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Dutch Design Awards: 'Looking for the new Da Vinci's'

20 March 2023

Jury chair Daniël Sytsma (right) with DDA22 project lead Frederiek Dijkstra (left) and Data & Interaction winner Noa Jansma (middle). ©
A new edition of Dutch Design Awards just opened. Which designers will soon be on the highest design podium? And what kind of designers is the jury looking for? An interview with the chair of the Data & Interaction jury: Daniël Sytsma.

“Dutch Design Awards (DDA) helps bring hopeful ideas and perspectives into the limelight. There is a lot to solve, anno 2023. Today’s challenges call for designers who see the world with a combination of naive imagination and pragmatic determination. They must be able to make new connections between the worlds of art, science and business. It is incredibly important that new talents and voices are given a stage, and no stage is as iconic as DDA.”


“It fits with the zeitgeist, that designers are being confronted with bigger systemic questions. That doesn’t mean we should forget the power of aesthetics, or that business impact is suddenly no longer important. We just can’t ignore the fact that planet and people carry equal weight in the design process.”

“I think REX 2.0 by Ineke Hans and Circuform is a great example of what a DDA winner can do. On the surface, it might look like ‘just another chair’. Indeed, it is a chair that was designed 12 years ago as a practical chair for public spaces, like events, companies, governments, schools and hospitals. In that specific context, products are often discarded after a while. The new design was the basis for the first deposit chair: the value of the materials is fixed in a 20 euro deposit per chair. That looks like a simple innovation, but the whole system has to be redesigned, from the choice of materials, to accounting, to the production process that includes revising the returned chairs. Such a project shows that sustainable innovations require designers who can work together.”

Read the full interview at