Last Monday Red Setter landed in Eindhoven ready to explore the work of over 2,500 designers spread through the city for Dutch Design Week 2022.
Over the next two days we – alongside 350,000 other visitors - took in exhibitions and talks, and explored the Design Academy Eindhoven’s Graduation Show, held in an old telecoms building with striking industrial architecture.
The projects ranged from light installations to crayons made of wood, but the standouts were those inspiring positive change, whether to our world or its people.
We had to start our journey with the ‘Nibble’ bin by Studio Hendrikx. Not only did this have the best project name of the week, but asks an interesting question: what if our everyday items were alive?
This living bin hosts specially grown sea anemones, capable of eating organic waste. Made from hand-blown glass, it looks like a mini aquarium – offering far preferable aesthetics to the traditional plastic wheelie bin. The project inspires us to embrace nature’s solutions and restore our relationship with the wonders of our environment.
Phillips also showcased a solution to a sustainable challenge with its Coastal Breeze collection – ‘From waste to wonder’. 3D printed in small regional hubs, these lamps are created from old fishing nets gathered from the ocean, turned into filament by Fishy Filament – which came a close second for best name of the week.
More inclusive societies
Imagine a chair giving you a cuddle. Welcome OTO. Created by designer Alexia Audrain, this innovative furniture piece – called ‘The Hugging Chair' – is designed for people with autism but can work for everyone.
It has inflatable inner walls that apply pressure to reduce anxiety for those with sensory sensitivities, with a calming effect that helps people engage in learning and social interaction. It garnered a lot of attention and according to a child who was testing it out, achieved the widely sought-after “super comfy” quality.
We were also struck by Meanders, a board game designed to help people with dementia establish and maintain contact with others, created by social designer and recent graduate Juliette Vandermosten.
This game creates a space for vulnerable topics, allowing the participants to talk openly about their concerns and needs, and is beautifully crafted with painted wooden blocks.
Dutch Design Week offers a unique opportunity to see the thousands of ways the industry is pushing forwards towards a better future, all in one place. We’re looking forward to next year already.