16 November 2018
When D&F visited Dutch Design Week
At Dodgems and Floss, we are very lucky to be part of a great collection of Kent creative businesses under the umbrella of the ISE project, delivered by it’s lead partner Kent County Council. Together we explore Europe, learning all about the creative, design and digital environment away from our fair isle.
Our most recent trip took us to Dutch Design Week in the southern city of Eindhoven, birthplace of tech giant Philips. Spread over 8 days, Dutch Design week takes over the entire city with commercial spaces, parks, university campuses, shops, theatres and cinemas being transformed into shrines to design and artistic expression.
We only had time to experience two days of what the city had to offer but we crammed as much innovation into 48 hours as humanly possible and we set off bright and early into the Dutch sunshine.
First stop was the Strijp – S area of the city, home to a huge complex of steampunk type buildings that used to house a large number of Philips factories but today would play host to the Brabant living lab and a huge set of halls jammed with new tech. The Brabant living lab was a bijou collection of outdoor exhibitions and activities focused on sustainability and saving our planet. Every person, stall and stand made you genuinely stop and think about what we need to do to protect Earth and put into stark focus that time is running out to find sustainable solutions to many production processes in almost every sector on the planet.
Up next was a guided tour around an expansive collection of tech, all housed in an old Philips light bulb factory with innovations from smart fridges to how the future of housing will be solved by using 3D printed abodes. The jury is out on that one. Everything on show was a truly creative, design led solution to problems that consumers and businesses face everyday.
After a long day came a packed evening. We were lucky enough to meet with the board of the City of Imagineers, a network of creative business who joined forces in Breda to offer clients a one stop shop for all their digital and marketing needs. Learning from our peer group and those in other digital environments is one of our prime directives whilst away and the insight that this group of pioneers gave us has been invaluable.
Day 2 took us to the campina zone and a treasure trove of art displayed in a collection of warehouses dotted around the design university campus. There were some very compelling pieces alongside truly expressive displays but not design. Not in the sense that design is born of needing to find solutions.
And that is the essence of good design, the ability to solve a problem using creativity. We saw many examples of design thinking that resulted in innovation that has the potential to change the world.