Friday, October 23, 2009

Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven 17-25 October 2009

In their bid to become a World Design Capital 2012, the City of Eindhoven has shown its commitment to design with its showcase Dutch Design Week Festival. For Eindhoven design entrepreneurship has been targeted as a solution by the City to fill the vacuum left by the relocation of Philips manufacturing. However, the legacy of the Philips heyday is noticeable in the many huge factories left empty, as well as the history of innovation and technical capabilities.
With more than 250 events across 60 locations, the Dutch Design Week is an impressive event. It has taken place in Eindhoven every year since 2003.
Among the highlights of this year’s exhibitions are the Design Academy Graduation show and the Dutch Design Awards. I particularly liked the Paper Zoo exhibition, with very interesting conceptual creatures made of paper, a lot of creativity and clear conceptual thinking, At the Graduation show students were able to show interesting and challenging concepts, presented with functioning prototypes and well written brief justification of their ideas. Also impressive was the attendance to the exhibitions. The student show was buzzing even though it was a midweek morning.
Another fun element of the event’s infrastructure were the ‘design rides’, specially decorated taxis to transport visitors around the many design venues. Great service and good fun adding to the city’s creative atmosphere!
The Week’s key event was the Design Management Europe (DME) Award 2009 (following the DME Award 2008 which took place in Cardiff) on Thursday 22nd. The venue was one of the old Philips factories, the De Machinekamer in the Strijp-S. Being the decommissioned power station for the Philips Factory, the venue provided an authentic experience to the DME Award attendees.

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