"Eindhoven has design, it has science and it has industry"
Dezeen and MINI World Tour: the penultimate stop on our Dezeen and MINI World tour is Eindhoven. In our first video report from the city, co-founder of Dutch Design Week Miriam van der Lubbe explains how the small industrial town has become one of the leading centres for design and technology in the world.
"Eindhoven is actually a very small city compared to the big capitals in Europe or the world," says van der Lubbe. "It's a group of about seven villages that grew together into Eindhoven."
It is also not a very pretty one. "The centre of Eindhoven really got destroyed [during the Second World War]," Van der Lubbe explains. "They built it up in the fifties and it became a really ugly city. In Eindhoven, it can only get better."
Despite its size, the city has been a site for technological innovation since the industrial revolution, thanks almost entirely to Dutch electronics giant Philips.
The company was founded in Eindhoven in 1891 and, although it moved its headquarters to Amsterdam in 1997, its blue logo still adorns many of the buildings in the city.
Once Philips moved out, many people were afraid Eindhoven would become a "non-area", Van der Lubbe says. In fact, the creative industries were quick to take advantage of the large amounts of cheap space Philips left behind.
One example Van der Lubbe takes us to is Strijp, a former Philips industrial complex that is now one of the central areas of Dutch Design Week.
"Strijp is a major part of Eindhoven centre actually," says Van der Lubbe. "The owner of Strijp bought these industrial buildings and gave them to the creative people."
An abundance of designers ready to take up these former industrial spaces graduate each year from Design Academy Eindhoven, which has gained a reputation as one of the foremost design schools in the world.
Former students include Hella Jongerius, Marcel Wanders and Tord Boontje and many graduates, such as Piet Hein Eek plus Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farrasin of Formafantasma, choose to stay in the city.
Van der Lubbe, herself a Design Academy Eindhoven alumni, shares a studio in nearby Geldrop with fellow academy graduate Niels van Eijk.
"It grew out of Philips, because they saw that design was an important aspect of products," she says of the school.
"It used to be that as soon as people graduated they left. But now they're coming back because they see that there's something going on here that's interesting."
There is still an emphasis on science and technology in Eindhoven. Van der Lubbe takes us to the High Tech Campus on the outskirts of the city, where many technology companies are based, as well as Eindhoven University of Technology.
Having design, industry, science and technology in such close proximity is the key to Eindhoven's success, says Van der Lubbe.
"There is a huge opportunity for Eindhoven because it has all these aspects in it," she says. "It has the academic world, it has science, it has the creative world, it definitely has industry."
"The potential of what is here is just starting to come out and there is so much more that can actually happen here. I really believe that."
We drove around Eindhoven in our MINI Cooper S Paceman. The music in the movie is a track called Family Music by Eindhoven-based hip hop producer Y'Skid.
You can listen to more music by Y'Skid on Dezeen Music Project and watch more of our Dezeen and MINI World Tour movies here.