October 20, 2020

15 Highlights from Dutch Design Week 2020

Just weeks before the planned opening of the 19th edition of Dutch Design Week (DDW20), event organizers opted to move all programming to a web-based format given current COVID-19 measures in The Netherlands. The virtual festival, which features 3D viewing rooms, 360 videos, live streams, and nine days of DDW TV, runs from Oct. 17-25. During the event, designated ambassadors—Lidewij Edelkoort, Sabine Marcelis, and Sean Carney—will draw on their expertise to offer insights on design trends, tactility in the digital age, and the future of healthcare environments. 

This year the festival is appropriately themed ‘The New Intimacy‘, which speaks to the impact of the pandemic on our personal relationships and social habits. While 2020 remains a challenging year for established designers, it is especially trying for fresh graduates, such as those from Design Academy Eindhoven, who normally host their graduation show—one of the world’s most influential exhibitions of work by new designers—during Dutch Design Week. Luckily, the show will go on virtually.

Here are 15 of our favorite finds from the event.

Inert Domestic System by Célestine Peuchot at Design Academy Eindhoven

Photography by Ronald Smits.

Célestine Peuchot’s graduation project investigates the manufacturing processes behind the objects that occupy our daily living spaces, exploring the tensions and relations between techniques and aesthetics in mass production and craft manufacturing. A series of machine-objects function as elements of a fictional production chain that has inexplicably stopped.

Teunland by Teun Zwets at Design Academy Eindhoven

Photography by Ronald Smits.

Instead of embracing conceptual design, these interior items celebrate the practical. A vast variety of materials are glued, screwed, or tied together to build objects as needed. The focus lies on usability instead of refinement, leading to a new aesthetic that questions our throwaway society.

Mementum by Baptiste Comte at Design Academy Eindhoven

Photography by Ronald Smits.

By imagining clay urns as ‘skins,’ Baptiste Comte finds a natural way to commemorate the memory of an individual and their fading tangibility as they return to the earth. Extruded like living organisms, every biomorphic cylinder is different and recalls the uniqueness of each person.

The Lips by Sandra Keja Planken of Studio Noun

Photography courtesy of Studio Noun.

The Studio Noun designer adds “depth, vibrancy and boldness” to interior spaces with her Happy Rug Collection. Keja Planken chose European eucalyptus wool since the fiber is naturally-occurring and can be sustainably produced. The rugs are on display in a dedicated virtual location by 3DD Factory on Isola Design District.

Ceramic Totems by Kiki van Eijk of Kiki & Joost

Photography courtesy of Kiki & Joost.

The relationship between hands and clay is the basis of the ceramic art form. The totems produced with Cor Unum are expressions of dedication—the investment of time, passion, and love—to ceramics.

Interlocking Planters by Joost van Bleiswijk of Kiki & Joost

Photography courtesy of Kiki & Joost.

In a time where merging outdoors with indoors is more vital than ever, Joost designed a series of sculptural steel planters with playful forms for both inside and outside use.

Kunst-S by Lisanne Kamphuis

Photography by Niek Erents.

At the Materialized exhibition, Kamphuis shows the hidden beauty of plastic waste in the form of vases made out of more than 600 Ferrero Rocher candy plastic wrappers utilizing a unique process she developed in her graduation year. The designs give plastic waste qualities that are similar to high-end classic materials such as stone, marble, and ceramics.

Volta Stool by Jeroen van Veluw

Photography by Tim Meijer.

Part of the Driving Dutch Design exhibition, Jeroen van Veluw presents the Volta Stool. An ode to one of the oldest historical forms, the functional seat with a simple appearance comes in powder-coated CNC rolled steel and linoleum and is shown alongside a perforated cabinet.  

Raw Color’s Planum by Kvadrat

Photography by Kvadrat.

A knitted upholstery textile with a smooth, soft surface serves up subtle matte luster and a natural, dry handle. Raw Color looked to 3D objects to create their versatile color scale before making a final selection of 20 tones from 350 hand-painted samples.

Pleated Pattern by Rebecca Hult Lamberger

Photography by Daniela Ferro.

The designer’s graduation collection (showing in the collective EXI(S)T exhibition with eight other students from the Swedish School of Textiles) consists of printed textiles where surface patterns and pleating have been combined and the textile changes appearance as a result. Viewers are motivated to interact with the textile and move around it.

Cosmic Coral by Yaroslava Galayko

Photography by Natalia Maksimova.

The base of the coffee table Cosmic Coral is made of recycled low-pressure high-density HDPE polyethylene in granules. The sculptural table frame is formed by spot heating and then layering the material. As a result, the base does not have any additional binders making it Cradle-to-Cradle recyclable.

New Melancholy by Lidewij Edelkoort

Photography by Bram Saeys.

The Dutch Design Week ambassador’s reflection of the vast emptiness resulting from the pandemic lockdown lead to a double exhibition between Kazerne and Van Abbemuseum showing pensive work from the collections of Edelkoort and the museum. The works express a feeling of melancholy carried by humor and distance to the subject.

Virtual Tactility by Sabine Marcelis

Photography by Pim Top.

As ambassador of DDW, Sabine Marcelis explores digitally transforming tactility and translating physical presence into a remote experience. In collaboration with tech partners 5GHUB and Dimenco Displays, she developed a three-dimensional digital interaction in which a physical art experience is offered remotely. The virtual visitor gains control over a number of cameras placed in Victor Hunt Gallery in order to experience the designer’s new physical work from A to Z.

Piet Hein Eek’s Dutch Design in 40 colors by Lacq

Photography by Ronald Smits.

Lacq presents the colors of Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek from his product designs and projects of the past 30 years. Included are 40 original shades of lacquer, floor and wall paint divided into four themes: hotel, site, projects and objects—for instance the pink of the restaurant floor at the designer’s sprawling campus– all beautifully captured with art direction by Studio RENS.

Revalued by Elly Feldstein Nielsen

Photography by Sara Jaensch.

Dutch Invertuals presents the results of their first intensive six-week program Dutch Invertuals Academy from this past summer. Elly Feldstein Nielsen explored what once was an unloved and unused piece of furniture—an old oak desk—and gives it new life as a series of stools by turning its components inside out

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