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VPRO and DDW announce new television programme: “De toekomstbouwers”: eight young DDW designers take center stage

13 October 2017

For the last five years, VPRO and Dutch Design Week (DDW) have worked together as content partners on behalf of design. From this intensive and fruitful partnership, a new television programme has developed. In “De toekomstbouwers” (The future builders), well-known Dutch actor and writer Wilfried de Jong speaks with eight emergent designers from DDW who are shaping our future. During the programme three jury members Afaina de Jong (architect), Koert van Mensvoort (artist and philosopher) and Martijn Paulen (director Dutch Design Foundation) will actively engage with the talents, listening, asking questions and finally will award one of the designers with the VPRO Future Builders Grant of 10,000 euros.

De toekomstbouwers (The future builders)

This new wave of designers brings with them both revolutionary ideas and innovative solutions for the future. Sometimes inspiring, and sometimes confrontational. But always sharing a desire to make the world more beautiful, more accessible, and simply, better than they found it. The DNA of this generation of young design talents is future focused, bright and engaged. VPRO wants to put these young thinkers and makers front and center. In the first four episodes, two young designers participating in DDW are introduced. The three-member jury will elect one finalist per episode. In the extended final episode on Saturday the 28th of October, one of the four finalists will win the VPRO Future Builders Grant of 10,000 euros.

The eight candidates of “The Future Builders” are Chloé Rutzerveld, Alissa Rees, Dave Hakkens, Manon van Hoeckel, Ermi van Oers, Arvid Jense, Bas Timmer and Frank Kolkman. See the attachment for more information on the designers.

De toekomstbouwers (The future builders) will be broadcast during Dutch Design Week from the 24th thru the 28th of October, daily at 22:55 on channel NPO 2

Tickets for the live studio audience can be arranged via

Other activities offered by the VPRO during DDW

VPRO and Dutch Design Week (DDW) have a long-term content partnership. VPRO brings DDW to television, radio, digital channels and also you can find DDW via their website and media app Koos, VPRO is also actively represented in other areas in DDW.

• Five design routes NPO Cultura

VPRO creates five design routes for NPO Cultura. The three jurors from the programme “De toekomstbouwers” Afaina de Jong, Koert van Mensvoort and Martijn Paulen along with two prominent personalities from the design world share their “must see and do” list from the programme of the 2018 Dutch Design Week, while Cesar Majorana interviews young designers in their studio. 

• VPRO Media Lab “We know how you feel”

In the project “We know how you feel”, VPRO Media Lab explores how wearable technology can play a part in creation and use of media. Imagine for a moment if Netflix knew what you in the mood to watch, by using a heart rate monitor in your smartwatch? Who owns your emotional data? In the exhibition during DDW, with the work of Studio Nick Verstand, emotions are transformed into a vibrant pulsing light composition using three biosensors. In addition to these, VPRO Media Lab also organizes a debate on 25th of October in the Effenaar and you can check the online platform

• Premiere “Robo Sapiens”

How will robots and artificial intelligence affect our lives in the future? Jelle Brandt Corstius investigates this in the new VPRO series “Robo Sapiens”. On Thursday, October 26th, at 7:00 p.m., DDW will premiere the first episode at the Nat Lab. Jelle himself will speak more about his motivation to make this series. You can attend the premiere, check this link.

Note for editors, not for publication:

For more information, contact Dutch Design Week (DDW)  Raffaela Vandermühlen, Head of Brand Strategy and PR Dutch Design Foundation, T: +31 (0) 40-296 11 50, E:

For more information, please contact VPRO Communication, Wieneke Mulder,, +31 (0) 88 205 8176

Click here for hi-res images.

Publication of these photos is permitted for non-commercial purposes solely in conjunction with the content in this press release. Photo Credits: Photos may only be published only if the name of the photographer and the organization is mentioned.

Accreditation for members of the press

Accreditation as a member of the press for DDW can be obtained via this link.


