Dutch Design Week

Dutch Design Week

In order to ensure the aspirational concepts that we produce at andthen-studio are up to date and evolving with the  design landscape, we take every opportunity to visit and explore key design showcases. Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven offers an inspirational insight into the future of sustainable concept design with Dutch influences at the heart of the festival. Based in DDW’s design hub, Stripj-s, we were immersed amongst innovative material development, influential art installations and the energy of like-minded designers, all striving for exceptional design for the future. 

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DAY ONE

 

Starting with the DDW Campaign Exhibition we discovered some innovative materials alongside brands who are pushing the boundaries on sustainable and interactive concepts. Notable highlights within this arena included, fragrance brand Attic Lab, a company focussed on making scent a more accessible sensory experience through integrated workshops and showcases and DENIM tex, a manufacturer specialising in recycled denim materials to curate textural feature wall claddings with a purely sustainable background. The Hay X Sonos sound installation offered an experiential concept space that encouraged visitors to interact with the exhibition to create their own sounds and movement. 

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After Stripj-S, we visited Halvemaanstraat – designer Piet Hein Eek’s working carpentry factory and series of creative studios. There was the opportunity to see the workshop in action and explore the bespoke and reclaimed collections in the shop, whilst local artisan studios were open to explore. Rens, a paint specialist company researching colour technology, produced a collection of contemporary effect materials which showcased a series of effects created through varying applications of powder coating. Within the factory is a bar and restaurant set on the former factory floor which hosts a mix of bespoke designer furniture from the workshop and reclaimed accessories offset against the warehouse style architecture.

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Whilst exploring exhibitors at DDW we took the opportunity to discover the city’s own design interiors including bar and restaurant Radio Royaal. Much like most of Eindhoven’s architectural history, the restaurant is set in a former Phillips factory, on the outskirts of the main city. With a design based around the buildings original double height industrial architecture, mismatched reclaimed furniture becomes seamlessly immersed between the remaining factory machinery. A newly inserted monochrome tiled floor and bar subtly break up the space, exposing the restaurants back of house areas and fixtures whilst keeping the overall aesthetic refined and authentic. 

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From the outside stands Vershal het Veem, a 9 storey carpark, but after entering by foot using the large car ramp, a maze of swirling exhibitor stands’ fill two floors of the carpark. Exhibitors from all around the world who focus their design on material development, future technology and sustainability were present. Highlights from Veem included; United Materials, students studying MA Future Materials at Central Saint Martins filled floor two with colour and experiential design. What Matter_S, a large collaboration between 10 designers and 10 material researchers who combine insights and technology from the cutting edge of material science with the curiosity and creative vision of design. Each partnership has set out to translate often-complex research into visually engaging forms, to explore the potential of new, non-commercialised materials to solve the design challenges of tomorrow.

 

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DAY TWO

 

New to the Eindhoven design scene, a former powerhouse has been aesthetically converted into a hub of offices and commercial spaces. With the buildings, architectural features and original finishes being the key basis of the space, a complimented pallet of materials including, terrazzo’s, aggregates, glass and oaks divide up the space. On entering the space, you are greeted with a contemporary terrazzo clad coffee counter and social space that leads you into a naturally lit auditorium. Within this communal area, a newly-inserted, plywood stepped seating arena breaks up the space between office and exhibition, then leads off into the original architecture and partitions through glass walls.

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Area 51, Europe’s largest indoor skatepark was incorporated into the DDW. On entering the skatepark, the work of Ba Hoe lines the corridor, 3D objects inspired by skate obstacles were cut from left-over foam and flocked with colours matching the wallpaper. DDW visitors are invited to walk through the installation, linger in the space and encouraged to take a seat on the foam obstacles to enjoy the view of the Ketelhuisplein.­­­ In a disused basement changing/shower room, Rotor 3D by BJM studio designed a large scale interactive light installation questioning a common time and space structure. This installation starts with the primal viewpoint of a static two-dimensional picture of present time, a reflecting series of clock hands. Stepping to one side, the viewer will open a flow of various moments/points of time on the scale of the future, past and his or her own present. Rotor 3D encourages you to experience being beyond time, in it and with it in space projection.

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The graduates from Eindhoven Design Academy had their first-degree show exhibition on the site of the historic Campina Milk Factory. The exhibition presented 208 projects by 185 graduates, emerging the visitor in the inquisitive environment where design is consistantly redesigned. The exhibition included sculptures, material development, films, graphic, installation, experience and much more, all focusing on an optimistic vision for the future. The designers came up with solutions and innovative creations that are progressive and make things tangible and functional for the world we live in today. The exhibition demonstration the conscious effort the designers are making to change our futures through sustainable and environmental design.

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