Go Design

Short trips to tingle your aesthetic senses

Unrealised competition proposal for a “socialist re-design of the center of the capital”, Berlin 1959. (Photo: Gisela Dutschmann, © Berlinische Galerie)

A few days away in a (foreign) city can feel like a mini-vacation. Add a great design event or exposition to your daily routine and come back homeloaded with inspiration. Here’s a selection for your travel diary:

Go Bologna: Bologna Design Week

The inaugural Bologna Design Week (BDW) will be held from September 30 to October 3 to offer a diverse networking platform and cultural itinerary about the propulsive power of design for innovation and promotion. The initiative is designed to put Bologna on the international map of unmissable design-related events.

Conceived as an annual appointment, Bologna Design Week aims to improve the city’s cultural profile.

There’s a lot to see, from furniture created by night to jewellery made from wires to all sorts of exhibitions.

From left to right: Night created design (image courtesy nightcreateddesgin.com); Elecktrochic @ Filanda 22 (Image courtesy Electrochic); Atanor @Atelier Corradi (Image courtesy Atanor)

Find all participants of BDW here.

Go London: 100% Design

The 21st edition of 100% Design, the UK’s largest design trade show, will be held September 23–26 at Olympia London. This year’s event is based upon the central theme of ‘Design in Colour,’ created through working closely with trend forecasters WGSN who have tailored a colour palette of 12 shades based on 2016 trends.

Packed with innovative, fresh ideas, the Emerging Brands section of 100% Design presents the UK’s strongest platform for newly established design talent.

The Design Guildmark Awards will return to 100% Design showcasing the 2015 winners. The awards promote excellence and raise the profile of British design and innovation. The 2015 winners include Balance coffee table by Sir Terence Conran for Content by Terence Conran, Svelto Round stacking stool by Lisa Sandall for ercol, 675 chair by Robin Day and revised by Case Furniture, and BA3 side and armchair by Ernest Race for Race Furniture. Another awards programme exhibiting at the show is The Wood Awards, which will be displaying a selection of the nominated pieces from the furniture and product category. The awards aim to recognise, encourage and promote outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation using wood.

From left to right: Piece-UK (image courtesy Piece-UK); Ebb & Flow (image courtesy Ebb&Flow); Designheure (image courtesy Designheure)

Go Eindhoven: Dutch Design Week

The 14th edition of the Dutch Design Week will be held October 17–25, with the theme of ‘What if…’ DDW sees ‘What if…’ as the ultimate question from which creativity and innovation starts. Designers realize the most varied forms of innovation by looking at what exists from a different angle, by not being satisfied with the status quo, and by continuing to look for alternative answers and solutions.

Martijn Paulen, DDW director: “Posing the right questions is the motor for the imagination. Designers think about how we will live and live together in the future. They dare to question everything, dream of a different answer and shape it. This is how they lay the basis for the innovations of the future.”

Among the highlights are regulars such as the Design Academy’s Graduation Show, the presentation of the annual Dutch Design Awards, the presentation by Dutch Invertuals and the exhibitions in the Klokgebouw (art directors Guus Kusters and Maarten Kolk). Amongst these the Volvo Design Challenge, with young designers (Borre Akkersdijk, Lilian van Daal, Brit van Nerven, Bob Schiller and Jólan van der Wiel) responding to the rapid technological developments of the car and our perception of this in the future. The exhibition ‘Mind the Step’ (by the Eindhoven, Delft and Twente universities of technology) shows design and technology of the future.

Other creative hot spots and initiatives that contribute to the programme with (inter)national exhibitions can be found at Hallenweg, Material Sense, MU, Piet Hein Eek, Sectie C, TAC, Yksi and Kazerne.

The new label by TextielMuseum bundles the TextielMuseum’s collection and the TextielLab’s craftsmanship, and presents itself during DDW under the art directorship of Jongeriuslab. At Broeinest, Baars & Bloemhof present various collaboratives between industry and the creative sector, with work from De Inituïtiefabriek, Lex Pott, OS Δ OOS and Studio Mieke Meijer. The exhibition ‘Thing Nothing’ at Van Abbemuseum (curated by Thomas Widdershoven, Jan Konings, Ina Hollmann and Agata Jaworska) shows the role of design in a dematerialising world.

International Branding and Design Agency VBAT will participate at Materials XL Future packaging concepts as a member of the Dutch Packaging Design Initiative. Packaging designers provide information, protection and brand recognition to products. But they also design waste. What will the future of packaging look like?

The Association of Dutch Designers BNO and the centre for Culture & Art in Brabant-bkkc invite you for a seminar on future packaging concepts with moderator Graham Sturt (creative director of VBAT). Here you will find out more about the latest concepts and future trends in packaging. Students from the Design Academy present their concepts they made for the project “Rethink Packaging” and there will be a small exhibition with the best ideas for the BNO Packaging Talent Award. At the end of the program the winner of the BNO Packaging Talent Award (for students and young designers) will be announced.

From left to right: Damn pretty Dutch Shoes; Graduation Show Design Academy Eindhoven; Thing Nothing @ Van Abbemuseum.

