We went to Eindhoven to explore conceptual
and experimental design from the Netherlands and further afield.
Most design weeks have developed around a sales fair, which is not the case with Dutch Design Week. Here, the design process takes centre stage and showing how an idea is translated into a product is quite essential. Dutch Design Week offers a programme of hundreds of exhibitions, events and debates located in different areas in the city with free shuttle taxis taking you wherever you want to go. Eindhoven truly has the most amazing industrial locations and most spots are facilitated with coffee caravans and beautifully decorated pop-up bars and restaurants. Koffiehuisje, Ketelhuis and Radio Royaal are situated in area Strijp S and are definitely worth a visit.
We started our alternative route there, but skipped the area because we’re quite keen on avoiding crowded places.We were told that the annual design event attracts more than 200 000 people and with this staggering number in mind, we also decided not to visit the renowned Design Academy Eindhoven. Instead, we paid a visit to the Van Abbemuseum where we enjoyed the exhibition Self Unself, part of a dialogue between the museum and the academy.
The strategy of our ambitious trip was simple: to look for new talent and products by skipping the big venues in order to do a more alternative route. Here’s our short summary of this wonderful event.
Section C is located in a former industrial space in the suburbs of Eindhoven, which has been transformed into an interesting village with more than a hundred designers and artists. The energy out there is absolutely amazing! On the hunt for new talent, we truly got inspired by the spaces and how each and every one was able to create their own personal creative universe. Collective work spaces are about artists inspiring each other, showing their work and creating dialogue.
Always a fan of up-cycling and recycling objects and materials, we loved Wintervacht who did an amazing job in creating trendy jackets out of old blankets.
As in the previous years, the collective’s exhibition is curated by Wendy Plomp, who selected 10 designers and asked them to give new meaning to the word ‘value’ within a contemporary context, such as unknown trades and alternative concepts, using the traditional and high-tech techniques. We really enjoyed the exhibition by Daphna Laurens, Jeroen Wand, Roos Gomperts, Raw Color, Jetske Visser, Edvh, Jólan van der Wiel, Kristie van Noort, Os and Oos and Studio Mieke Meijer.
The historical barrack right in the centre of Eindhoven consists of more than 2500 m² contemporary design and two restaurants. We were intrigued by the wonderful work by Daphna Laurens and we got introduced to the inspiring collections by the remarkable Dutch brand Weltevree. Their stoves are absolutely amazing. We’ve never seen anything like it! Also, quite enjoyable was the expo Modebelofte 2013 and the work of visionairy fashion designers.
Occupying the entire T.A.C. building, Zona Ventosa hosted 22 exhibitions showing 80 designers from 18 countries. We loved the Kharmai jewelry run by Maria Da Cruz. One of her beautiful rocks is clinging to against my chest as we speak, Bregje Cox’s black and white collection was also quite appealing. Same goes for the Tessel backpack designed by Aaron Puglisi and Daniel Shirley. Furthermore, we were inspired by Lex Pott, David Derksen, Pepe Heykoop and Paul Heijnen, four designers who all studied at design Academy.
You can spend half a day at the design complex of Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek. The showroom is incredible and so are the shop, the restaurant and the workshop. We’ll make sure to assemble all of our impressions into a separate post.
One wing of the massive building complex is occupied by young designer residents. Lighting growing like a tree on the wall, waterproof paper cottages turning plants into mini villages, a rocking chair and a cradle in one, mirrors tripling your image… The fantastic world of Ontwerpduo stems from the collaboration between Tineke Beunders and Nathan Wierink. We saw their work last year when we met this other talented duo Vij5, who recently moved into a bigger showroom at Hallenweg. During Dutch Design Week they officially presented their new studio and showroom, which is located in a small glass house in the middle of the work space.
In a nutshell: what was Dutch Design Week 2013 like? It was amazing and truly inspiring. We got introduced to a new thrilling ideas, crazy experiments and extraordinary collaborations. Plus we’ve seen a lot of very interesting work spaces. Design Week is an event that puts Eindhoven on the map as design capital in the North of Europe and we highly recommend it to anyone with a passion for design.
It feels good having a newcomer on the official ready-to-wear schedule, who doesn't dress to impress, but thinks, designs and produces locally.
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