Dutch Design Week 2023 Through the Rearview Mirror (Part 1)

My look back at Dutch Design Week 2023 with visits to Kazerne, Manifestations and Maison the Faux.

Dutch Design Week 2023 Through the Rearview Mirror (Part 1)

Time flies when you're having fun - and it flies even faster if you work at Catawiki, like I do. I can't be-LIEVE how far Dutch Design Week 2023 has already disappeared in the rearview mirror, but I thought I'd share with you all the photos I took at places that were not MESSMERIZING or the Design Academy Eindhoven Graduation Show.


If you've been to Dutch Design Week before, you know that Kazerne is always a good destination for some top-notch design eye candy. This year was no exception!

Pepe Valenti graduated from the Design Academy last year with this installation. I saw it there and then later at Big Art. Now, El Mar has made its way to Kazerne and no matter how many times I see it, I never get tired of it.
This Crawling collection by Grietje Schepers was made with discarded metal chains - such a bold gesture! And good to see that recycled doesn't have to look recycled!
This giant Ellipt chandelier - also by Grietje Schepers just SCREAMED to be shared on Instagram. I cannot tell how many people were falling over themselves to take a good photo of this stunning piece of work.
Laura Diekwisch designed a collection of tapestries around migraine - not an everyday concept, but interesting nonetheless. Part of her collection was shown as the pile of dirty laundry you see above - a presentation that is not doing this designer's work any justice.
There, that's a LOT better!
Zinc is not necessarily a go-to material when you want to design a cabinet - unless you're Miles le Gra because he makes it look interesting and new.
Can computers be creative? That is a question Studio Récré is trying to answer with a 'yes' in their ongoing collection called Lébayes. This chair is called the Ré and now matter what you think of it, it presents an aesthetic that is certainly different and new. I like it!
No, these colourful wooden animals are not the souvenirs you regretted buying when you went to the Gambia in 2012. Instead, they were part of a show curated by Lili Tedde and Li Edelkoort called Everyday Paradise. Let me quote from one the exhibition signs to make clear what 'Lilili' intended to show us instead. "To seek joy, we must go south and take solace in the joyful expressions of the master artisans from the provinces." I could write an entire blogpost on how problematic that sounds. I mean...provinces? Really, Lilili?


The atmosphere at the Veemgebouw is exactly the kind of thing we all love at Dutch Design Week. Give me an industrial setting with lots of design to see and ideas to explore and I'm a happy man! Just like last year, the Veemgebouw was host to the Manifestions exhibition. It promised 'art, tech and fun' and really delivered.

Manifestions is an attack on all senses so it took me a while to find my bearing. And even though I'm not a crochet kind of guy (not that there's anything wrong with that) I ended up fascinated by these crocheted creatures by Vitalisje.
Vitalisje is not the name of a single designer, but rather a group project that brings together elderly crocheters who work together on the design and production of these cute animals.
Nonna Hoogland - remember that name! With her series of five painted ceramic vases called We Never Change, Hoogland calls for a new appreciation of Greek mythology. Of course, I paid close attention during my Greek lessons in secondary school. Didn't think it would come in useful, but I can now tell you that the vase you see above is the Minotaur. I think.
Pretty sure this is Medusa!

I'm not sure in which part of Greek mythology giant penises come down from the heavens, to be honest. Be that as it may, I cannot say how much I LOVE this vase. Nonna Hoogland was the winner of one of the 2023 HKU awards, which is fully deserved as far as I'm concerned.

One man's trash is another man's treasure - or another woman's treasure in this case. Sonja Kawade, who is nowhere to be found online, collected society's debris and showed us a magical world, hoping that we all learn to handle our waste better. Hear, hear!
A close-up of Kawade's work, which is called D-TRASHED Temples by the way.
A final photo of D-TRASHED Temples and it's on to the next destination my Dutch Design Week list.


Do we lose or gain time with the passing of the years? That was the central question in the truly magnificent TIMELESSTIME exhibition by MAISON the FAUX.

MAISON the FAUX is a creative studio posing as a grand couture fashion house. Its two founders, Joris Suk and Tessa de Boer, investigate new forms of fashion by creating experiences, interaction and performance.
I would KILL for this vase, such a unique piece! It was featured in one of the videos playing at TIMELESSTIME and you could just feel that everyone was disgusted and fascinated by its design every time it showed up.
Another detail of TIMELESSTIME. I was there twice and there were different performances going on each time. All very thought-provoking stuff, wish I could show you more.
There is an excellent video portrait of MAISON the FAUX on website of Dutch public broadcaster VPRO that you really should check out. I just watched it and really felt a connection with their maximalist aesthetic - although they also made me realise how totally twee and old I look myself with my silly Hermès bucket hat and Barbour coat. I wonder what I'd look like if MAISON the FAUX gave me a makeover.
Funnily enough, all the mannequins were gone the second time I visited TIMELESSTIME. They were super realistic and therefore also really creepy.