Using design to 'stretch' boundaries at Dutch Design Week

"Stretching" out of comfort zones is the theme for the 16th Dutch Design Week, taking place from 21-29 October in Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

Dutch Design Week 2017 - ©Dutch Design Week

Dutch Design Week (DDW), the self-titled "biggest design event in Northern Europe", shows work from over 2500 designers, artists and creators at more than 100 locations across the city, attracting an estimated audience of 295,000 visitors. Its focus is on the future of design, and this year is no exception, with the theme "stretch" calling out to designers to push boundaries.

"Stretch" design

Previous themes for Dutch Design Week have included "The Making Of", "What if" and "Up". Martijn Paulen, Director Dutch Design Foundation explains 2017's "Stretch": "Today's world is complex and poses enormous challenges. Designers have revolutionary ideas and innovative solutions for the future. Sometimes inspiring, sometimes confrontational. In this sense, Dutch design is yoga for the brain. Stretching exercises for people who don't want to get stuck in their ways."

Highlights from the 2017 program

In his statement, Paulen pulls a few highlights from the program, including the Design Academy Eindhoven's Graduation Show, which promises to showcase the talent of new designers ready to push boundaries.
The Dutch Design Awards are also an opportunity to discover innovative designers and vote for the winner of the Public Award.

At the Van Abbemuseum, more new talent in the form of Talent Development stipend recipients will be exhibiting their work through nine installations entitled "In No Particular Order".

New to the programme this year are the inaugural Future Food Design Awards, set up to "encourage and spotlight innovative and disruptive designs for sustainable future food." With similar goals, Farm of the World is a cultural project that focuses on a sustainable future for the countryside, showcasing products and hosting workshops and lectures during Design Week.

Another new element to the DDW is the introduction of the World Design Event, run by the Dutch Design Foundation and Design City Eindhoven, which aims to bring international designers together to discuss concerns such as climate change, food security, drinking water access, labour and raw materials and healthcare. One of the projects during the DDW will be a "People's Pavililion" made entirely from borrowed resources, all of which will be returned afterwards.

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