If not now, then when? | DDW 2019

Point 6 review of Dutch Design Week 2019

Photo: Point 6’s Sally deciding whether to go into the (Un)decided Design Museum

The DDW19 theme is topical. Our world and climate are changing fast, so when better to ask the question? And as ever, for a nation with much of its land below sea level, sustainability was high on the agenda in Eindhoven. But despite that, it wasn’t the green ideas that caught our eye this year amongst the hundreds of designers showing work across the city. These six clever ideas, five of which are from Design Academy Eindhoven graduates, did.

Maya light frames

Luiza Guidi has reinvented the wall frame. By using an LED light source with an on/off switch activated by pulling the frame away from the wall, she has created a dynamic way to create illumination. Unbelievably simple, but incredibly effective. It received a lot of interest at DDW, including from retailers and manufacturers… whichever way she chooses – to manufacture or work with a production partner, we’re sure Maya will be a success.

I want one

Maud van der Linden’s interactive work invites us to explore our motivations behind one of humankind’s primal urges: the need to reproduce. Or put simply: why do you want a baby? Her aim? ‘To prevent children from becoming a manifestation of unmet needs.’ How? ‘By getting future parents to be conscious of deeper desires, feelings and emotions.’ As a father himself, Point 6’s Russ says that cradling one of her colourful ‘babies’ in his arms was a surprisingly emotional experience. We asked Maud: “How you feel about having a baby yourself? She was happy to reveal that she has been affected by the project too: “I didn’t want a baby before starting this project. I have since decided that I do, but only when the time is right.”

Stay curious

Léa Nathan trained as a UX designer, initially creating systems for visually impaired people. She then took a turn into the analogue world. Her Noevo interactive maze is aimed at locals who are stuck in their ways and would work just as well for tourists. The idea is simple. Navigate a ball to the centre of the maze, it pops out, you open it up Kinder Egg style and receive a suggestion for somewhere to visit in your city. Wherever we are, we all tend to follow the same patterns. Noevo encourages us to stay curious, by exploring the places we think we already know.

File that in the lounge

Computers: files, folders, folder structure… so boring, so unintuitive! At least how it was until Clara Dunklee’s Homespace reboot. Homespace? “A 3D homepage on your desktop – designed to look like an interior space.” As Clara says” “The visual approach makes it easier to remember where you store your digital files. Storing files on a computer is less intuitive than storing physical objects.” That’s er, brilliant! Point 6’s advice? Copyright it, Clara. Now. Expect great things soon from an OS near you.

(Un)decided Design Museum

Well is it? Or isn’t it? This newly opened answer to the better-known side of Eindhoven’s design scene, and brainchild of publisher Onomatopee, has an engaging name, but initially looked rather design-theory-heavy and a little lacking in well, actual design. That is until we saw the work in the last room, which is great fun – and interactive. From what appeared to be the world’s largest bean bag to ‘Pandora’s Ecstasy’, a human hamster wheel you could play on, that in turn drove a turbine, we decided this was definitely a place for us.

Transhumanist jewellery

This one stopped us in our tracks. Its inspiration? The idea that woman and machine can be one. “I can’t decide whether it’s defence or attack.” commented a slightly fazed Point 6. “Both. Look, that could be a laser.” explained Naula – a student from ‘New Caledonia, Oceania’, who already has a thriving online shop that sells her creations. To date, Naula has been working in silver. Her new pieces of body jewellery are richer, more golden, with sci-fi military overtones and names like ‘P-46 thigh power units’ that blur the lines between human and machine. Future-focused fantasy or technology that’s already within reach? We’ll be back – when we’ve had those data chips inserted under our skin…

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