©Jeroen van der Wielen

Queen Máxima explores the ‘Status of Dutch Design’ during the fifteenth anniversary of DDW 2016

On Tuesday 25 October 2016 Queen Máxima visited Dutch Design Week (DDW) in Eindhoven.

With more than 275,000 visitors DDW is the biggest design event in Northern Europe. She spoke with designers about the status of Dutch Design. She also visited the Klokgebouw, one of the DDW main locations. She visited the exhibition The Making of Your World with work by designers who want to improve the world, the exhibition Mind the Step with work by students from the three Dutch universities of technology and she spoke with designers on the Ketelhuisplein. 

©Jeroen van der WielenWhat is Dutch Design?
Dutch Design is an attitude and does not refer exclusively to a nationality. It refers to a design aesthetic that is typical for Dutch designers: minimalist, experimental, innovative, unconventional and with a sense of humour. We see the solution-oriented thinking, the functionality, the humanism, the free thinkers, the brutality, the humour, putting things into perspective, the uniqueness, not thinking in hierarchical barriers, the unconventional. But also the willingness to take stakeholders seriously and involve them in the solution, in the creative process.

A good number of highly creative and young designers, including Maarten Baas (ambassador DDW 2016), Jeroen van Erp, Thomas Widdershoven, Dave Hakkens, Christien Meindertsma and the DDW organisation spoke to Queen Máxima about the area in which design is now to be found: between art, culture, market and society. Dutch Design contributes to a new hybrid practice, in which there is currently almost no separation between disciplines like product design, graphic design, landscape design, urban development, architecture, gaming, etc.

Design does not stop with a beautifully designed product. It has become an attitude to life.

Vrij Nederland, 15 October 2016

Dutch Design Week
22 – 30 October 2016, Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Upon its 15th anniversary, DDW is a 9-day celebration with 275,000 visitors with as honoured guests 2500 national and international thinkers and doers. Designers that make the event bigger and the world just a bit better, smarter, handier and more beautiful.

Public, press and commerce come to Eindhoven to look at their latest work and the best of what design has to offer. They cast a glance behind the scenes and see what the designers have planned for the future.

The Making of Your World
Consumers are increasingly losing their comprehension of the complex world behind the products and services that we use on a daily basis. The exhibition The Making of Your World responds to this alienation through demonstrating how products in our world are invented, developed and made. One of the curators of this exhibition, designer Bas van Abel, DDW 2016 ambassador, decided to develop a sustainable telephone himself. The strength of his Fairphone is not just in the product itself, but most of all in the story that it tells. In this exhibition, too, Van Abel asks the question how in product development we can get the balance right between economic and other values. At the same time he opens the dialogue about the role of the designer. Is design only about the end product or more especially about the underlying processes? Is design only about beauty or is it more about what we all consider to be important? It’s up to you … It’s Your World.