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Dutch Design Week 2019 is a wrap!

27 October 2019

With the chosen theme If not now, then when? for Dutch Design Week 2019, Dutch Design Foundation (DDF) literally put out a call to action to everybody to wait no longer, but to take action NOW and design the future.

The positive conclusion of almost ten days of Dutch Design Week (DDW) is that the future knows its challenges but also that a big group of people will not throw in the towel and roll up their sleeves instead. The many (inter)national visitors from various backgrounds are engaged in a debate with those on the creative leading edge. Martijn Paulen: “Important seeds are being planted to ensure that the future is one full of innovative, imaginative ideas, for products, services and materials that truly help the world move forward.”  

During DDW19 national and international designers, presented not only smart solutions for the major social issues of our times. They presented conceptual and technological innovations, new alternative materials, and innovations in crafts and systems, in addition to a new aesthetic and user culture. DDW19 with a lot of exhibitions, lectures, tours and labs, drew in 350.000 visitors, this year more professional and international.

The 2019 ambassadors Studio Drift, Jalila Essaïdi, Alice Rawsthorn and Stefano Boeri have made a contribution to this success. On Sunday 27 October Paulen thanked them for their indispensable efforts during the exclusive closing event at which the new ambassadors were announced.

#DDW20 ambassadors Lidewij Edelkoort and Sabine Marcelis with DDF director Martijn Paulen
© Simone Frank

New ambassadors DDW20

DDF is proud to announce that the baton for DDW20, from 17 to 25 October, will be received by Lidewij Edelkoort, Sabine Marcelis and Sean Carney. Edelkoort has held the position of the world’s most important and leading trend forecaster for decades and she will share her ambassador title for DDW20 with designer Marcelis, who took the design world by storm, and Carney who is responsible for the Healthcare Transformation Services at Philips. “These ambassadors embody the design paradigm from completely different disciplines and backgrounds, in a way that inspires people and teaches them to look at things differently”, director Paulen elaborates on his choice for DDW20.

Lidewij Edelkoort is curator, award winning former director of DAE (1998–2008), and above all one of the world’s most renowned trend forecasters. She travels the globe to identify social-cultural trends and apply this knowledge for international clients. Trend Union (Edelkoort’s Paris based agency) also creates trend books for various international brands like Armani and Prada. Lidewij Edelkoort is dean of Hybrid Design Studies and founder of the MFA Textiles Masters at Parsons in New York. She also founded New York Textile Month, that takes place every September. "I hope it will be a fertile collaboration, where we can advance with the changes that have become so clear this year. Maybe it should still radicalise somehow. I think the most important thing is to connect the local design community with the international design community. Create more togetherness. There already are so many good things, there is not that much we need to do."

Sabine Marcelis, who graduated from the DAE in 2011, is a designer with a fascination for materials like marble, epoxy resin, neon and glass and for the way in which things are made. She had this to say about her new role as ambassador: “I would like to use the year to create a large-scale travelling installation with which to inspire others. I would also like to show how I constantly develop and realise new possibilities within production processes. As an ambassador, I hope to use the year to do this on a major scale and at a higher level.”

#DDW20 ambassador Sean Carney

Sean Carney has great ambitions as Chief Design Officer & Head of Healthcare Transformation Services within multinational Philips and is on the brink of important developments within the healthcare industry. With an increasing and ageing population, there are countless challenges that require solutions of an entirely new calibre. Carney: “We need to bring together the best and smartest minds, from our creative industry, multidisciplinary teams to redefine and transform the future of healthcare. I am looking forward to demonstrating the strength of experience design through making healthcare more accessible and sustainable.”

Ambassadors DDW19

Studio Drift (Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta) presented Shylight and Flylight in the Domusdela, Materialism in the Kazerne and the project realised especially for DDW19 Materialism - The bag project in the Van Abbemuseum. “For us, the ambassadorship was an honour and also an achievement. Twenty years ago, we met as students in Eindhoven. We are now many steps further in our career as professionals and as ambassadors. “With our own projects, we have contributed and shared our knowledge about how, with boldness in business, you can follow your own path.”

Jalila Essaïdi, specialised in bio-based materials and bio-art is internationally recognised and acclaimed for projects like ‘bulletproof skin’ and ‘Mestic’ and founder of BioArt Laboratories. During DDW she initiated various exhibitions at BioArt Laboratories and discussed the importance of creative hubs. Jalila: "I am glad to see that BioArt and BioDesign are strongly accepted during Dutch Design Week. When I started working at the crossover of biotechnology and art 10 years ago it was not seen as normal. We are moving from a more human centered Anthropocene era towards one of the symbioses between nature, technology and society." 

Alice Rawsthorn, celebrated design critic and author of acclaimed books: Design as an attitude and Hello world: where design meets life, considered it an honour to have been an ambassador. “It is encouraging to see that Dutch Design Week is stronger and more lively than previous years, and more deeply embedded in the city. I discovered interesting design projects, often by designers who were new to me, through which I have experienced many ideas and insights for my future work.”  

One of the main objectives of Stefano Boeri (together with Franscesca Cesa Bianchi founder of Stefano Boeri Architetti) is the resolution of the urbanisation and the impact of cities on climate change, as he did with his famous project Vertical Forest. “I want to raise people’s awareness that cities are the hubs for a new global green infrastructure that will spread over the entire planet. Together we have to enter a new era in which cities and nature collaborate.” During DDW he held, amongst others, The Green Obsession Talk.

Note for the editor (not for publication)

For more information please contact press officer Anoek Hagenaars:
T: +31 (0)6 16 60 45 77
For more images, check the DDW Flickr page.