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Up Close & Personal 2020
19 - 23 October 2020
Eindhoven

Design United fuelled the debate around design research during the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven around 5 contemporary design research themes: Hybrids, Eco-logica, Living Matter(s), Silent Powers, Crisis!

19 October
Hybrids

The Digital Age in which we live is morphing the identities of designed artefacts.

Big Data and AI are blurring the traditional boundaries between subject and object, physical and digital, human and machine. The resulting hybrids are often regarded with a combination of suspicion and fear, coupled with a feeling of curiosity and wonder. We ask: what is the merit of these new hybrid artefacts? And what role can designers play in making sense of them?

Talkshow highlights

Watch the highlights of our talkshow in 3 minutes and discover what this theme is all about.

Projects
Aesthetics of Intelligence
Stephan Wensveen - Eindhoven University of Technology
Editions 2020Hybrids
Juggling with data
Jacky Bourgois - Delft University of Technology
Editions 2020Hybrids
20 October
Eco-Logica

Design does not take place in a vacuum.

On the contrary, designers and the products they create, originate and function within complex environments or ecologies consisting of multiple people, products, and systems that are entangled, unpredictable and interdependent.

This presents a complex design conundrum: what constitutes an ecology and who or what should be included? How might designers set boundaries around complex design spaces? And how might we change such ecologies through particular design interventions?

Talkshow highlights

Watch the highlights of our talkshow in 3 minutes and discover what this theme is all about.

Projects
Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV. Who knew? It is an ecology!
Mathias Funk - Eindhoven University of Technology
Editions 2020Eco-Logica
Embedding Design in the Big Picture
Bregje van Eekelen - Delft University of Technology
Editions 2020Eco-Logica
21 October
Living Matter(s)

We may be living in a Digital Age but we continue to inhabit a material world and physical artefacts still play an important role in design research.

Consequently the emergence of new biological materials – living matters – presents a fascinating challenge for designers. How might emerging materials help designers create products that digest, or integrate and blend with our human bodies and with our natural environment? How might living materials allow products to function in new and efficient ways? Might these emerging materials prompt us to re-evaluate ‘life’ itself?

Talkshow highlights

Watch the highlights of our talkshow in 3 minutes and discover what this theme is all about.

Projects
Living Matter(s)
Miguel Bruns - Eindhoven University of Technology
Editions 2020Living Matter(s)
‘Livingness’ as a material quality in design
Elvin Karana - Delft University of Technology
Editions 2020Living Matter(s)
22 October
Silent Power

Silent Power is about both the intentional and unintentional change design can cause in individuals and in society.

What stance should designers take within an opinionated society and how do they deal with moral dilemmas when aiming for a particular impact? To what extent are designers part of industry, or activists driven by personal goals and political agendas? How can designers anticipate for, or even negate, unforeseen consequences – by design?

Talkshow highlights

Watch the highlights of our talkshow in 3 minutes and discover what this theme is all about.

Projects
Trust me, I’m a designer
Roy Bendor - Delft University of Technology
Editions 2020Silent Power
Designers, please guide us!
Paul Hekkert - Delft University of Technology
Editions 2020Silent Power
23 October
Crisis!

How fast can designers respond to change? What can they do?

The role of design during the COVID-19 pandemic is one of a number of timely case studies which will be debated. But beyond corona, how does the designer’s practical response to a crisis relate to longer term research and solutions? How might designers create sustainable solutions from the very beginning of the design process - building in resilience to future shocks?

Talkshow highlights

Watch the highlights of our talkshow in 3 minutes and discover what this theme is all about

Projects
Even responsible designers are only human
Geke Ludden - University of Twente
Editions 2020Crisis!
The hidden crisis
Jeroen van Erp - Delft University of Technology
Editions 2020Crisis!

Colofon

Concept & project lead

  • Marco Rozendaal

Content team

  • Geert van den Boogaard
  • Miguel Bruns
  • Miriam Iliohan
  • Dieuwertje de Wagenaar

Video

  • Marica de Michelle

Design United

  • Berry Eggen
  • Daan van Eijk
  • Mascha van der Voort

Communication

  • Julia Candy
  • Jeanette Schoumacher

At Design United we are counting our blessings. In a year that has been dominated by the pandemic, we feel privileged that Dutch Design Week can go ahead – albeit in a different form.

COVID-19 has put constraints on each and every one of us, but we have used this crisis as an opportunity for experimentation, reflection and debate. We are proud of the result, which we present to you in the form of Up Close and Personal.

At a time of social distancing, we are thrilled to get up close. To be able to zoom in on 33 specially selected design research projects. And excited to get personal with a new generation of designers. What are their ideas and visions about our future? Which ethical dilemmas do they face? How might they solve them?

Over the course of five days (19 – 23 October), we centre these discussions on five contemporary topics in design. Topics that have emerged as responses to scientific and technological progress, as well as new societal concerns and ethical viewpoints. Hybrids. Eco-logica. Living Matters. Silent Power. And, last but most topically, Crisis!

Whet your appetite by browsing our magazine. Organised by themes, a curated mix of project descriptions, expert columns, photos and films, offer a depth of information, which is not always easy to grasp in a busy exhibition hall. Next, carve out an hour in your schedule so that you can tune into the livestreamed daily talk shows (starting at 13:00). Watch the product demonstrations, listen to the discussions and have your say via the daily polls. Time to get inspired!

So, go on, delve right into design!

No distancing needed