency Greenberry set to work on the question: How can the Online Basisteam gain insight into the online world of young people quickly, and within the constraints of legislation? The result? LookBack, an interactive tool that stimulates cooperation within the yet-to-be-established Online Basisteam. You will find Lookback at the Embassy of Safety in Klokgebouw.

Not Tonight
In Embassy Lab Jonge Aanwas ('Young Accretion'), De Nacht Club Academie also approached the safety domain, but together with Eindhoven municipality. Young people do not allow everyone into their world, and often for good reasons. In the Embassy Lab Jonge Aanwas, De Nacht Club Academie works according to the age-old principle of the 'bouncer'. Who is allowed in the club, and who is not? With Not Tonight, they create new spaces ––often in the evening and night–– where existing ways of doing things perpetuate that problems are broken. You can find Nacht Club Academieb at the Embassy of Safety in Klokgebouw.