Virtual Design Festival

Channelling Change: Inside A Designer's Brain spotlights sustainable Dutch design

Fourteen Dutch designers show solutions for a more sustainable future in Channelling Change: Inside A Designer's Brain, a virtual exhibition presented here as part of VDF x Ventura Projects.

Channelling Change: Inside A Designer's Brain is a travelling exhibition curated by Ventura Projects, with the support of Netherlands Enterprise Agency and Creative #olland.

The theme is sustainability, with the show spotlighting how Dutch designers use the environmental and social challenges of today as the starting point for their work.

"Why design if it is not sustainable?"

"Within the Dutch design sector, sustainability is no longer a constraint, on the contrary, it has become the starting point," explained the curators. "Why create, design, conceive if it is not sustainable or contributes to improvements in the triangle of environment, people, nature?"

Studio Nienke Hoogvliet
The exhibition (below) includes Waterschatten by Studio Nienke Hoogvliet, which uses waste toilet paper to make objects

According to Ventura Projects, Channelling Change: Inside A Designer's Brain also gives an insight into the way that designers think, make, research and take on the challenges, and why.

Its ambition is to help other industries and companies become aware of what sustainable innovations are available to implement in their own work. In turn, it hopes to help create a more sustainable future.

Fourteen exhibitors explore sustainability

The fourteen exhibitors include Atelier Boelhouwer, Atelier LVDW, Studio Nienke Hoogvliet, Beer Holthuis, Sanne Visser, Studio Yvon Smeets, Xandra van der Eijk, Tamara Orjola, Studio Sway, Shahar Livne, Studio Billie van Katwijk, Studio Chardé Brouwer and Studio Lionne van Deursen. It also comprises a collaborative project by Pauline Wiersema and Thieu Custers.

In addition, Nienke Hoogvliet of Studio Nienke Hoogvliet will be taking part in a live panel discussion at 2:00pm UK time as part of the Ventura Projects collaboration with VDF.

Hoogvliet's work does not feature in the video above because she struggles with the way to present her project digitally – a challenge she will address during the live conversation.

The fourteen projects presented as part of Channelling Change: Inside A Designer's Brain are below:

Atelier Boelhouwer

Exhibitor: Atelier Boelhouwer
Project title: Insectology – Food for Buzz

Atelier Boelhouwer is a research and design studio whose work focuses on the world of insects and plants.

Insectology – Food for Buzz is a series of artificial flowers that the studio has developed to provide emergency food sources for bees, hoverflies, butterflies and moths.

Designed with engineers and scientists, the ambition of the project is to help restore dwindling insect populations in urban environments. Each of the five flowers can continuously produce food, are self-sustaining and coloured to help attract the insects.

Photo is by Janneke van der Po.

Email: [email protected]

Atelier LVDW

Exhibitor: Atelier LVDW
Project title: Jute Tile

Atelier LVDW is a material research and design studio that specialises in bespoke and handcrafted surfaces.

Jute Tile is the studio's collection of wallcoverings that are made from Forbo flooring's discarded jute fibres – the only waste material in the production of its linoleum collections.

The tiles are made by combining the discarded fibres with plaster, which provides each one with a distinct pattern and strong, durable finish.

Atelier LVDW's ambition is to give a waste material a second life, and in turn make Forbo linoleum a zero-waste product.

Photo is by Laura van de Wijdeven.

Email: [email protected]

Beer Holthuis

Exhibitor: Beer Holthuis
Project title: Paper Pulp Printer

Beer Holthuis is a product designer and Design Academy Eindhoven graduate.

He is introducing the world's first paper-pulp 3D printer as part of Channelling Changing, which uses paper and natural binders to create strong and "endlessly recyclable products".

Aptly named Paper Pulp Printer, it was developed in response to the growing market of 3D printing on demand, but the lack of sustainable materials with which to print.

Email: [email protected]

Pauline Wiersema and Thieu Custers

Exhibitor: Pauline Wiersema and Thieu Custers
Project title: Sponsored By

Pauline Wiersema and Thieu Custers are designers who strive to tackle social challenges in their work.

Sponsored By is their collaborative project that imagines life in the Netherlands in 2040, where the price of natural food products has increased so much that a healthy diet is now deemed as a luxury.

In response, the duo envisages a conceptual and dystopian supermarket model where companies sponsor all unrefined products to help keep their prices low. It has been developed by the pair as a criticism on the current prices of food in the country.


Sanne Visser

Exhibitor: Sanne Visser
Project title: The New Age of Trichology

Sanne Visser is designer whose focus is on material innovation and sustainability.

The New Age of Trichology is a sustainable research project that investigates the use of human hair as a useable and renewable material.

The product of her research is rope made from waste hair, and a replicable production process that relies on the ancient textile art of spinning. Her ambition is to help reduce waste and the use of non-renewable materials.

Email: [email protected]

Shahar Livne

Exhibitor: Shahar Livne
Project title: The Meat Factory

Shahar Livne is a conceptual material designer with an interest in nature, science and philosophy.

