The goal is to utilise the potential of design by making better matches. Field research has taught us that DDW participants want to be more easily found by the relevant visitors. Whether this is other designers, the industry, collaborative partners or other parties from their respective branche, but also governmental agencies, policymakers, the business community, knowledge institutes or the general public.
DDW is therefore introducing ten programme themes, to help all the different types of designers and the great diversity of visitors navigate through the festival. These themes consist of various ‘missions’ and ‘design perspectives’. As always, DDW also welcomes group exhibitions: clusters based on more or less neutral data, such as schools and archives.
There are numerous ways of looking at the design profession, and there is no single definition of what design is. Dutch Design Foundation (DDF, the organisation behind DDW) serves the field in its broadest sense –– from individual to systemic and from conceptual to applied. Within this context, DDF distinguishes different design perspectives:
- SIGNATURE & COLLECTIBLE DESIGN
Artistic exploration and individual expression are the foundations of this design perspective, translated into objects and other renditions that are poetic or conceptual in nature.
- SPECULATIVE & SOCIAL DESIGN
Designers working from this perspective excel in exploring unexpected thought processes and taking an approach that goes off the beaten track. This takes shape in research by design or the development of (social) interventions.
- PRODUCT & CRAFT DESIGN
Everything we use is designed. All these products and materials demand the most diverse methods, skills and knowledge.
- SERVICE & INNOVATIVE DESIGN
Lightning-fast digital and technological developments raise all kinds of questions. Designers answer these questions with groundbreaking concepts and concrete applications.
- INDEPENDENT & CRITICAL DESIGN
There are always designers who cannot be defined. Makers and inventors of autonomous and critical work which often reflects on the design profession itself.
On a mission
We also see that designers are increasingly taking on major issues, such as the climate crisis and social inequality. Based on what is going on in the design community and within society, DDF has distilled the following missions:
- ENABLING OUR THRIVING PLANET
For a healthy planet, design must enhance the power of nature, or at the very least not stand in its way.
- CREATING OUR LIVING ENVIRONMENT
Designing our living environment, mobility and the materials we use to create them goes hand-in-hand with shaping our own quality of life.
- BOOSTING OUR HEALTH & WELL-BEING
Designs that structurally improve our quality of life – from the food we eat to healthcare and personal well-being – and that contribute to the most precious thing we have: our health.
- ACHIEVING OUR EQUAL SOCIETY
To achieve equality in society, we must (re)design systems and interactions that value everyone. Safety, inclusiveness and connection are key here.
- CHALLENGING OUR DIGITAL FUTURE
Our digital realities and future are being explored to the full and influenced by designers, from virtual worlds to artificial intelligence and from global platforms to individual experiences.