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World Design Embassies: Design for societal challenges

10 October 2023

© Multiform - Gabriel Fontana - Iris Rijkamp
How does design play a role in finding solutions to the major social issues of our time? Upcoming Dutch Design Week, you can visit seven different themed Embassies that explore the society of the future together with designers and partners. What to expect? The creative leads shed a light.

Embassy of Circular & Biobased Building

If you talk to Lucas De Man and Pascal Leboucq, the creative leads of the Embassy of Circular & Biobased Building, you will experience that there is no lack of vision. This vision stems from intensive discussions and knowledge gathering among as many stakeholders as possible. "To change a system, you have to involve as many people as possible and literally start with soil and water. From that base, it's looking for different possible uses of a landscape." Wondering how they will shape and bring their vision to life during Dutch Design Week this year? Find the full interview with De Man and Leboucq here.

You will find the Embassy of Circular & Biobased Building during DDW23 at Ketelhuisplein (Strijp-S).

Embassy of Food

That the entire food chain needs to change significantly is clear, according to creative lead Barbara Vos. "Our first mission is to reshape the conversation about how we can change the food chain." This year, at the Embassy of Food, you get a glimpse of the farm of the future. This will be a meeting place for designers, policymakers, entrepreneurs, farmers and experts. Wondering what to expect? Read the interview with Vos here

You will find the Embassy of Food in the Evoluon.

© Open straat - Cascoland - Sander van Wettum

Embassy of Health

Health may be our most valuable commodity, but not if it is up to the current economic system. With 'Health as currency', the Embassy of Health explores the (re)valuation of health. Marleen van Bergeijk, the creative lead of the Embassy, wants to let go of economic thinking about health to create more space for a different value system. During DDW23, the Embassy of Health 'hacks' visual language that we know mainly from notes and coins. "We use the imagery of money and translate it into values that apply from a health perspective". Curious? Read more here

You can find the Embassy of Health at Foundation We Are (Strijp-S). The Embassy is also organising the Health Day (Dutch) on 27 October, a day for meet-ups, inspiration and exchange full of workshops and concluding with a conference. Discover how design power contributes to (re)valuing health.

Embassy of Inclusive Society

Inclusiveness is not a problem that can be solved. It is about breaking patterns, about 'learning and unlearning'. During DDW23, the Embassy of Inclusive Society is therefore organising a spatial experiment in the form of a gym. At the Embassy, you will train your "inclusivity muscle" through various projects. "In the exhibition, you will learn skills and tools and develop new habits," said Embassy of Inclusive Society creative lead Shay Raviv. 

The Embassy of Inclusive Society is part of the exhibition 'The space between us' at the Van Abbemuseum (Centre). Besides the expo, the Embassy will organise a programme full of workshops (English/Dutch) throughout the week. So you can actively learn and unlearn your own (thinking) patterns.

© BOSK - Arcadia 2022 - Richard Winkelmeijer & Floris Leeuwenberg

Embassy of Mobility

The Embassy of Mobility works on 'Cities for People', liveable cities where everyone is part of. No technical solutions, but thoroughly exploring what people and society really need. According to creative lead Joost van der Made, that is the core activity of the Embassy of Mobility. "Mobility is a means, not the end. We should mainly concern ourselves with what liveable cities and rural areas will look like." Starting from DDW as a living lab, the Embassy explores with visitors new proposals that make the mobility transition experienceable and tangible. Read the interview with Van der Made here. 

You will find the Embassy of Mobility as a Living Lab throughout Eindhoven, with a permanent exhibition at DONNA (Strijp-S).

Embassy of Safety

An acute shortage of personnel in the safety domain, living together with ex-prisoners, helping to decide how to use the reservoir of community service hours? During DDW23, the Embassy of Safety offers space to be a maker as well as a visitor. Besides watching creative approaches to problems in the safety domain, you can also share your ideas for making things right. Because that is the theme of this edition "Making (amends)". "And then in both meanings: making it well with the power of making and making amends afterwards," points out Tabo Goudswaard, creative lead of the Embassy of Safety, in this interview

You will find the Embassy of Safety in the Klokgebouw (Strijp-S).

© Embassy of Water - mulderendevries

Embassy of Water

Imagine this: Water is woven into architecture. Buildings act as natural purification systems, returning used water to nature cleaner and more vital. Building from the idea of what water needs to flow. With 'On the basis of water', the Embassy of Water explores what regenerative housing construction can look like in practice. Therefore, The Embassy of Water showcases a water pavilion that will surprise and inspire you. "It will be designed as an experience, where people can sit down for a while to take it all in," says creative leader Anouk van der Poll. Want to know more? Read the interview with Van der Poll. 

You will find the Embassy of Water at Stadhuisplein (Centre).