The Meat Factory project is a series of material experiments informed by the process of slaughtering animals for products and materials.

Livne's creations range from alternative leathers, yarns and dyes that are all made from waste blood, fat and bones acquired from slaughterhouses.

The aim for the project is to question the use of animal products for human consumption, and examine the history of the controversial abattoir industry.

Photo is by Charlotte Kin.

Email: [email protected]

Billie van Katwijk

Exhibitor: Studio Billie van Katwijk
Project title: Ventri

Studio Billie van Katwijk is a design studio whose work is informed by the cycles of nature where waste does not exist.

Ventri is an ongoing project in which it uses cow stomachs, a by-product of the meat industry, to create a range of unique leathers.

Created using the process of leather tanning, the project seeks to demonstrate that undervalued materials like cow stomachs can be given "a luxurious afterlife".

Photo is by Material District.

Email: [email protected]

Studio Chardé Brouwer

Exhibitor: Studio Chardé Brouwer
Project title: Afterlife

Studio Chardé Brouwer is the eponymous practice of Chardé Brouwer that focuses on creating new materials for a better future.

Afterlife is a biodegradable material made of waste from the food industry that is infused with flower seeds. It is designed specifically to wrap bodies of the deceased, and offer an eco-friendly alternative traditional burial methods.

Studio Chardé Brouwer hopes the project can also change the language around death – "transforming an end into a beginning" and "shifting the definition of a cemetery into a forest or park".

Photo is by Lisa Licht.

Email: [email protected]

Studio Lionne van Deursen

Exhibitor: Studio Lionne van Deursen
Project title: Imperfect Perfection

Studio Lionne van Deursen is a material and product design studio.

Imperfect Perfection is its most recent research project, for which it has created a biodegradable and leather-like material composed of bacterial cellulose.

Bacteria cellulose is made using yeast and bacteria in a fermentation process. As the process is unpredictable, every sheet has a different colour and translucency.

The studio have transformed the sheets into a collection of different fabrics by altering their colours and textures with natural dyes. Its intention is to offer an insight into "the possibilities of new developed materials".

Email: [email protected]

Studio Nienke Hoogvliet

Exhibitor: Studio Nienke Hoogvliet
Project title: Waterschatten

Studio Nienke Hoogvliet is a design studio dedicated to material research and experimental design.

Waterschatten is its collection of products that are handcrafted from waste toilet paper pulp, which has been salvaged from sewers by The Dutch Water Authorities.

Studio Nienke Hoogvliet's goal is to show the potential of the material as valuable source of cellulose. In turn, it hopes it can help reduce the number of trees that are cut down to make new products.

Photo is by Femke Poort.

Email: [email protected]

Studio Sway

Exhibitor: Studio Sway
Project title: Aquatecture

Studio Sway is a design studio whose focus is on research-led projects.

Aquatecture is a modular panel that it has developed to harvest water. It is intended for use as building cladding in urban areas where space is limited.

The panels are able to harvest moisture from the air, and also collect rainwater via funnel-like perforations in its surface. Any water it captures is transported to a collection tank, from which greywater can then be pumped into a building.

Photo is by Angeline Swinkels.

Email: [email protected]

Studio Yvon Smeets

Exhibitor: Studio Yvon Smeets
Project title: Oddities

Studio Yvon Smeets is a product designer based in Arnhem, with an interest in the relationship between people and objects.

Oddities is a series of ceramic products that are animated using materials that evoke fur, clothing and limbs.

The aim of the collection is to trigger an emotional interest in the viewer, and in turn encourage them to be more empathetic towards the objects that they use.

Email: [email protected]

Tamara Orjola

Exhibitor: Tamara Orjola
Project title: Forest Wool

Tamara Orjola is a product designer and Design Academy Eindhoven graduate.

Forest Wool is a fibre she has created using discarded needles acquired from felled pine trees, which are the world's main source of timber.

The intention is to exhibit how materials that are deemed as waste can, and should be used to create valuable biocomposites, fabrics or paper.

Photo is by Ronald Smits.

Email: [email protected]

Xandra van der Eijk

Exhibitor: Xandra van der Eijk
Project title: Future Remnants

Xandra van der Eijk is a designer whose work spans art, ecology and activism.

Future Remnants is her research project that spotlights the influence of humans on the earth's geology. According to Eijk, it is informed by scientific research that suggests a recent surge in mineral diversity can be attributed to people.

The outcome of the project is a collection of everyday metal objects that she has exposed to low-chemical household solutions to modify their appearance.

Her intention is to visualise these unseen environmental changes and encourage speculation about "what will emerge from our actions in time".

Photo is by Dutch Invertuals/Ronald Smits.

Email: [email protected]

Virtual Design Festival is the world's first online design festival, taking place from 15 April to 30 June 2020.

Ventura Projects are exhibitions curated by Utrecht- and Milan-based Organisation in Design that cover the latest developments in contemporary design.

As part of VDF, Ventura Projects is presenting the work of 88 international designers, academies and brands. See work from all the VDF x Ventura Projects participants at