20 October 2016

IWH’s guide to the Dutch Design Week

Words: Shahar Livne, Xandra van der Eijk
Photography: Courtesy of the organizers

There is lots to see and do, and your time is sparse. Where to go and what to do? We’ve got you covered!

Once again the biggest event of design in the Netherlands will attract thousands of curious spectators to the city of Eindhoven next week. We at I Wait Here keep a close look on what is interesting in design future, present and past. As such, we would like to help you get the most out of Dutch Design Week 2016 by giving you our carefully curated recommendations.

First things first

As Dutch Design Week enfolds throughout the city of Eindhoven and contains numerous locations and events, we have split our guide in three sections. Our selection for this year is about understanding what is being made and why, with a focus on futurology. The selected exhibitions and events should be seen as an exploration into the impact of creation, and brings us a glimpse of what is to come. It challenges us to think about if and what part design and art can or should play in future scenario’s.

Besides thinking we also like drinking – so don’t worry, we’ve added a nice list of social gatherings for you at the bottom and we hope to meet you there! We recommend a DDW ticket for €17,50 in pre-sale, a bargain if you see what’s included. Some of the events mentioned below need reservations or charge extra, so be sure to do some planning up front and check out the links we provided.

But most of all: HAVE FUN! XO Team IWH

Creative Industries Fund NL 2015




Transnaturals main focus this year is Geo-engineering: the human intervention that is needed in order to maintain and restore our natural environment. How to deal with issues of extreme drought, rising water levels, pollution, and waste? What tools can be used to regenerate our ecosystems? The Regeneration exhibition delves into these and other questions.

Featuring: Ivan Henriques, Diana Scherer, Robyn Tayler Payne and others.

Transnatural: Regeneration
The Salt Project by Eric Geboers

BioArt Laboratories: The Essence of Things

With ‘The Essence of Things’  BioArt Laboratories wants visitors to think about the basics and fundamentals of our world. The exhibition will show innovative biotech projects that form an exploration of substance and matter, capturing fundamentals and basics in a new form.They will encourage visitors to reflect upon the impact of current (scientific) developments in our culture and society.

Creative Industries Fund NL: In No Particular Order

A showcase of 32 promising designers who were selected in 2015 by the Creative Industries Fund NL for a year-long talent development grant. This exhibition shows the result of how the designers put their grants to use; showing everything from product, fashion and textile design to architecture, e-culture and graphic design, from installations, performances and film to print publications. It is one of our favorite go to places every year because of the high quality and diversity. If you have only one day, be sure to put this exhibition on your list.

Featuring: Roos Meerman, Gabey Tjon a Tham, Theresa van Dongen and others
Recommended side event: exhibitor Eric Schrijver hosts an event on intellectual property as part of his presentation. Find more information here


Age of Wonderland: Big Cosmic Data workshop

Branly Lopez explores the connection between indigenous knowledge of the ancient Mayas and knowledge based on scientific paradigms. As our perception of time and space is changing, would it be possible for both fields of knowledge to compliment each other?

Workshop participants will get to know an ancestral system of consciousness and learn to understand how we can implement it in our daily lives. Participants will also learn about the mathematical matrix and the philosophical time-space relation inscribed in the Mayan calendar: cyclical time and eternal present. Buy your ticket here 

In No Particular Order 2015



At Onomatopee there will be multiple small exhibitions rolled into one. It is a presentation with an emphasis on design: products and services by an exceptional international vanguard will be put in the limelight. The thematics of the curated projects revolve around the challenges of transience in design. Besides the exhibition there will be an extensive side program with workshops and lectures. It is too much to include here and since the program is still under construction at the moment of writing, we advise you to visit their Facebook event for planning.

Featuring: Femke de Vries, Marleen Sleeuwits, Thomas Raat and others


For new material and crafts oriented visitors Kazerne seems the go-to place this year. With an extensive curated exhibition called ‘Escape’ as well as a selection of individual presentations, the designer as artisan and inventor is shown in a variety of ways.

RembrandtLAB – Constructing Colours

As part of RembrandtLAB 2016, designers Maarten Kolk and Guus Kusters spent a year meticulously researching and analyzing Rembrandts raw materials, paint layering and recipes, and reconstructing them with alternative materials, techniques and supports. Working from some of Rembrandts paintings, they demonstrate how the use of colour and pigments, the raw materials, recipes and colour perception can be reproduced. At the same time, they explore modern interpretations in other supports, materials and techniques.

Crafts Council: Indigo – Sharing Blue

Crafts Council Nederland invited four maker-designers to travel to Kyushu to explore the indigo heritage from the Netherlands and Japan during a crafts exchange. They have examined uses and traditions and will revive the craft, which is surrounded by many mysteries. The designers learned directly from experienced masters and investigate the value of indigo for creative and sustainable solutions and for contemporary applications in fashion, design and art.

