Bounce back!

Voor de representatie van Nederland als partnerland van Zagreb Design Week, maakte ik samen met Marleen van Bergeijk een tentoonstelling vol duurzame initiatieven over de huidige status van Dutch design.

Design for a new and better world

Can design save the world? This question seems more relevant now than ever. The world is facing globally complex challenges that relate to our health and freedom, climate change, sustainability, inequality and social tension. The pandemic made us experience the limits to growth and its consequences in real life. Dutch design nowadays reflects these ideas of social and environmental responsibility. More and more of them use their creative power to address bigger issues and offer possible solutions. With governments and companies often missing the flexibility to change fast, it is time to look at designers for inspiring scenarios for a future world.

As partner country for Zagreb Design Week 2021, in this exhibition the Dutch design approach to societal challenges is presented. The Dutch word for resilience is ‘veerkracht’. This literally means ‘the force of a spring’ and refers to a spiral shape. When it’s pressed down there is increased tension. Upon release it will bounce back up with forceful lightness and flexibility. A beautiful metaphor for when times are challenging: the force downwards fuels our urge and creativity to bounce back. 

But bouncing back does not necessarily mean to ‘go back to normal’. Because what is normal when everything has changed? In order to find our way out of this crisis, we should take the opportunity to reflect and decide how we wish to continue. Respecting the pain of what and whom was lost, we must pause to see the challenges and the opportunities that lay ahead. By combining the good of what once was with the curiosity of what can be done in the future, we can use the power of resilience to build back better. 

So: in what direction do we ‘bounce back’ now we’re faced with challenging times? What if we could redefine the fundament of our society, what choices would we make? In this exhibition Dutch design curators Marleen van Bergeijk and Lisa Hardon take you on a journey towards resilience, and show how Dutch designers shape alternative routes in the societal challenges of today. 

An exhibition with work by:

Studio Matilde Boelhouwer
Studio Samira Boon
Jalila Assat
Bram de Vos
Social Label
Studio Nienke Hoogvliet
Govert Flint