Less Waste or More Value: 8 Architecturally Relevant Interventions at the 2021 Dutch Design Week

by | Oct 22, 2021 | Featured Slider, Latest, News

Written by: Christele Harrouk, Architect, Urban Designer, and Managing Editor at ArchDaily. Beirut, Lebanon.

Under the theme of ‘The Greater Number’, the Dutch Design Week (DDW) returns with a physical edition from the 16 until the 24th of October 2021 in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The largest design event in Northern Europe has decided for its comeback to tackle the notion of less consumption, less production, and less waste. Knowing that this is not always possible, the design happening also calls for more sustainable products with more value.

Striving to change the behavior of consumers and manufacturers, Dutch Design Week organized lectures, debates, and exhibitions, from which ArchDaily selected 8 architecturally relevant interventions to underline. Highlighting ideas that can shape a positive future, the list is mostly focused on future cities, while also tackling notions such as adapted realities, connected living, interactive experiences, and designing society.

Dutch Invertuals

Courtesy of Dutch Design Week 2021
Courtesy of Dutch Design Week 2021

Dutch Invertuals and The Future Laboratory present “Objects for a New Kind of Society”, an exhibition based on The Future Laboratory’s research into Equilibrium Cities. 

Together, we explore how design can foster our future cities, where collective ownership, fluid identities, and nature will thrive […] Climate change, air pollution, waste, social unrest, and inequality will continue to challenge the way we exist within them. At the same time, new technologies and innovations are emerging that will radically change urban society and place cities in balance again. Our environment will shift towards degrowth and deceleration, leading to a more resilient and liveable future.

Where the Façade Bends

Sophie Czich

Still from the 3D video 'Where the Facade Bends' . Image Courtesy of Sophie Czich
Still from the 3D video ‘Where the Facade Bends’ . Image Courtesy of Sophie Czich

The 3D video collage ‘Where the facade bends’ seeks to deconstruct architectural hyper-realistic renders. Using fragments of these images, the intervention creates a 3D video collage that generates a new space.

“In architecture, urbanism, and real estate, 3D visualizations hold a specific function. Places that don’t exist yet are depicted through highly realistic representations. […] These images stand halfway between an imaginary world and a future that will physically materialize. ‘Where the facade bends’ plays with these neither real nor imaginary places. Using only fragments of renders, the 3D video collage reassembles a new space, from the public park to the private office building. It offers a stage for a journey through the backsides, absurdities, and ruptures of such smooth surfaces”.

Food Growth Innovation with Aquaponic City Farming in Eindhoven

Phood Farm

Courtesy of Phood Farm
Courtesy of Phood Farm

Seeking to reinvent, redesign and rethink the way we grow food, Phood Farm uses Aquaponic farming and other innovative techniques, to produce healthy food, sustainably cultivated in the city, while creating an educational workplace for people with a distance to the labor market.

“We produce hyper-locally, using new technologies and an ecological system. Our plants grow in a different way than you may be used to – namely on Aquaponic systems. In short, Aquaponic farming is growing on water, where the food comes from fish manure and is converted into usable plant food. The fish receive clean water from the plants again and so the circle is complete in a self-regulating system. A very sustainable way of growing in which up to 90% less water is used.”

The Butterfly Effect

VenhoevenCS, DS, Studio Solarix

The Butterfly Effect is a proposal of an ultra-light and innovative web over the motorway that generates renewable energy while restoring natural connective routes. Believing that working with the smallest scale -insects- can create the biggest impact, the project is designed by Dutch design studio VenhoevenCS with landscape architecture agency DS Landschapsarchitecten and solar energy firm Studio Solarix.

“Building a treetop-level crossing for insects can help to restore important natural connective routes. The ‘web over the motorway’ offers a huge surface area on which to generate renewable energy. Thanks to its honeycomb structure, the lightweight crossing can be filled with materials that generate solar energy. The web is modular and can grow in line with technical innovations. Thanks to the double use of space less of the landscape need to be set aside for solar panels, creating space for biodiversity and food production instead. The Butterfly Effect demonstrates sustainability as a source of design: techniques and esthetics are fully integrated to create a harmonious attractive design. Eye-catching shadow patterns create a unique experience”.

What If Lab: Wellbeing in the City


Courtesy of Sweco
Courtesy of Sweco

Sweco’s, Europe’s largest architecture and engineering consultancy firm, has organized the Sweco Design Challenge, in order to rethink human connections. The call invites people to think outside of the box and push the boundaries of technical possibilities.

“Changing the world around us has never been so urgent. Right now we want to feel a connection. Not online, but outside, with each other. A real connection between people, generations, and bubbles. We can use all the insights we can get. […] The consequences of the pandemic are significant and visible. Our spatial relationships have become more complex. This has increased the desire to connect. But what is possible? What is allowed? What can be done? So that we not only meet each other online, surrounded by distance, but that we actually reconnect.”

The Exploded View Materials & Methods

Biobased Creations

© Oscar Vinck and Jeroen van der Wielen
© Oscar Vinck and Jeroen van der Wielen

The exploded view is a house created entirely from bio-based materials that aims to illustrate that circular design is not only feasible but a scalable construction method for the future. Featuring 100 types of sustainable materials, The Exploded View Beyond Building is a concrete example of the possibilities of creating a circular living environment, bringing together substantial research into high-quality components fit for disassembly and modular design.

Windows on Display


Courtesy of Plug-in-City
Courtesy of Plug-in-City

Exploring the concept of circular economy, Plug-in-City is a temporary built city in the alley of re-used windows, from containers, old windows, second-hand or borrowed materials.

“Temporarily based in the middle of Strijp-s in Eindhoven, this community of designers, architects, artists, and other professionals have forged their expertise in the circular economy to build a space in the middle of Strijp- S that functions as a creative living lab, workshop, event space, and cultural center”.

Living and Working from home

Dutch Design Foundation x Seoul Design Festival

Tidal Space | concept impression — © Cream on Chrome x Hyunjung Kim. Image Courtesy of Dutch Design Foundation x Seoul Design Festival
Tidal Space | concept impression — © Cream on Chrome x Hyunjung Kim. Image Courtesy of Dutch Design Foundation x Seoul Design Festival

Seeking to structure “working from home”, Dutch Design Foundation and Seoul Design Festival have organized a challenge involving three Korean and three Dutch designers, that collaborated digitally on one of the themes of the workplace, public/private, and phygital.

Some people find it disastrous; others see benefits. The boundaries between work and private life have become blurred, and communication lost a certain spontaneity. At the same time, the new reality saves people hours of traveling per week and gives more freedom to organize the working day to personal needs. This brings new dynamics and challenges for which ready-made answers do not yet exist. Design can make a big difference in realizing an effective and pleasant environment to do so”. 


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