Dutch Design Week 2019: Best in show

Dutch Design Week may have closed its doors for another year, but we certainly haven’t seen the last of the concepts exhibited. 

Renowned for being the most cutting-edge of the global design shows, the week-long festival in Eindhoven is a breeding ground for innovation. It attracts the most trailblazing brands and designers from around the world, bringing topical themes to life in the most creative ways possible.

With a packed roster of events and installations, we were hard pressed to pick just a few highlights. But some exhibits achieved true stand out. Here is our ‘best in show’ round-up:

Photo credit: Oscar Vinck

The Growing Pavilion 

Social challenges such as climate change, subsidence levels, an increase of CO2 and the scarcity of resources inspired the creation of The Growing Pavilion. 

Showcasing the possibilities, and beauty, of bio-based materials, Company New Heroes, Dutch Design Foundation and partners from design, architecture, construction, government and education undertook the task of building the natural structure, with all materials sourced locally. 

The result was an impressive construct, which provided a glimpse into potential solutions for the not-so-distant future. 

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Photo credit: Shahar Livne

Rethinking Plastic

In a collaborative project, 25 designers and brands from around the world have approached the plastic crisis as a design challenge. Each product or concept displayed as part of the timely exhibit took a unique approach to the task. Some opted for bio-based packaging alternatives, while others focused on recycled toys. 

“The participating designers show that it is possible with creativity and courage to reconsider and rebuild our relationship with plastic. To ultimately leave a cleaner planet for future generations.”

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Image courtesy of VOUW


A chair concept designed to help fight loneliness proved to be one of the most poignant installations exhibited at this year’s show. VOUW’s Chairwave aims to encourage conversation through automatically unfolding empty seats – as soon as a person sits down, the chair next to them unfolds. 

The project presents the perfect opportunity for a chat, offering people the chance to connect with those around them. We’re big fans and look forward to seeing what’s next from VOUW founders, Mingus Vogel and Justus Bruns. 

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Image courtesy of Tarkett

Fluid Forces

A partnership between ELLE Decoration Netherlands and leading flooring manufacturer Tarkett saw the exploration of three key workplace themes: Concentrate, Cocreate & Celebrate. 

With a focus on diversification in the office, the immersive room-sets reflected how interiors are helping to support the changing needs of workers – from feminisation to ‘zoning’. The resulting spaces captured many forecasted office trends, inspired by The Great Indoors’ Rethinking Workplace report, and Storeys Journal.  

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Photo credit: Jeroen van der Wielen

Aptum Lighting 

Aptum, the new lighting brand from Ontwerpduo, exists somewhere between interior design and art. Offering adaptable statement light fittings, the products are described as both “practical and poetic”. And we have to agree.

As we’ve seen from a multitude of research, light can have a huge impact on the people using a space – whether that be a workplace, residential or hospitality environment. And so by implementing a solution that’s both functional and aesthetically strong, designers can be safe in the knowledge they’ll achieve an illuminating outcome. 

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All images courtesy of those credited

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