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‘The new intimacy’ is the theme for the 19th Dutch Design Week (DDW). This trains the festival’s focus on the search for new forms of intimacy. A new equilibrium in a time when Covid-19 is one of the major factors accelerating our exploration of different ways of relating to each other and the world around us. The theme also illustrates the uniqueness of this year’s edition, which will manifest itself in both intimate physical and extensive online forms.

The new intimacy

The Covid-19 pandemic has accentuated the urgency of major social challenges we have been aware of for quite some time, such as climate change, inequality and poverty. This has compelled us to find ways to relate differently towards each other, the world around us, our stuff, our health, our data and our government at an accelerated pace. Our scope has become smaller and more intimate, while the connection with others is further removed than ever before. The search for a new equilibrium has commenced. A balance in which important values such as intimacy and affection are not to be lost. A challenge that requires knowledge, imaginative power and inventiveness from designers. Deploying optimism and creativity, they come up with new concepts that inspire, conceive wonderment and incite action. Designers show us how we can relate to each other and the world in this new reality.

Annual theme

DDW has chosen an annual theme for the week since 2012. These themes are the basis for the public campaigns for the event, and are the starting point from where designers, companies and other participants provide substance to exhibitions, presentations and meetings.

RIVM easements lead to larger ‘live’ component

A few weeks ago, the organisation behind DDW announced that, after in-depth consultation with the design community, key partners and relevant bodies, they had decided to hold the festival partly physically and partly online, with focus on relevant matchmaking for the designers. The recent easing in RIVM Covid-19 regulations facilitates the expansion of the ‘live’ component. This way, the organisation hopes to welcome more professional visitors in the form of planned visits to studio exhibitions and design areas. In concrete terms, this means that designers can now apply to participate in both the online and physical components of the festival. There are a limited number of bricks-and-mortar venues that the organisation will coordinate in consultation with the design community. In addition, DDW is organising an extensive online programme with virtual exhibitions by designers around the world, live streams, video content, DDW talks, virtual parties and more.

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Dutch Design Week

In October of each year, Dutch Design Week (DDW) takes place in Eindhoven. The biggest design event in Northern Europe usually presents work and ideas of more than 2600 designers to more than 350,000 visitors from home and abroad. DDW20 will be a combination of a ’live’ and online festival, with focus on relevant matchmaking for the designers. From 17-25 October 2020, DDW will organise an extensive online programme with, among others, 3D exhibitions by designers around the world. Besides, there are a limited number of bricks-and-mortar venues that can be visited by means of pre-planned visits to studio exhibitions.


Dutch Design Foundation

Dutch Design Foundation (DDF) is optimistic and believes that the problem-solving capacity of designers can improve the world. That's why DDF offers designers opportunities, support, publicity and a platform. DDF organizes Dutch Design Week, World Design Event and the Dutch Design Awards and is active far beyond the Netherlands. Through debates, lectures, exhibitions and gatherings staged all year round, DDF provides a platform for the best and most promising designers, helping to disseminate their ideas and work.