Tips for Dutch Design Week from Wageningen

Many examples of ‘design by WUR’: the power of design in research and education.
Spiegelpaleis op DDW 2021 Spinning from all the impressions during the 2021 Dutch Design Week. Photo Marieke Enter

A tribute to a glacier. Snail City. Bringing the ancient Schokland island back to life. This is just a small sample of Wageningen projects that are part of this year’s 4TY presentation at the annual Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven.

Everyone interested in social design or design for the future can get their fill of design during the annual Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven this week (22-30 October). WUR is present with the other technical universities under the name 4TU Design United. Wageningen co-director Dieuwertje Wagenaar contributes. ‘Each year, I attempt to show as beautiful an image of design by WUR as possible. The full spectrum of design in our education and research. WUR has many examples that illustrate the power of design on future scenarios and on making food, fashion and landscape more sustainable.’

This year, Design United offers an exhibition of remarkable (graduation) projects in the DDW hotspot, the Klok building, as well as different daily lectures and activities on the topic of ‘Transitions’. The technical universities have also joined forces within the Design Research & Innovation Festival Drive (available on live stream). (Viewing top: On Thursday, Wageningen teacher and XR-enthusiast Will Hurst offers a presentation on new data-driven visualisation tools and their potential for, for example, decision-making processes)

Sound overwhelming? It generally is, experience teaches us. You haven’t really experienced the DDW if you don’t go home dizzy from all the impressions. Hence, Resource offers three tips on Wageningen’s contribution, lest the overwhelming universe of inspiration cause you to forget.

Between dream and reality
Intriguing: the Dream Sequencer, on which Ioana Meureura worked, among others. Meureura, like Hurst, is closely involved in the recently launched Wageningen Landscape Sensing Lab WANDER. Under the banner ‘our dreams echo our values and the context of time and space’, participants in the workshop on Futuring (on Tuesday) may interact with it. What precisely that entails is still a bit of a mystery to Resource, but it sounds appealing: ‘to be invited to consider our former, present and future dreams.’ The editors hope to receive a video.
Location: Microlab

Protein transition in E major
Artist in residence Remco de Kluizenaar, composer of the campus audio tour on the protein transition, shows the results of an exploration into the timbre of animal and plant proteins. Or, more concrete: whether the rubisco protein from duckweed is able to produce a material that can compete with the historical material Bois Durci, made almost entirely from bovine blood, in terms of rigidity and sound.

The two instruments De Kluizenaar made from these materials – the animal-based Boviphone and the plant-based Aqualentiphone – are available to look at and listen to in Eindhoven.
Location: BioArt Laboratories

Je suis thale cress
The Arabidopsis Symphony submerges you in the inner world of the Arabidopsis Thaliana, also known as thale cress, the ‘lab rat among plants’ (with a strange lodger, as Resource recently described). The project translates extensive datasets from research by plant scientist Sander van der Krol into a combination of music and augmented reality. The makers promise an ‘immersive experience that shows us that plants and humans are more alike than you might expect’. And that the similarities are constantly changing. The composition changes continuously under the influence of external factors. Tip: bring your headphones or earbuds, And read this Resource article (in Dutch) from 2018 on a precursor of the symphony.
Location: Wilhelminaplein.

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