Dutch Design Week 2023 Through the Rearview Mirror (Part 2)

Dutch Design Week 2023 Through the Rearview Mirror (Part 2)

Time goes by so slowly - how could Madonna ever have sung that? In my experience, it's going by more and more quickly. Dutch Design Week 2023 is only a few weeks ago, but with everything that has been going on, it feels like AGES! Anyway, let's get the show on the road for this second and final part of my look back at one of Europe's biggest design festivals.

Renault concept cars

Speaking of getting things on the road, can someone please give Renault a call and tell them they need to start producing these three concept cars stat? Well, technically speaking, they're not really concept cars, I suppose. Instead, they're classic models we all know and love, reimagined by designers Sabine Marcelis, Mathieu Lehanneur and Pierre Gonalons.

Let's start with my favourite of the three Renaults on display, this translucent Twingo by Sabine Marcelis. The original Twingo is a design classic, but with this 2023 makeover, it is truly a stunning car.
Sabine Marcelis is known for using resin, and this Twingo is no exception.
I mean, come on...this baby would sell like hotcakes!
On to the R4 Suite n4 by Mathieu Lehanneur, which would be the ideal car if you have a dog and want to chill out together under the stars.
Need I say more? The back of this car is perfect for a relaxing evening. Absolutely brilliant, if you ask me.
Then, on to this R5 Diamant by Pierre Gonalons. Loving the colour, obviously! The body color consists of three layers of paint, made of gold-coloured pigments on a pink base. The lacquer layer is finished with a matte varnish, which gives a very variable effect with gold-coloured reflections in the sun and a bluish tint in the shade. Perfection!
The inside of the R5 Diamant doesn't look too shabby either. Check out that steering wheel...WANT!

Bits & Pieces

If you've ever been to Morocco, you know that people love to ride mopeds and motorcycles. The thing is, though, they're a) not very clean (the mopeds and motorcylces, I hasten to add) and b) they all look the same. Enter Mahjouba Motor, a craft made motor that looks spectacular in a totally unique, Moroccan way. LOVE IT! This particular version is produced in a limited edition of 100 and you can order one through the website for €6,000.
A close-up of one of the parts of the Mahjouba Motor. Check out the intricate details and then ask yourself, why don't more manufacturers use this particular style?
This is part of an earlier design for the Mahjouba Motor, so nice!
Take it from me, tapestries are hot, hot, hot this year. You see antique tapestries in luxury interior design magazines everywhere. Contemporary tapestries are quickly catching up, though. I can't tell you how many tapestries I saw during Dutch Design Week. My favourite design was this Wajang Kulit tapestry by Sampat Studio.
I have one of those iconic lamps by Annebet Philips in my hallway - definitely an eyecatcher! And if that wasn't enough, I also interview this fantastic Dutch designer in her Amsterdam home once. I loved these bright and happy new prototypes for garden chairs she showed at Dutch Design Week. I'll be first in line if they go into production.
More cool new work from Annebet Philips!

Vitra Icons Re/Outfitted

Vitra will always have a special place in my heart, if only because their Marketing and PR manager Muriël, who has become a good friend of mine through the years. Vitra also has a special place on my behind, because I spent at least 60 hours a week on a super comfortable Vitra ID office chair - I cannot recommend it enough, although I did give it a try a couple of years ago!

At Dutch Design Week, Vitra showed a stunning collaboration with The Visionary Lab and Levi's called Icons Re/Outfitted. Now, I don't think you've ever seen me wear jeans with holes in them. So, I guess you can safely assume I'm not really into this particular style. But I have to say, on this Lounge Chair reimagined by Kelly Konings, it definitely works. And don't think Konings just took a couple of pairs of torn jeans for the upholstery! Muriël told me that the fabric you see here creates the illusion of holes with an innovative 2D weaving technique that gives a 3D effect, resulting in a distressed look. Utilising deadstock yarns sourced from Levi's, Konings also pioneered an innovative digital weaving technique that achieves an organic gradient structure from blue to almost white without the need for bleaching - a testament to the transformative power of modern weaving.
Another favourite at the Icons Re/Outiftted exhibition was this Amoebe Chair by Nkwo Onwuka, who happens to be the daughter of my friend Chidi. Small world! Nkwo used repurposed Levi’s jeans sourced from a second-hand market in Lagos, proving that sustainable and recycled design doesn't have to look boring.