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How Dutch Design Week Tackled Refugees, Fashion Industry

How Dutch Design Week Tackled Refugees, Fashion Industry

This year, Dutch Design Week took on the world’s problems, from the refugee crisis to ethical industries.

The 2015 edition had a record number of visitors, estimated at over 270,000 over nine days. About 2,500 designers presented exhibitions, events, and talks in more than locations across Eindhoven.

Oriented towards creativity and innovation, Dutch Design Week has become one of the most exciting events in the international design calendar, with graduates from the Design Academy Eindhoven presenting ideas side by side with established industry leaders. This year as well, two DDW ambassadors (design studio Makkink & Bey, and designer, philosopher and scientist Koert van Mensvoort) provided guidance, curation, and stimulation for the public and the design community alike.

The event culminated with Dutch Design Awards. The Submarine Channel agency took the Communication and Future awards for its interactive online documentary Refugee Republic, about daily life in the Syrian refugee camp Domiz, in northern Iraq.

Teresa van Dongen, who graduated from Design Academy Eindhoven in 2014 and was showing at DDW this year as well, was awarded the Young Designer Award for her small, but substantial body of work at the intersection of natural science and design.

A prize was awarded to the most surprising or impressive presentation. Concept store You Are Here, curated by designers Niek Pulles and Harm Rensink, was recognized for entrepreneurship and generosity towards the fashion talent taking part.

“The designers’ role during DDW is changing," said Rianne Makking, one of the DDW ambassadors. “The designer becomes a curator, puts issues on the agenda and also generates new work.”

“What struck me was the unbelievable openness and the inclusive character of DDW," said Koert van Mensvoort, another DDW ambassador. “It is no longer about the world of design, but about the design of the world.”

As has become expected, DDW is a place to find out about the designs and the designers that will make a mark on the future. Blouin ARTINFO has assembled a top list of the most interesting new names discovered at Dutch Design Week 2015: Click on the slideshow to find out more.

Dutch Design Week 2015 ran through October 25 at various locations in Eindhoven.




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