Featuring: Aliki van der Kruijs, Maaike Gottschal, Liselore Frowijn and Adriaan Kundert

Cosmic Garden

In the attic of the Kazerne Jan Koen Lomans and Marc Mulders present their latest collaboration: an installation called Cosmic Garden. Both inspired by the same leitmotif being the course of nature and transformation, the installation represents the cosmic cycle.

Escape exhibition at Kazerne
Studio Drift

Kelderman en van Noort

New Window: Beyond The Naked Eye

The exhibition shows a diversity of ways artists and designers have captured their surroundings.

They have developed their own unique working methods to gather new insights and depict the intrinsic beauty of the unseen landscape. In this quest these makers often skillfully rig existing techniques to their own hand, causing a surprising and renewing outcome.

Featuring: Sacha van den Haak & Felix van Dam, Stefan Peters, Jólan van der Wiel

Van Abbemuseum

Design Academy: Broken White

For centuries we viewed colour in terms of light hitting an object and reflecting off it in varying degrees. Total reflection results in white, complete absorption in black. But today’s ubiquitous screens are not light reflecting objects, they are objects that emit light themselves. The source of colour has changed, and with that, the way it manifests itself.The emergence of new techniques and materials has caused not only an increase in the different manifestations of colors, but also in the number of meanings colors can have. Broken White demonstrates how designers and artists are dealing with this and how they are part of creating new ways of perceiving color.

Featuring: Anish Kapoor, Anna Badur, Andrea Büttner and others

Left: Sacha van den Haak & Felix van Dam
New Window / Kelderman en van Noort
Right: Os & Oos / Broken White

Design Academy

Graduation Show: In Need Of

This list would not be complete without the graduation show. Although yes, it is very crowded, and yes, it’s the obvious choice for a guide like this – it is the new generation people! And there is not another group of people that is so idealistic and so naive (in the most positive sense of the word), as recently graduated design students. In our opinion it is worth elbowing through the crowds for. So go there, get inspired, be amazed, help these youngsters connect with whomever can help them grow – let us show them some support!

NS Loods / studio Edhv

Dutch Invertuals: Power Play

Every year Dutch Invertuals designers develop new conceptual works following a collective theme. This year the theme is ‘energy overload’ and concerns the future resources for energy. The designers play with and explore the complexities of the subject, providing new angles and fresh perspectives. Invertuals’ pressure cooker projects aim to hint at new possibilities and materials, or to visually communicate a designers’ view on the theme. Quality aesthetics and high energy guaranteed!

Featuring: Roos Meerman, Hongjie Yang, Wendy Andreu and others

Dutch Invertuals 2015 : No Static


Half the fun of Dutch Design Week is visiting the many parties, openings and designers’ pop-up restaurants. It is also a perfect opportunity to fully emerge yourself in the design scene and to get updated on current subjects. So to conclude our recommendations, we finish off with a list of activities that we are hoping to attend  – looking forward to meet you there!

DDW Kick-off at Van Abbe Museum
Opening of the Broken White exhibition, with talks, tours and whatnot
Details here

Voting for Dutch Design Awards
At the exhibition at Veemgebouw or onlineWe will be rooting for Arita/2016, how about you?

Hangout at Sectie C
Walking through the maze of ateliers, attending a concert, having some dinner&drinks by the bonfire or party until the wee hours…
Details here

Creative Industries Fund NL – Breakfast sessions
A series of talks/discussions at breakfast time, exploring current challenges that designers face in their workfield.
Details here

Eat & Shop at NulZes
Food experience by Naresh, live music, shop – and a ceramics sample sale on Sunday!
Perfect combination with the exhibition at Kelderman van Noort and Dutch Invertuals.
Details here

Dezinema Movienight
Outdoor cinema at Sectie C with movies made by designers and design students. Expect stories about their lives, projects and society.
Details here

The Big Datadada Dialogues at NatLab
A provocative seminar concerning big and open data, free tickets here

Create Out Loud: daily design talkshow at MU
Daily talks oriented on bioart/design and new materials, featuring Bio Art & Design Award and New Material Award winners & nominees.
Details here

Nightly Bizarre Sound Creatures
The latest musical innovations, weirdest sound objects, an interactive exhibition, live performances, lectures, workshops… Total awesomeness.
Details here

Dutch Invertuals: Energy Overload Party
Dutch Invertuals traditionally hosts a party on Friday night. We haven’t seen an official announcement but we’re pretty sure it’s on!

Sectie C at night

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