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Dutch Design Week 2020: live studio exhibitions & extensive online programme

08 June 2020

After extensive consultation with the design community, key partners and relevant agencies, Dutch Design Foundation (DDF) has decided to let Dutch Design Week (DDW) 2020 forge ahead. It will be a combination of a live and online festival, with the focus on relevant matchmaking for the designers.

A limited number of people will be able to visit the participating designers in the form of pre-planned visits to studio exhibitions. Alongside this, the major public event will take place online.

Consultation with the municipality of Eindhoven and Brabant Southeast Safety Region has confirmed that a DDW such as we are used to, with more than 350,000 visitors, large central locations and various organised transport options, is unrealistic, based on current circumstances. So, the DDW organisation has developed a scenario with the design community for a compact 'live' DDW as well as an online programme.  

No major 'live' public event

As a consequence of the coronavirus, DDW20 will not be able to take place as a large 'live' public event. "Although this has been on the cards for some time now, it has been hard for us to take this somewhat inevitable decision," explains DDF director Martijn Paulen. "For the last 19 years we have been building our design community together with partners and friends. Many months of dedicated work go into 'The Week' in October. Reaching a decision like this has an enormous impact on the dynamics for designers and creators, our partners, but also the broad chain of suppliers and of course our loyal visitors".
In conjunction with the design community, the organisation has looked for a fitting solution. Paulen: “We realise that these are difficult times for the design sector as a whole. That is precisely why, with the design community, we want to build the stage for them. We are excited about this! We are all too aware that many of our colleagues have not been given this opportunity.”

Dutch Design Week 2020

The ‘live’ version of DDW20 will embrace a bottom-up ‘studio exhibition model’, with the focus on relevant encounters between the participating designers and professional visitors. In October the participating designers can open their studios by appointment. The exact protocols will follow shortly. This takes the organisation back to its roots from which DDW once grew and remains true to its DNA; there for the designer.
In addition to the studio exhibitions mentioned above, all participants will also have virtual visibility through participating in this year’s greatly improved digital DDW platform. This also offers space to the designers and partners who cannot physically participate in Eindhoven. The virtual programme will be more than just a digital version of a physical DDW. That is why we are currently working on strong online formats including virtual DDW Talks, various live streams, videos and more.
"We look forward to making DDW20 an unforgettable edition with the world of design and all its creative potential. Both 'live' and online. We will support this from the very core of our DNA and do everything we can to facilitate events," says Paulen.

Safety Region advice

The organisation will ensure that DDW20 complies with the advice, preconditions and restrictions of the Brabant Southeast Safety Region (Veiligheidsregio Brabant-Zuidoost) and that everyone participating in DDW20 adheres to them strictly. In concrete terms, this will mean that all participants are allocated a maximum number of visitors per agreed time slot on the basis of the net available floor space where the exhibition is taking place (10, 30, 100). In addition, a maximum number of DDW visitors per day will apply to avoid pressure on urban infrastructure. The exact protocols are still being worked out. If the prevailing Covid-19 restrictions are tightened or loosened by national or local government as a consequence of the situation, the organisation and participants will deal with these changes adaptively.

Download the Dutch press release here


Download the English press release here