Boudewijn Bollmann - Dutch Design Week 2019

Dutch Design Week - Save the date!

UT @DUTCH DESIGN WEEK: co-shaping the future we all want to live in!

Every year in October, Dutch Design Week (DDW) takes place in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. DDW is the biggest design event in Northern Europe, where thousands of designers present their work and ideas. Last year, the programmes were organised a little bit different due to COVID-19 regulations. But this year the organisation is going for it: a hybrid (which means physical ánd online) event, from the 16th until the 24th of October. And University of Twente will take part in three programmes: Up Close & Personal by Design United, Embassy of Health and DRIVE. Participating UT projects will be announced very soon!

DDW21 theme: The Greater Number

Every programme has its own themes and its own ways of showcasing, but they all connect to this year's DDW theme: 'The Greater Number'; the quest for the better number. With this theme, DDW on the one hand calls for less. Less consumption, less production, and therefore less waste. On the other hand, we know less isn't always possible and that when it comes to more, it should be better. In other words, more sustainable products with more value, so that consumers deal with products differently. The theme is about striving to change the behaviour of consumers and manufacturers. By looking for renewed value between consumer and product, we can move towards changes in design practices. Related themes are:

  • The pandemic
  • Wellbeing economy
  • Climate
  • Inclusivity
  • Design field

Visit the website of Dutch Design week for more information about 'The Greater Number'

The three programmes

Up Close & Personal - Design United

Up Close & Personal is organised by Design United, the 4TU research centre of design, with representatives who work at the universities of technology in the Netherlands: University of Twente, TU Delft, Wagingen University and Eindhoven University of Technology. In Up Close & Personal 2021, we will communicate state-of-the-art design research to illustrate, reflect and criticise the role of design in society. Participating projects will give meaning to the following five subthemes:

  • Entangled Ecologies

    Designers processes and the products they produce, originate and function within multiple entangled ecologies, including the natural, social and technological. These entanglements challenge designers to identify interdependencies within and across worldly phenomena and find ways to address them together. Singling out elements of an ecology is simply not possible when engaging it in a design.

  • Connected Interactions

    A consequence of ecological thinking in design is that interactions have both a local and global implications. The theme Connected Interactions brings home the idea that interacting with something can be meaningful for a particular time and place or can be alien to it, has impact on other interactions taking place, and can even transcend particular situations, producing effects beyond the local circumstances.

  • Changing Things

    Many ‘things’ that designers envision and make are no longer singular but plural: things with multiple identities and material substrates. Organic living material combined with digital material, assemblages of human and artificial intelligences, blends of machines and meanings. How does this plurality challenge our perceptions of things and which tools and techniques do designers have at their disposal to craft them?

  • Embedded Designers

    How are designers embedded in the ecologies in which they design and intend to transform? Their mere presence is not neutral. How do they choose their position? How do they deal with situations in which they find themselves, and how do they enable change: from within or from the outside, as humble catalysts, or as outspoken activists?

  • Evolving Methodologies

    Design as a discipline is evolving and so as the collective methods and techniques that constitute it. What are the current and future challenges for design as a contributing, co-existing, identical, or even as an opposing discipline to the Social sciences, Humanities and Engineering?

UTxUp Close & Personal

During Summer, we requested UT researchers and students to submit their projects. In September, the participants of the selected projects of all four universities will shape their story during two workshops.

Mid-September we will announce the final projects that will be presented at the exhibition, in the eMagazine and/or talkshow. Stay tuned!

Update 16 October 2021:
Visit the official UTxDDW website to find an overview of this year's participants.

World Design Embassies - Embassy of Health

The World Design Embassies is a programme of Dutch Design Foundation. Founded to discuss today's social challenges with alliances of partners. Together with designers, the eight embassies work on solutions and develop new perspectives for the world of tomorrow. Three embassies (with Embassy of Health being one of them) will tell their story at Dutch Design Week this year, together with DDW21 ambassador Floris Alkemade (chief government architect, the Dutch Council of Public Health & Society). 

Chronic Health - vital changes for a caring society | Embassy of Health
The awareness is growing on the fact that our health is dependent on more aspects than where our current healthcare system has an influence on. Because our quality of health is not only determined by the quality of medical care. It is also determined by the quality of our social contacts, the environment where we live and work, and the quality of new technologies. Read more

The expo at DDW showcases a selection of 12 design trajectories, in which we see the position of ‘unusual suspects’ take a new role in the care landscape of the future: care professionals, but also patients, neighbours, students, local makers and artists; housing corporations, supermarkets and tech companies.

UTxEmbassy of Health

Earlier this year, DDW ambassador Floris Alkemade published his digital bundle 'Making space to meet' (Ruimte maken voor ontmoeting). DesignLab's director Sabine Wildevuur wrote one of the chapters, called 'Designing the meeting place of the future' and introduces the reader to DesignLab's Responsible Futuring Approach. This approach will be integrated with one of the projects inside the 'Klokgebouw'.

University of Twente will also showcase design research that is connected to EoH's programme at the 'Ketelhuisplein'. We can confirm that BMSLab's ExperiVan will be part of the concept! More information will follow soon.

Update 16 October 2021:
Visit the official UTxDDW website to find an overview of this year's participants.

DRIVE - Design Research & Innovation Festival

DRIVE wants to give a podium to architects, social designers, game developers, researchers, clothing designers or communication professionals who have conducted project-based research in the past year or have come to new insights within design that they are happy to share with colleagues and other professionals. The projects delivered results that were important not only for the project themselves but also for future challenges. The DRIVE sessions are being programmed in conjunction with the World Design Embassies. Therefore, each session is dedicated to one of the embassies: Mobility, Circular Biobased Building, Health, Safety and Food & Water.


We may confirm you that Sabine Wildevuur, director DesignLab, will organise a workshop on CitizenScience2Design4Health on the 20th of October. More information soon.

Update 16 October 2021:
Visit the official UTxDDW website to find an overview of this year's participants.

Interesting pages

Do you have any questions?

Tim Bussmann, project leader DesignLab & UTxDutch Design Week 2021, would be happy to answer them!

T. Bussmann MSc (Tim)
Project leader (DesignLab)