5 October 2021 News

This is What if Lab at DDW21

Which What if Labs can you visit at Dutch Design Week (DDW) 2021 from 16 to 14 October? And where should you be? In this article, we list all the Labs and locations for you.


ABN AMRO x What if Lab

This coming DDW, ABN AMRO presents the results of two What if Labs in the ABN AMRO Equal Opportunities Pavilion. In collaboration with the designers, ABN AMRO presents Equal Opportunities and In/Exclusive.

Equal Opportunities is about the financial independence of women. Ontwerpstudio (ink). set to work on a project based on the design question: What if… Financial security is not defined by gender? The result of the collaboration, Bouw Box, is on display in the ABN AMRO pavilion. There you will also find Measuring In/Exclusive. What do inclusion and exclusion actually mean? And what do you know about it if you don’t have to face it yourself? Mies Loogman developed an answer to these questions with the concept “Ons ABN“. This concept uses a card game to make unconscious exclusion visible and open for discussion.

You will find the ABN AMRO Equal Opportunities Pavilion in the heart of DDW, in the middle of the Ketelhuisplein (Strijp-S).

What if Lab: Well-being in the City

Commissioned by Sweco, three design studios started working on their design vision of the meeting place of the future: Studio 1:1Rombout Frieling and Olifantenpad CS. All three worked on completely different concepts based on one central design question: What if…our public spaces feel like home? They present the results at DDW. On Thursday 21 October, a Sweco selection committee will choose one concept to develop further together with Sweco’s clients and stakeholders. 

You can find Well-being in the City in the klokgebouw at Strijp-S.

What if Lab: Connected Generations

The Netherlands is ageing rapidly. How will we organise care for the elderly in the future? We see the demand for care increasing, while care organisations are already struggling with staff shortages. But what would happen if society were to be designed in such a way that the lives of pluriform groups of elderly people (in the neighbourhood and in nursing homes) had a natural and essential place in society? In cooperation with Actiz, two studios investigate this from different perspectives: Studio Anne Ligtenberg from Products and Services and We are Social Rebels from New Types of Living.

You can find Connected Generations at Area 51 at Strijp-S.



In 2018, the What if Lab: SolarSquare Design Challenge, in collaboration with municipality of Eindhoven and Solliance, resulted in the SUNSEEKER project by VANTOT. The design question was: design an application with Solliance’s flexible solar panels for the future Victoriapark in Eindhoven. SUNSEEKER has been installed and can be admired in the park. It presents a new form of street lighting that makes us think about sustainability in a different way.

SUNSEEKER can be admired in the Victoriapark in Eindhoven.

15-minuten stad – Bygg Architecture & Design

Embassy of Mobility: liveability is key

The pandemic has caused us to look differently at mobility. It is time to rectify the design error of the last century, and to work on urban planning where not the car, but the human being is central. The Embassy of Mobility works together with What if Lab on three Embassy Labs around a central question: What if… our public spaces feel like home?

Embassy Lab: 15-minute city: Bygg Architecture & Design researches how the concept of the 15-minute city can be realized in Eindhoven. Through visualizations, the ideas are presented to residents (and visitors of DDW) to gather feedback and insights that later can be applied in practice.

Embassy Lab: Blik voor Groen: Studio 1:1 sets to work on replacing tin (cars) with green. This can be done by moving the cars to a collection location outside the neighbourhood, leaving more space in the streets for green. And for facilities such as playgrounds and small parks. The ultimate goal is to make the neighbourhood more liveable.

Embassy Lab: workplaces in the home: During DDW, this Lab will start. Keep an eye on our website and social media to not miss it!

You will find the Embassy of Mobility in the Klokgebouw, Hall 3.

What if Lab: Unhindered participation

Last year, we organised What if Lab: Unlimited participation, an initiative of the Ministry of Health, Welfare & Sport (HWS). The project Drempelloos by Studio Corvers is one of the results and will be shown in the Embassy of Inclusive Society. Furthermore, on Thursday 21 October, (ink). and HWS will be guests in the Inclusivity Talk. Here, (ink). will tell more about their project Mensenkenners.

You will find the designers of ‘Unhundered participation’ in the Embassy of Inclusive Society at the Ketelhuisplein.

What if Lab: Broad Welfare

How do you discuss broad welfare? The designers of Kade Clubhuis were commissioned by the municipality of Eindhoven to set to work on ‘Blik op Groen’. In this What if Lab, they investigated broad welfare together with the city’s residents.

You can find the results of What if Lab: Brede Welvaart at the Ketelhuisplein (Strijp-S).

Kackaai x Studio Carbon

How can you change people’s perception of wastewater and approach the treatment plant from a new perspective? Together with KaacKai, Studio Carbon tackled this question. Their project Biome shows that technology doesn’t have to be unnecessarily complicated, can be attractive and even act as something to be proud of as an owner. The result is an interactive product that makes you want to have a connection with your own waste water. The results are part of the DDW-themed exhibition ‘Cabinet of Collaborations’.

You will find Biome at Cabinet of Collaborations in Fuutlaan Hall. 

Rethinking Torwash

In this Embassy Lab, Studio laVina, Studio GROOVIDO and Envisions, in cooperation with TNO, investigate methods and materials suitable for the unique Torwash process. Torwash is a unique technical installation that can dissolve biodegradable plastics. 

You can find the results of Rethinking Torwash as part of the Embassy of Rethinking Plastic at Yski Expo at Strijp-S.

As you have read, there are plenty of What if Labs to explore at DDW this year, 15 concepts and projects to be exact. Do you want to know how you as a designer or client can contribute to Labs in the future? Then visit DDW and find out for yourself!