Dezeen Magazine

Dutch Design Week 2018 announces theme

Dutch Design Week 2018 will explore how designers can improve the world

Dezeen promotion: Dutch Design Week is calling on the design industry to be more conscious about the impact of their creations with its 2018 theme: If not us, then who?

Dezeen is media partner for the 17th edition of Dutch Design Week, which takes place from 20 to 28 October 2018 in Eindhoven.

The aim of this year's event is to spread the optimistic spirit that designers can improve the world.

Dutch Design Week 2018 announces theme
Photo is by Iris Rijskamp

"Designers think up solutions, create innovations, are pioneers, make things tangible and functional," said Dutch Design Week director Martijn Paulen.

"They look at their surroundings and the world in a unique way. How could it be different, better?"

The theme builds on the success of Good Design for a Bad World, a Dezeen project at last year's Dutch Design Week, which explored how design could provide solutions to global issues including terrorism, pollution and climate change.

Dutch Design Week 2018 announces theme
Photo is by Boudewijn Bollmann

The organisers note that almost every object, building, space in the world has been conceived by a designer of some sort – and that this must be seen as both an opportunity and a responsibility.

"Designers continually supply authentic and surprising answers," said Paulen.

"It is up to us all to embrace and stimulate these creative solutions, and that includes you. If not you, then who? Together we decide how the world will look. Now it's our turn; If not us, then who?"

Dutch Design Week 2018 announces theme
Photo is by Max Kneefel

Dutch Design Week has named three ambassadors for 2018: Ravi Naidoo of Design Indaba, Laurens van den Acker of Renault and Wendy Plomp of Dutch Invertuals. Like last year's ambassadors, who included Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs, the trio will create special projects for the festival.

First launched in 1998, Dutch Design Week is known as one of the most experimental festivals on the design circuit, and often features various projects by young and emerging designers.

With the city also home to one of the most famous design schools in the world, Design Academy Eindhoven, the week-long festival also includes the work of many promising graduates who embody the optimistic spirit of this year's theme.

Dutch Design Week 2018 announces theme
Photo is by Dick Rennings

This year's event is expected to include more than 2,600 participants, who will present their work to over 335,000 visitors from the Netherlands and abroad, across more than 100 locations around the city.

A partial programme is already available on the Dutch Design Week website, to give visitors a taste of what to expect.

This forms part of a new content platform created for this year, created in collaboration with digital design agency Vruchtvlees. This new website will showcase innovation, experimentation and cross-overs within design during the festival and throughout the rest of the year.

Main photo by Max Kneefel