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Dutch Design Week Report 2019: Art, Craft and Design Finds

Welcome back for more Dutch Design Week 2019!

I was surprised to find a lot of art alongside product, architectural and social design, and this time we will take a look at my favourite art find as well as Crafts Council Nederland’s exhibition, and some overall lovely design bits I came across.

A round, blue, wooden table with a brown flowerpot with pink flowers and the itinerary of Design Week.
A crowd queuing for their tickets and itineraries


Crafts Council Nederland focuses strongly on making and the importance of crafts. To Dutch Design Week’s VEEM exhibition they brought a wonderful array of different types of handmade items, from the strictly useful to the impractically beautiful.

Black, white and red baskets with woven, embroidered and printed patterns

Marieke van de Ven – printing, embroidery and basketry

Round, woven baskets

Esmé Hofman – basketry

A light-coloured box and a flat round shape decorated with wood cutting

Erno Korpershoek – wood cutting

A rainbow of dyed yarn, ranging from beige via orange and red to deep, nearly black, brown.

Almeerse Wolunie – wool dyeing

Large, decorative cubes cast in plastic. Pink, white and black.

Nynke Koster – casting

Abstract shapes in intricately folded, white paper

Szu-Yi Wang – paper folding

Two round vases, one large and open, one smaller with a lid, in black lacquer

Seungbing Yan – lacquer

Two different types of brushes in dark natural bristle and light-coloured wood.

Simón Ballen / Zuiderzeemuseum – brush making


Homo Sensorium consisted of three different art installations, all exploring different aspects of our senses and sensations. From touch, to sensory deprivation, to the measuring of your brain activity while kissing a loved one.

A plaque that reads "Homo Sensorium"

A dome the size of a large-ish tent, in white and clear plastic, behind a young tree.

Same dome, empty apart from a fringe-like light fixture hung from the ceiling.

Brainwave Wedding Lab by Lancel / Maat & Baltan Laboratories

A plaque describing the Homo Sensorium space.

Out of these three I had the opportunity to test only one, “Inevitably Blue” by Sophia Bulgakova, where your face is covered by a white mask, and you are sat on a swing gently controlled by the artist, while different coloured lights are reflected onto the mask and different levels of white noise are played. The idea is for the participant to lose control of their own sensory perceptions. I was sceptical at first and a little worried that the experience might be more anxiety inducing than anything, but it was a pleasant surprise. The experience lasted five minutes, but felt very calming and I entirely lost track of time and was very surprised to be told that it had really been five minutes!

A large swing with a fram of black metal pipes stands in front of a semicircle of seven light fixtures, all aimed towards the seat of the swing