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Colour Industry Expertise Interior Design Material Trend

Dutch Design Week 2023 General Analysis

#dutchdesignweek is always one of the events that give me hope for people and the planet. Here designers are increasingly offering solutions to major global problems such as the waste pandemic, toxic pollution and social inequality. It is one of the most influential springboards for design graduates and new(er) design studios. This makes it a rich source of innovation. But the input can be overwhelming.

What is shown in Eindhoven is diverse. Design in all its forms is covered; from the ultra-conceptual to the commercially scalable, and from the personal to the systemic. For many, it is difficult to find the information and inspiration that is relevant to them. In my design consultancy work, I filter the insights for my clients (drop me a line if you are interested in this service).

It’s worth noting that Dutch Design Week has a reputation for being very concept-driven. However, #DDW23 was also surprisingly inspiring in a very tangible way. Woven through the indicators of emerging/growing macro and micro trends (tendencies in culture, technology, work, lifestyle, etc.) were many wonderful examples of where colour, material, finish and shape are heading. As my focus as a consultant is on interior design and CMF, I’ll be writing more about this in the coming days. I’ll also share more on key themes.

However, my verdict for this year is that several exhibitors tried too hard to load things up intellectually. This does not make the design more valid or accessible. Frankly, I question whether it’s an efficient design proposal if you have to read the full project description to understand what it’s about. Some have even topped this by expecting a high level of design/trend education from the reader.

In the coming year, I’d like to see more contributions to designing fair supply chains, creating local recycling facilities, and mending and repairing. It would also be great to see many more practical, affordable, robust yet sustainable solutions that make life easier for the millions of disadvantaged people around the world. Let’s face it, too much design innovation is focused on privileged audiences. It’s time to change that.

In conclusion, Dutch Design Week continues to be a leading event for learning more about global issues and design direction. I went there to broaden my horizons and the show made that possible. Soaking up fresh ideas, discovering cutting-edge aesthetics and meeting top creatives was a fantastic experience.