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Dutch Design Week presents 2020 theme: The New Intimacy

‘The new intimacy’ is the theme for the 19th Dutch Design Week (DDW). This trains the festival’s focus on the search for new forms of intimacy. A new equilibrium in a time when Covid-19 is one of the major factors accelerating our exploration of different ways of relating to each other and the world around us. The theme also illustrates the uniqueness of this year’s edition, which will manifest itself in both intimate physical and extensive online forms. Designers can apply to participate in DDW20 now.

The Covid-19 pandemic has accentuated the urgency of major social challenges we have been aware of for quite some time, such as climate change, inequality and poverty. This has compelled us to find ways to relate differently towards each other, the world around us, our stuff, our health, our data and our government at an accelerated pace. Our scope has become smaller and more intimate, while the connection with others is further removed than ever before. The search for a new equilibrium has commenced. A balance in which important values such as intimacy and affection are not to be lost. A challenge that requires knowledge, imaginative power and inventiveness from designers. Deploying optimism and creativity, they come up with new concepts that inspire, conceive wonderment and incite action. Designers show us how we can relate to each other and the world in this new reality.

DDW has chosen an annual theme for the week since 2012. These themes are the basis for the public campaigns for the event, and are the starting point from where designers, companies and other participants provide substance to exhibitions, presentations and meetings.

A few weeks ago, the organisation behind DDW announced that, after in-depth consultation with the design community, key partners and relevant bodies, they had decided to hold the festival partly physically and partly online, with focus on relevant matchmaking for the designers. The recent easing in RIVM Covid-19 regulations facilitates the expansion of the ‘live’ component. This way, the organisation hopes to welcome more professional visitors in the form of planned visits to studio exhibitions and design areas. In concrete terms, this means that designers can now apply to participate in both the online and physical components of the festival. There are a limited number of bricks-and-mortar venues that the organisation will coordinate in consultation with the design community. In addition, DDW is organising an extensive online programme with virtual exhibitions by designers around the world, live streams, video content, DDW talks, virtual parties and more.