UT brings ‘High Tech, Human Touch’ to Dutch Design Week

Design forms bridge between research and practice

From high-tech suit for the homeless to a social robot that teaches you French. Driven by DesignLab this year, the University of Twente brings its ‘high tech, human touch’ vision to Dutch Design Week Eindhoven on 20-28 October. The UT projects, which are part of the Dutch Design Week exhibit Mind The Step, focus on connecting scientific research with current and future practice.

Design fans are no strangers to Dutch Design Week (DDW). David Claassen, master’s student in Industrial Design Engineering and student project manager from DesignLab, describes the event as a "one big party".

According to the UT project team, the sheer scope of DDW – last year there were 335,000 visitors and more than 100 exhibit locations – makes joint presentations a must, especially if the term ‘design’ does not seem self-evident for ‘your’ field.

"The combination of several disciplines only strengthens your story. We promote this as DesignLab, because as a university-wide platform we show that design is not only for design studies," says Claassen. "Design covers the entire process, from idea and prototype to application, no matter what your field is," adds Miriam Iliohan, University of Twente project manager. "Learning a foreign language may seem like a matter of pedagogy. But by combining robotic technology and interactive design, one of our participants has made this into an appealing game for children."

Wouter Eggink, University of Twente
“The central question we ask is: ‘How do we deal with the far-reaching influence of technology in our lives?'”
Wouter Eggink, University of Twente

Societal mission

UT students and others involved in the project explain their creations in the DDW exhibit Mind The Step. Together they promote ‘design with a societal mission’, tells Wouter Eggink, Assistant Professor and Project curator on behalf of UT.

"In many DDW projects the artistic and experimental side dominates – which by the way is very interesting.’ Eggink: "The central question we ask is: ‘How do we deal with the far-reaching influence of technology in our lives?’ We find that it’s important to implement technology on a human scale. In this exhibit, design forms a nice bridge between scientific research, our future and current daily practice."

The designs and stories of the UT creations can be enjoyed on 20-28 October in Hal 2 (Klokgebouw 50, 5617 AB Eindhoven), as part of the exhibit ‘Mind The Step’. Regular and student discount tickets can be obtained via the website of Dutch Design Week.

Special thanks to the video team:
  • Enrico Bertolotti
  • Sem Lootsma
  • Pollus Fornerod
    under the guidance of David Claassen.

CONTACT PERSONs university of twente

The team can be reached through mindthestep@utwente.nl.

Wouter Eggink

Assistent Professor Engineering Technology, 'Creative curator'/coach entries UT Dutch Design Week, DesignLab Research Fellow

David Claassen

Student Project Leader, DreamTeam member DesignLab University of Twente, Master student Industrial Design Engineering

Miriam Iliohan

Project Manager University of Twente, Co-founder DesignLab  

Header photo I: Impressie, TUE, Dutch Design Week Press kit
Header photo II: Student project leader David Claassen working on one of his projects for DDW in the facilities of DesignLab, University of Twente. Credit: Annemiek Klamer