Dezeen and Dutch Design Week host live panel discussion about The New Intimacy

Dezeen's collaboration with Dutch Design Week 2020 launched today with a live panel discussion featuring designer Victoria Ayo and architects Mark van der Net and Ali Tal'at Ali As'ad on the event's main theme, The New Intimacy.

Moderated by Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs, the talk was part of a programme showcasing the work of a number of emerging and established designers at Dutch Design Week (DDW).

This year's edition of DDW will be completely digital due to the coronavirus pandemic, which forced its organisers to take the "unbelievable painful decision" to cancel physical shows.

Designer Victoria Ayo
Victoria Ayo will speak about her "Birth Reborn" project

Fairs was joined by DDW head of program Jorn Konjin, who presented the theme The New Intimacy, which focuses on a search for new forms of intimacy following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Within the talk Ayo, Van der Net and As'ad each presented projects that focus on different aspects of intimacy.

Architect Mark van der Net
Van der Net will join the live panel discussion

Van der Net is an architect, urban planner and programmer whose "The Missing Festival" explores the future of design festivals.

The augmented reality work lets users upload images of their design work to a virtual city square. Visitors can then scavenge the site and take one piece of design home with them.

Ayo's work focuses on "the intimacy of giving birth". Her project, Birth Reborn, looks at how design can be used to address barriers to equitable maternal care for black women and explores how it can build new awareness.

Her designs include a speculative portable birthing unit, a garment for women who may be experiencing birth trauma and Kiah, a smart bluetooth pregnancy test.

More information about the Birth Reborn project can be found in the portal above, part of DDW's virtual experience for 2020.

The third panellist, As'ad, spoke about the "intimacy of safe spaces in the city".

The project uses Dutch architect Aldo van Eyck's colourful Moedershuis, which was designed as a home for mothers in difficulties and which turns 40 this year, as an example.

Dutch Design Week speaker Ali Tal'at Ali As'ad
As'ad will speak about safe spaces in the city

As well as hearing from the creatives in our daily live talks, some of the designers' work can be visited in our Dezeen-curated virtual tour of Dutch Design Week 2020.

Take the tour ›

The full programme for the Dezeen x Dutch Design Week 2020 collaboration can be found here.