Five (un)mundane things to do at Dutch Design Week 2019

Freya Hutchings
October 17th 2019

Lining up plans for Dutch Design Week? Once more, 2600 designers gather in over 120 locations during 450 events. So whether you're a local, new in town, or just passing through, you may still be agonizing over the extensive program in order to prioritize your favorites.

With this guide, we’re going back to basics. These five highlights will transform your mundane, everyday actions into extraordinary interactions — be it with other humans, data, organisms and even furniture.

Somewhere to ask questions

When we arrive somewhere new, we are always full of questions. You may be wondering, 'which way to the superhuman-space-suit-warrior exhibition you can’t remember the name of?' Or, 'where can I imagine a post-drought future?' And perhaps, 'when can I take shelter under a living pavilion?'

Once practical matters are out of the way, you may want to ask some more profound questions.

That's where RealiteitBureau steps in. They are here to remind us that design is not just something we go to see, but something that can facilitate meaningful interactions and in this case, ask questions.

What? A meeting point
When? All week from 19 to 27 October
Where? Plan-B

Somewhere to eat

After spending a couple of hours ticking off your must-see list, you may start to feel hungry. We suggest you go and sink your teeth into some delightfully sustainable snacks at the Future Food Experience, curated by NNN fellow Chloé Rutzerveld, where every bite tells a story.

You can enjoy an array ecologically conscious dishes, from Dutch delicacies frikadellen made from saved oyster mushroom stems, to algae burgers and tomato-stem sausages. All the food available is mostly plant based and locally produced.

And did we mention you can design your own vegetables?

What? A future food experience
When? 21 to 23 October
Where? CWF House, Level 3 Foyer

Somewhere to lie down

After enjoying some tasty sustainable treats, you may be in need of a lie down while your digestive system does the hard work. Make your way over to The Algae Bar and take a moment to rest under the specimen table.

While you rest, you will have the opportunity to donate Co2 and heat from your body by breathing into tubes that are linked to growing algae. Once the organisms have received the perfect amount of nourishment, they will return the favor: you will receive a nutrient-packed algae shot, smoothie or cocktail. This hidden gem of a food source is packed with proteins, carbohydrates, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

What? An interactive installation
When? 21 to 23 October
Where? CWF House, Level 3 Foyer

Somewhere to read

Re-energized? Good! Now it's time for a good read. Julia Janssen will be enlisting the help of hundreds of visitors in order to read aloud 835 privacy terms and conditions. This laborious task is usually avoided with a single click in just 0.0146 seconds.

This collective performance will take hours of reading over a number of days. By facing the sheer enormity and exploitative demands of the data economy, why not step in and help complete this inhumane task together and reconsider what we mindlessly ‘Accept’.

Participate as a reader by signing up here.

What? A public reading group
When? All week from 19 to 27 October
Where? Ketelhuisplein

Somewhere to sit

You’re a few design shows down, it’s late in the afternoon and you need to relax a little. Well, don’t get too comfy. When we say sit, we actually mean act, sing and dance. Confused? Go with it, the results could be enlightening.

Head over to MU and explore the movement of bodies. Here, we use experimental dance as a way of communicating how we interact with our furniture. Naturally, NNN fellow Govert Flint is among the participants, to showcase a series of seating arrangements that allow your brains to engage with your surroundings — in an entirely new way.

What? A theatre, a concert, a cinema, a gym and an exhibition in one
When? All week from 19 to 27 October
Where? MU

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Should men be able to give birth to children?


Joyce Nabuurs: To me this question seems to be a logical next step in the emancipation movement of the past century. More and more women entered the workspace, but the responsibility for pregnancy and childrearing remained female.

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