Glow 2013: Urban Paradise -The Day After on NRE-terrain
Diana Ramaekers
Photo: Luca van Leeuwen


Angela van der Burght

Posted 27 November 2013

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Dutch Design – Alive and kicking

As you can see on the Home page of Glass is more! we are now supported by the City of Eindhoven and the Dutch Design Week, too.
Eindhoven is profiling itself as Light Town and the City of Design.
With the Design Academy Eindhoven and its former students as successful designers; new initiatives like the bundling of work centres on the NRE site in the heart of the city in the former buildings of the gas factory; the Dutch Design Week; Glow; Strijp-S with the first 3D-print Factory, with Plaza Futura in Philips’ former NatLab, and; the Klokgebouw with expositions, fairs and activities like STRP Living Lab with Music, Art & Technology events,; The renewed Machinekamer and Ketelhuis, Anton & Gerard buildings and Piet Hein Eek,; Apparatenfabriek with Capital D,; Galerie Yksi,; Industrial Design at the Technical University Eindhoven; Technology Campus,, the smartest km2 in The Netherlands with more than 120 companies and institutes, and some 8,000 researchers, developers and entrepreneurs working on developing future technologies and products; De Kazerne & Loods,, to name a few.

The city’s website writes: “Think of Eindhoven and you can’t help thinking of the internationally renowned Van Abbemuseum. In the last twenty years Eindhoven has built or rebuilt a number of cultural institutions: the Plaza Futura cinema/theatre, the Frits Philips Music Center, the ‘Middenzaal’ of the Stadsschouwburg theatre, the Effenaar, the Designhuis, and the Witte Dame. Together with the Port of Rotterdam and Schiphol Airport, the Eindhoven region is one of the three mainports in the Netherlands. The city is more than justified in calling itself ‘Brainport’. The region accounts for around 40 per cent of R&D investments in the Netherlands ( In the last years the former Philips complex Strijp-S is transformed into an area with excellent residential, working and leisure facilities. A total of 1,600 new homes will be built. Space will also be provided for small-scale business activities, while retaining the existing industrial architecture.”

Mrs. Drs Mary-Ann Schreurs, alderman Innovation, Design, Culture and Public space of the City of Eindhoven, is our best Ambassador in the world of art, design and material and to support our message she will write a special article for Glass is more!

With an estimated 250,000 visitors at DDW 2013, the Dutch Design Week (DDW) looks back on a very successful twelfth edition. Thanks to the work of more than 2,000 designers, also in terms of content the week gives cause for satisfaction. All this took place in a remarkably relaxed atmosphere. In the final interview with the daily tabloid, DDW director Martijn Paulen said: “Together, we’ve created a really positive buzz. Spring is in the air. ( ... ) I am incredibly impressed with what we pulled off together. It is phenomenal; it gives me goose bumps. Mad.”

Particularly at weekends and on the sunny Tuesday, it was busy. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Ambassadors Piet Hein Eek and Daan Roosegaarde there was ample attention both for the established and for the smaller locations. The new interpretation of the Klokgebouw was received positively. The passe-partout, which was introduced this year, proved no obstacle to the public. Visitors also took full advantage of the thirty MINI Design Rides. Along with a number of free shuttle buses, they transported an estimated 10,000 people per day. Convinced that daring experiment and a do-it-yourself mentality can lead to answers and solutions, DDW enabled the public to acquaint themselves with the design and the designers of tomorrow. This year’s theme, ‘Future Now’, was given shape and interpretation in many different ways. Notable trends were research and cooperation, both between designers and interdisciplinary.

With the release of the book Designers Year Book 2013, the NRC wrote in the article Designporno is saai (design porn is boring) by Rinske Koelewijn in an interview with Timo de Rijk: “Everything is design. It is more than the chairs, bags, lamps and services you see in the museums. It is also more than a modern house full of design goodies…”. Commenting the daily stream of Facebook he calls the current tight white homes with cast floors, plenty of steel and concrete, here and there a green tuft of plants, perfectly cleaned up, no man to see, let alone a child, “Design porn”, an “equivalent of silicone tits”. “Anonyms’ perfection, pretty nice though, but insanely boring.”

Studio Job launched the Volvo Design Challenge at the Dutch Design Week and page large advertisements invited Dutch students and young designers to design an item inspired on the Volvo XC60.

In his column Potentie (Potency) of 9/11/2013 in the NRC, Bas Heijne wrote on the policy document Culture moves by Jet Bussemaker, Minister for Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands, how the wild dynamics of the pep talk reigns supremely using the buzzwords potential, resilience, creativity, innovation, inspiration. How Designing (Vormgeven), in every sense of that word, is more important than ever. How consumer goods are sold now as aesthetic objects. The book L’esthétisation du monde; vivre à l’age du capitalisme artiste by the French sociologists Gilles Lipovetsky and Jean Serroy explains how capitalism has become artistic in recent decades - after goods and services, more and more often emotions, experiences, sensations are sold now. How next to culture, education, public health, knowledge and science, art itself is business. To participate in society is paramount! A behaviour that needs not to be encouraged by the government as all designers in the current form of capitalism already have the time of their lives. Furthermore, there is mainly the tendency to support what already is successful and what scores abroad.

The Dutch Design Week was too short to see it all, but gave plenty to enjoy and plenty of food for thoughts! So, save the date October 2014 and come and see for yourself.

You can read more on Design on the freshly published pages Design Continuum and The technique of Design part I and part II.

Angela van der Burght © 10/11/2013

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