Design – Dutch Design Week 2021 takes over the city of Eindhoven with a rich programme of events and exhibitions exploring the theme The Great Number, which questions consumerism, overproduction and economic growth in relation to well-being and sustainability. We rounded up the best exhibitions at the 20th edition of Northern Europe’s largest design event.
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THE MAIN THEME – DDW 2021 criticises humanity’s bulimia for growth, our quest for the bigger number, and calls for less. “Less consumption, less production, and therefore less waste. [Still,] we know less isn’t always possible, so 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.” Explain at Dutch Design Week. “The Great Number is about striving to change the behaviour of consumers and manufacturers.”
Paradijslaan 8 [Map].
Design talent goes on show at the exhibition Between No-Longer and Not-Yet at Kazerne, a complex comprising design hotels, shops and exhibition spaces within former military barracks connected to an industrial warehouse. Works by Adaptism, Giulia Pompilj, Jet and Pieke Bergmans and more cherish the uncertainty of our times with a hopeful attitude and create hopeful examples of new perspectives together.
Fuutlaan 12B [Map].
How could design foster our future cities, where collective ownership, fluid identities and nature can thrive? Dutch Invertuals and The Future Laboratory present the exhibition Objects for a New Kind of Society. For the ‘undesign’ project, Wen Zhan created urban furniture made from found materials from the streets of Hong Kong. Based on conversations with a Canadian sex worker, the Made to disappear project by Rachel Rafael explores the living room as a place of performance influenced by the forced exclusion of prostitution from the public sphere.
DAE Graduation Show
Lardinoisstraat 10 [Map].
At the Beursgebouw, Design Academy Eindhoven – DAE – Graduation Show 2021 features the projects of 163 graduates contextualising contemporary issues through design. Ginevra Petrozzi’s ‘Digital Exoterism’ project explores Tarot and other witchcraft rituals to interpret the content of smartphones, reclaiming agency from algorithmic prediction systems. Leo Maher presents a series of objects representative of the history of homosexuality in Western civilisation through identifiers, legends and euphemisms.
Kiki & Joost
Gabriël Metsulaan 1 – entrance Kanaaldijk Zuid [Map].
The ‘Meanwhile’ exhibition by Kiki & Joost reveals what they’ve been feeling over the past two years. The show unveils the Dutch design duo’s creativity and pure energy of the process of creation, featuring autonomous work alongside new collections for Maison Dada and MOOOI, an installation for the Queen of Hearts Foundation, and works by Cor Unum.
Isola Design District in Eindhoven
The established Isola Design District from Milan brings hope and optimism to Eindhoven with two group exhibitions at the Pennings Foundation [Geldropseweg 63, Map] and the Schellens Fabriek [Bleekweg 1M, Map]. “After these two tough years, we deserve good news. That’s why we celebrate the presents and the future of design imagined by the creatives of our international community.” Says Gabriele Cavallaro. Co-founder e Creative Director of Isola Design Group. Wisse Trooster upcycles varnish buckets, ash and cutting boards for his Circular Wall Lamp Collection; Studio Detail presents rocking chairs dressed in recycled cork.
Van Abben Museum
Stratumsedijk 2 [Map].
The Van Abbenmuseum offers a diverse program focusing on inclusiveness and geopolitical forces. The 1m2 collective asks how inclusive is DDW as a festival. The ‘Budget Airline’ exhibition by the GEO-DESIGN platform in collaboration with Design Academy Eindhoven explores the impact of low-cost airlines globally. The ‘White Papers on Dissent’ explores the potential of blockchain technology to re-address power structures, create alternative forms of governance, and generate new forms of digital activism to support commons-oriented ecosystems.
Piet Hein Eek
Halvemaanstraat 30 [Map].
Piet Hein Eek opens his studio and factory, comprising a restaurant with a roof-top bar, a shop, a wonder-room gallery, and a brand-new design hotel, inaugurated earlier this month. On show designer’s new circular economy-driven collections.