// On October 20th a group of students of the faculty Architecture, Urbanism and Building Sciences at the TU Delft visited the Dutch Design Week 2021 in Eindhoven. We followed the Future Cities track in an attempt to gain a further understanding of what our future holds and what that means for young generations. Instead of learning through textbooks and classrooms, we were now standing in the middle of a real city, with real buildings and real people. We were trying to listen to the city’s heartbeat and trying to capture the essence of the art presented to us. We entered various exhibition rooms, each one telling us their own story. One by one unravelling a new way of thinking and expressing a different artist’s outlook on life.
First of all, I was very intrigued by this year’s theme ‘The Greater Number’. In the DDW’s theme explanation a variety of issues were covered, and so expectations were high. Burning topics like climate change, the pandemic and the balance between wellbeing and economy (etc.) were put in the spotlight. In relationship to climate change there was one particular piece that stuck out to me.
The first one being a pole covered in paper, which represented a tree. Underneath a sign read: ‘Tear me please.’ I thought this was an interesting way of capturing the visitor’s attention. On one side you’re invited to be part of the piece, but on the other side you are inevitably destroying it. This left a great impression on me, because I was the human tearing the piece of paper and at the same time I felt like the tree that was being torn. I thought it was the perfect way of representing our human existence on earth. One minute, we’re born, we are here, we exist and we are tempted by all kinds of things, until the day we give in, and slowly in all our innocence we do things, sometimes it means tearing a piece of paper on a pole at an art exhibition, some other times it means buying a single use plastic water bottle because you were thirsty, but undoubtedly the accumulation of all these little things are changing the world. We are the cause of the metamorphosis that our planet is suffering from.
The second part that I really enjoyed, was at the Embassy of Water. Right at the entrance you are confronted by all these bottles of water. Next to the bottles was a template where you could fill in whatever you use on a daily basis and how much water each item consumes. To physically see all the water behind one tiny object, was daunting on me. Luckily the floors above showed great innovative ideas that show how we can design, create and live with water, rather than against it. Inventions like the Hydraloop, Aquatecture, etc. not only motivate the spectator to think differently about problems, but also inspire to make a difference, however small it may be. Although the water bottles at the entrance had terrified me, I remember clearly walking out of that building reassured and with a sense of hope that when creativity and determination work together, a lot can be achieved with little.
Dutch Design Week. (2021, 13 april). DDW21 theme: The Greater Number | DDW. Ddw.Nl. Geraadpleegd op 23 november 2021, van https://ddw.nl/magazine-archive/654/ddw21-theme-the-greater-number