Game Changers

Dutch Design Week showcased a broad range of interesting and innovative projects with a strong sustainable theme running throughout. More than 25 designers and companies tackled the plastics problem, from bio-based packaging alternatives to recycled plastic toys and design furniture.

We really loved the Waterside Gobblers designed by RCA graduate, Kenneth Arnold (pictured), which remove passing plastic rubbish from the water with their jaw clamps and turn this urgent activity into a fun and inspiring game.

Designers are also starting to find solutions for the mounds of bio waste produced in the world by and using organic materials. ‘The Growing Pavilion’ showed the possibilities for organic or grown materials such as mycelium as an important solution for reducing plastic waste and reusing waste by-products from agriculture. The feature was created by Company New Heroes and the Dutch Design Foundation, along with partners from the world of design, architecture, construction, government and education.

For his Design Academy Eindhoven graduation project Seok-hyeon Yoon presented ‘OTT’, a natural resin derived from wood and traditionally used to lacquer wood in his native Korea, as an alternative substance for glazing ceramics. Ott (pictured) has the potential to be a game-changer: the ceramics industry could become circular.

Meanwhile, four designers from the Royal College of Art explored ways of transforming ‘Red Mud’ – a secondary industrial residue – into functional and familiar forms. They made a series of surprising tableware pieces and structural elements that hint to the potential of this material.

In October of each year, Dutch Design Week (DDW) takes place in Eindhoven. It is the biggest design event in Northern Europe, incorporating more than 2600 designers and 350,000 visitors from home and abroad.