Dezeen and Dutch Design Week launch Good Design for a Bad World initiative

Dezeen and Dutch Design Week launch Good Design for a Bad World initiative

Dezeen is teaming up with Dutch Design Week to launch a new platform exploring the ways designers are addressing the big problems facing the world.

Called Good Design for a Bad World, the project will kick off with a series of panel discussions at Dutch Design Week (DDW) in Eindhoven later this month.

Dezeen founder Marcus Fairs has this year been appointed DDW's first international ambassador, and the project is his contribution to the week.

"For a long time I've wanted to draw attention to the ways that designers today are tackling major issues facing the world," said Fairs. "Good Design for a Bad World will hopefully shine a spotlight on great work in this area and encourage others to follow suit."

There will be five Good Design for a Bad World discussions in Eindhoven, taking place over the weekend of 21-22 October.

The talks will address climate change, refugees, terrorism, pollution and politics, with each group of speakers discussing if and how design can make a difference in these areas.

Speakers already confirmed include humanitarian expert Kilian Kleinschmidt, architect Winy Maas, designer Dave Hakkens and What Design Can Do conference organiser Richard van der Lacken.

In an essay explaining the concept, which Dezeen will publish later today, Fairs wrote: "For a long time it felt as if the design world had lost its moral compass, turning its back on social, political and environmental issues. Designers seemed instead to seek fame for its own sake and frittered their problem-solving talents on trivial or indulgent projects."

"But it feels as if a collective conscience is emerging among designers, and a determination to make a difference," he continued. "Spurred perhaps by the twin political shocks of Brexit and Trump, designers are increasingly engaging with the big issues of the day through their work."

Dutch Design Week runs from 21 to 29 October. Further details of the discussions at DDW, including locations and times, will be announced soon.