Design sector wants more engagement in the city

Design Academy Eindhoven Credit: IK's World Trip/wiki commons.

The times we live in today bring quite a few complex problems. To deal with them, the whole city needs to work together creatively, without fear of change and thinking like a designer. That is the conclusion of a report presented by the Eindhoven design sector.

The creative sector should therefore be more involved in all major developments in the city. For instance, there should be a design council, a special design policy, and designers should be involved in all major changes in Eindhoven. All points described in the design vision of the Eindhoven design field were presented on Monday to the alderwoman for Culture and Design, Saskia Lammers. The plan, written by 25 ambassadors of the design sector, sets out a vision for 2023 to 2030.

“If you keep looking at today’s problems in the same way, you will also get today’s answers,” says Martijn Paulen, director of the Dutch Design Foundation. “Designers have a new perspective, and so perhaps new ways of tackling issues will emerge,” he explains.

Design council

The plan also mentions a design council. There should be one as early as 2025. According to Paulen, there are many different voices in the design world. Those forces should be combined. Different courses, disciplines and makers will work together to see how the vision should be shaped. “A good and logical sounding board with more consultation among themselves. Those can look at who should be involved in what,” Paulen explains. That could be for companies, for the municipality or for the field itself.

Saskia Lammers -Deputy Mayor -Gemeente Eindhoven

According to the plan, there should also be a design policy from the municipality and a shared design research agenda for the entire region. On Monday afternoon, the design vision will be presented to Councillor Saskia Lammers. The municipality will then look at how the plan fits into the policy.

Although Eindhoven has several creative centres, incubators are in short supply, the report says. By 2025, there should be a new kind of Natlab – and this does not mean a cinema, but a laboratory which enables endless research. In that Natlab 2.0, for instance, various educational institutions should be able to bring their classes together. The idea is also that Eindhoven citizens, engineers and designers can design together here. In any case, independent and new designers must be guaranteed room to experiment and develop.


The plan is an advice for the next six years. In the future, Eindhoven’s design sector should be more integrated into the city’s policies. “Eindhoven already has a tremendous lead in this area. By experimenting and flourishing with the four elements together, we can maintain that lead with that strong force,” Paulen explains. “I think Eindhovenaars are already proud of Eindhoven’s pioneering spirit, our inventor mentality. I hope they really continue to feel that pride.”

Translated by: Anitha Sevugan



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