DDW 2016 through international eyes

by Ingrid van der Wacht

The coming weeks and months, the international design press will undoubtedly feature what they have discovered during the 15th edition of Dutch Design Week. Here, I will already provide some feedback from a number of international guests who came over for the founding meeting of a new global network for design festivals: World Design Weeks. They represented the design festivals in Toronto, San Francisco, Mexico, Bejing, Helsinki, Barcelona and Munich. During their stay in Eindhoven they visited some of the exhibitions, only a handful out of the 400 events. They were overwhelmed by the great quality of what they saw. A pick of their favorites:

Marco Coello, Director and Co-founder, Mexico Design Week
“All events were great but my favorites were the Design Academy exhibit and MVRDV Glass Bricks at Dutch Design Awards. The application of this transparent alternative brick and the way it incorporates into historical buildings, giving a very contemporary but respectful language, really surprised me. I took the opportunity to visit the building and it is a tourist attraction in itself. I am sure we will see many other great uses of these glass bricks.”

Dawn Zidonis, Executive Director, San Francisco Design Week
“I am with Marco 100% in that I marveled over the MVRDV Glass Bricks – very innovative. Weeks later they are still very much on my mind and I find that I am still having conversations about them. It’s still being talked about, even across oceans! I am disappointed that I was not able to make it to the Chanel building to see it in person (next time!). Beyond the bricks, all the amazing events and exhibits, the most fulfilling part of DDW for me was actually interacting with the designers. I enjoyed learning about the Dutch design culture, which was especially interesting to me. Having the opportunity to visit the designers, gallery owners and artists in the spaces where they create was especially beneficial. I was honored to hear their stories first-hand to learn/understand what drives Dutch designers to create and how the culture effects the outcome. I enjoyed meeting the students who walked me through every step of their process for their work at the student exhibition.”

Jeremy Vandermey, Director, Toronto Design Offsite
“It was an amazing experience to visit Dutch Design Week. My favorite project was Inside Out by Katherine Barbo Bendixen from Design Academy Eindhoven. She made an installation of 50 meters of cleaned, inflated intestines from a single cow. As the air escapes from the lamp over time it will expire, just like the cow whose body made it. I like this piece because it is gorgeous, unexpected and temporary. It offers contemplation on the hidden beauty within these animals that humans process and discard.”

Carlotta Testa, proxy to Vittorio Sun, Director, Bejing Design Week
“Everything was so good. My favorite was Maarten Baas Makes Time. I love the way he deals with the concept of time. Especially in this installation, time is shown as something that is able to melt together all the things we feel and see, all the words we hear and say, and how  traces of this are still present in ourselves before disappearing. I think that this installation more than others shows the peculiar character of DDW. It is not an exposition of products but an experience of deep conceptual research, well-translated into physical objects and installations.”

 



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