Chloé Rutzerveld (24)

Chloé Rutzerveld studied Industrial Design at the Technical University of Eindhoven. Chloé calls herself a food designer, and she approaches her work asking questions such as; what does our food look like the future? And how will consume it? Rutzerveld previously presented a Dutch classic cookie called a stroopwafel made from vegetable waste, and in a project called 'Edible Growth' during Dutch Design Week she used a 3D printer to create towers where seeds, spores and yeasts grow into mushrooms and plants in five days. This year, she launches her 'Future Food Formula 2017', a creative investigation into creating a method where consumers can influence the nutritional value and growth of a crop at an early stage.

Alissa Rees (26)

Alissa Rees graduated in 2017 from the department of Man and Leisure at the Design Academy in Eindhoven. When Alissa was 19 she was diagnosed with acute leukemia. It was her time at the hospital that serves as the source of inspiration for a series of ideas and designs she presents in October at the Graduation Show in her book “Humanizing the White Building”. One of those designs is 'IV Walk', a hip vest that serves as an alternative to the traditional mobile infusion.

Dave Hakkens (29)

Dave Hakkens studied Industrial Design at the Design Academy in Eindhoven. His graduation project 'Phone Blocks', a modular smartphone, set the world on fire and crossed the globe in 2013. During this edition of Dutch Design Week, Hakkens will present 'Precious Plastic', a series of machines that make it possible for everyone to recycle plastic. Hakkens shares his knowledge with an open source ethos, offering his knowledge to the world for free. The blueprints to create 'Precious Plastic' are online, and there are recycling machines now running around the world in almost 80 places, from Cambodia to Australia.

Manon van Hoeckel (27)

Manon van Hoeckel graduated in 2014 as a Social Designer from the Design Academy in Eindhoven. She develops tools that makes it easier to meet more often in public space. And to facilitate that strangers talk to each other. In 2015 she came to "In Limbo Embassy", a mobile office for asylum seekers without the necessary documents. Here they can share their stories. This year Van Hoeckel presents her latest version of 'Luisterruit' (Listen Route). In this audio tour, trainers hear stories about the people, villages and cities they drive along.

Ermi van Oers (26)

Ermi van Oers graduated in 2016 as a product designer at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. She connects people, technology and nature and believes we as a society need to improve our relationship with nature. During the Dutch Design Week, Van Oers, together with partner 'Plant-E', presents her 'Living Light project' creating lamps that draw their energy from a photosynthesis of a plant or bacteria in dirty water. Currently, the municipality of Rotterdam is also interested in her work. Rotterdam is going to build floating homes in the Nassauhaven (The port of Nassau) in Feijenoord. They can be connected to the same technique of energy generation. So, whomever turns on the TV, is immediately part of the process to create energy and cleaner water from the bath to ocean.

Arvid Jense (29)

Arvid Jense studied industrial design at both the Technical University campus of Enschede and Eindhoven. Together with Marie Caye of the Design Academy, he designed various sound systems and musical instruments. During the Dutch Design Week, their latest creation is "SAM" (Symbiotic Autonomous Machine), a robot that is a fully autonomous soft drink company. 'SAM' mixes the flavors, orders new stock, keeps the comments on social media and has its own bank account. The question is: does SAM have the same rights as a human entrepreneur?

Bas Timmer (27)

Bas Timmer is fashion designer. He studied Fashion Design and Fine Arts at ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem. Timmer designed a series of colorful sweaters but got national acclaim with the “Sheltersuit”, a wind and waterproof jacket that transforms into sleeping bag. Bas came to the idea of the “Sheltersuit” after a homeless person's death occurred in his community. Since being introduced, the 'homeless suit' is being employed to help the homeless and refugees. Timmer and his group work to use alternative populations in the production of “Sheltersuit” employing ex-homeless people, refugees and other people who have been away for a while.

Frank Kolkman (28)

Frank Kolkman is an experimental designer. He studied Product Design at the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem and then obtained his master’s Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art in London. Kolkman combines his curiosity with the work of things with analytical thinking and intuitive design. The purpose of his work is to denounce our ideas about contemporary and future technologies. Last year he won a Dutch Design Award for ‘Designs for Flies’. This year he presents ‘Outrospectre’. The work simulates an out-of-body experience that can help terminal patients recognize their near death and reduce their fear of death.