Looking back at DDW 2016
The guiding principle in this year’s Dutch Design Week were for me the projects by designers who manage to convert events or problems into projects or products. Doing this allows you to stay very close to yourself; it implies a lot of personal fascination, interest, recognition, and it moves you. It generates passion, emotion and love for the process and the end result. Every human being is unique and precisely this special or sometimes unfamiliar part of one’s own experience leads to beautiful analyses.
An example of this was, among other things, the project Safe Ground by Snir Gedasi. Children in war zones often have to stay indoors. They can’t enjoy playing outdoors in their childhood, while we tend to take playing outside for granted. Often there is not enough time to find a safe shelter. Safe Ground shortens this time, making playing outdoors – which is of major importance for the development of a child – possible again. Snir Gedasi designed a safe playground with a slide, tunnel, sandbox, climbing wall and racing track. At dangerous moments, the children can take shelter in the tunnel until the situation is safe. From his own background Gedasi knows what it means to live in a war country (Graduation Show). www.snir-gedasi.com
Another example was Spark of Life. As a child, Teresa van Dongen was already fascinated by nature and science. Before she went to the Design Academy, she studied biology. She researched the use of specific bacteria as a means of generating electricity for domestic use. Her research led to Spark of Life, a lamp that does not need a plug, just a little bit of food in exchange for energy and light (Veemgebouw/Veem Building). www.teresavandongen.com
Or take Wouter Corvers’ project Scale 1:1.16. More than seven feet tall himself and daily confronted with the inconveniences of the scale of the public space, he developed a number of smart solutions to solve the problems (Graduation Show). www.woutercorvers.nl
To me, the most fascinating project was Big Cosmic Data by Branly López. He sees the ancient Mayan knowledge from his country as open cosmic data and examined the connection between the indigenous knowledge of the Mayas and the contemporary knowledge based on scientific paradigms. At any rate, it gave me a lot of inspiration for the coming year to keep on developing myself, to gain new insights and to create new projects (Natlab). www.ageofwonderland.nl