20 - 29 October 2017
Eindhoven, The Netherlands

The city is the future, but what is the future of the city?

Design City Eindhoven is the home of Dutch Design Week (DDW), northern Europe’s leading design event, which in 2016 attracted 295,000 visitors. Organized by the Dutch Design Foundation (DDF), DDW occupies a unique position internationally because it deals more with what the future might bring than what the present holds. DDW looks to the future and the ways that designers are studying and shaping that future.

In 2017, we take a new step in the internationalization of the platform. The Netherlands does not operate in isolation from the world, and the issues faced by society are similar everywhere. So there are plenty of reasons to work together, share expertise and learn from kindred spirits, creative thinkers and doers from other parts of the world. During the first World Design Event, therefore, we invite designers from all over the world to come and shape the future together.

The question is not only what future we want and how to design it, but also how we get there. The future begins in today’s world. The challenge lies is how we shape the transformation.

The major existential questions facing the world may necessitate radical change. Climate change, food security, the availability of potable water, the distribution of labour and raw materials, adequate healthcare: all these issues present problems for the world’s rising population. Designers play an important role in the search for solutions. In October 2017, the World Design Event brings together future makers, designers and thinkers from all over the world to shape the future together.

jwdhjdhj Klokgebouw - photo Cleo Goossens

Learning, discovering, researching and developing together

WDE takes the city of the future as the point of departure for a dialogue with designers and future makers from all over the world. More than half the world’s population already lives in cities, and that figure will rise to over two-thirds by 2050. The city is the future, but what is the future of the city? How do we live? How do we move around? How do we eat? How do we grow old? And especially, how can we ensure that the transition occurs in the way that we, citizens of the city, want.

The city is the future, but what is the future of the city?

Answers to these questions are also answers to the pressing problems facing everybody in the world. Moreover, it is clear that technology and innovation will play an ever greater role. An important design question is how we can shape the city’s transformation in a way that makes it not only smarter but also more social.

Eindhoven, home to the Design Academy Eindhoven, Eindhoven University of Technology and numerous design offices and tech companies, is actively working on the future of the city.  And it is not alone in that. People around the world are studying and exploring the city of the future. WDE invites future makers, designers and innovators to inspire one another, experiment together and join forces to invent the new city.

It’s Your World Design Event

WDE is globally unique. Under the slogan ‘Learn by Doing – Do by Learning’, the world’s most creative minds have an opportunity to join committed city dwellers and test solutions for the future.

WDE is literally a testing ground for the future. This is not the umpteenth exhibition of striking visions of the future, not another conference for professionals only. More than anything else, WDE is a festival where designers from all over the world join with visitors and the people of Eindhoven to carry out experiments. Designers have an opportunity to test their ideas for the transformation of the city together with inhabitants.

WDE is not about the world of design, but about the subject of the world, our world.

WDE takes the whole city as its stage. All over Eindhoven, visitors will encounter impressive examples of designs that will change their world view forever. Big and small solutions, surprising experiments and challenging scenarios.

During WDE designers can demonstrate in concrete terms how their ideas affect the people of the city. Optimistic, inquisitive and open. Then, after getting immediate feedback from citizens, the two can team up to shape the future. After all, echoing the UN slogan ‘It’s Your World’, WDE says: It’s Your World Design Event.

Designers show us the future

Design acts as an accelerator in making new choices and finding new approaches to issues that will determine tomorrow’s world. Designers let us test the future and help us to form our opinion about it now. Whether they are developing products, fashion, serious games or social projects, all designers work on the basis of a similar attitude. They look ahead and develop new ideas, solutions, concepts, processes and products that we urgently need in order to create a healthy world.

Designers are eminently equipped to find solutions to complex problems. Designers help to shape possible scenarios, and thus make them tangible and understandable. They are trained to examine subjects critically and discover new and as yet explored avenues.

Researching, innovating, testing and improving: that is what designers do as they shape the vital transition to a sustainable society.

About Dutch Design Foundation

Dutch Design Foundation (DDF) the driving force behind Dutch Design Week and World Design Event, believes in the positive power of design in shaping tomorrow’s world. And that is the guiding principle behind DDW. For one whole week, DDW shows how Dutch designers look ahead, shape new ideas, and help to make future scenarios tangible.

WDE will be added to DDW in 2017. Although two events are separate, they are also linked and mutually enhance each other. With WDE, DDW and the Dutch design community are opening up to the world. During this new event, Eindhoven, home to the Design Academy Eindhoven, Eindhoven University of Technology and innovative tech and design companies, provides a platform for the world’s most creative innovators to present new visions and a myriad of perspectives on urgent issues that determine the future of our cities. The resulting dialogue – and that continues right through to the next WDE – benefits everyone involved.