Go Berlin: Radically Modern

On view through October 26 at Berlinische Galerie, Radically Modern features architecture and urban design from the sixties that shape Berlin’s cityscape to this day. Significant urban planning decisions where taken in that decade and there arose numerous, striking architectural works, which are now at risk. This exhibition is the first detailed overview of the plans and buildings developed in East and West Berlin and stimulates a re-evaluation of this contentious period of construction.

Due to low public opinion, both in and beyond Berlin, the architecture and highly developed transport infrastructure of the 1960s are a neglected and therefore vulnerable legacy.

In contrast to iconic individual pieces of architecture, such as the Nationalgalerie by Mies van der Rohe or the Haus des Lehrers by Hermann Henselmann, many buildings are characterized as monotone, cheap & obsolete and are seldom well maintained.

From left to right: Haus des Lehrers by Hermann Henselmann; Nationalgalerie by Mies van der Rohe

The plans and buildings from this period are evidence of historical ideas that, in a clear departure from the architectural language of the Nazi dictatorship, aligned themselves with the concept of the “International Modern” and the ideal vision of a city adapted to the automobile. Belief in progress, an economic boom and the display of power by two opposing systems during the Cold War manifest themselves in the construction of representative architecture, innovative shopping centres, dense high-rise settlements and a road network built for the future. Both well-known and recently discovered original material — including models, films, photographs, plans, collages and manuscripts — illustrate political, social and structural visions for the rebuilding of the ruined metropolis divided by the construction of the Wall. Using selected plans as an example — such as the developments along the former Stalinallee, at Alexanderplatz, at Breitscheidplatz or in the Märkisches Viertel — the objectives, similarities and differences between the construction projects completed by the two different political systems are examined. Roughly 300 works by more than 30 architects, planning offices, photographers, artists and filmmakers are presented. Amongst the architects are: Paul Baumgarten, Candilis Josic Woods and Schiedhelm, Werner Düttmann, Walter Gropius, Hermann Henselmann, Helmut Hentrich and Hubert Petschnigg, Walter Herzog, Josef Kaiser, Roland Korn, Mies van der Rohe, Georg Heinrichs, Ulrich Müther, Hans Scharoun, Ralf Schüler and Ursulina Schüler-Witte, Manfred Zumpe.

Go Dubai: Dubai Design Week

The inaugural Dubai Design Week will be held October 26–31, 2015. The event aims to place Dubai on the map as the emerging design capital of the world. Dubai Design Week will coincide with Downtown Design, the region’s leading, quality-driven design trade fair, and will encompass culture, education and entertainment with key initiatives spanning multiple disciplines of design, from graphic and product design to architecture and industrial design.

Dubai Design Week will offer a programme of educational talks, lectures and workshops which will cover an extensive range of topics related to design that will educate, support and promote local talent to an international audience.

From panel discussions on supporting design in Dubai to workshops which will explore the fundamentals of different design disciplines, the extensive programme will encourage a greater interest in the regions design activity. The detailed program will be announced in the coming weeks.

Nice place to explore design: Dubai

Go Rotterdam: Temporary Fashion Museum

Many Dutch museums include fashion within their collections but there has never been a national fashion museum. From September 13 — 8 May 2016, Het Nieuwe Instituut will explore the possibilities of such an institution by transforming itself into a fashion museum. The entire building will be utilised for this temporary experiment.
Innovation in fashion contrasts starkly with other disciplines in which innovation is viewed as synonymous with technological progress. Fashion has found its own model of renewal by using the past as an endless source of inspiration for the future. Reason enough to allow the past, present and future to be interwoven in the Temporary Fashion Museum.

In contrast to the conventional model of a museum, which conserves objects and thus freezes time, the Temporary Fashion Museum will approach time as fashion does: as a fluid and flowing phenomenon and a source for speculation.

What is the current state of fashion? What issues preoccupy designers right now? How do they speculate about the future? Which issues determine current developments in fashion? In addition to exploring the fashion design and production process the Temporary Fashion Museum will also examine the role of the user. It will give visitors an opportunity to engage with fashion in different ways: from debating about and reflecting upon on essential issues to trying on and buying clothes.

Waterlooplein 1966. Image: Ben van Meerendonk. Collection Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis
Haute Couture Junkies, Roxy, 1991; Image Cleo Campert.
Frans Molenaar Bicyclesuit 1975. Source unknown.


Het Nieuwe Instituut’s freely accessible entrance area will have the allure of a seductive perfume department in a luxury emporium. This will be a showcase for the latest trends. Penny Martin and Jop van Bennekom (editor of renowned fashion magazines The Gentlewoman and Fantastic Man) present their ultimate selection from the thousands of garments that make up the autumn-winter 2015 collections. The selection will change in the beginning of 2016 with the start of the new fashion season. A monthly changing expo-in-expo, installed by leading stylists, designers and fashion photographers, will highlight the constantly shifting nature of fashion. A series of spaces will focus on the fashion consumer, including a fabric shop with quality textiles, a fitting room for high-heel shoes from sizes 28 to 48, and even a cloakroom where visitors will have their jackets ritually removed. Visitors will also be able to touch and examine clothes and in some cases try them on and buy them.

Reality and Alternatives

The Temporary Fashion Museum will also explore the occasionally shocking reality of the fashion system. The negative social and ecological impact of clothing production is the starting point for an examination of the usually unseen darker side of fashion. Fashion designers Alexander van Slobbe and Francisco van Benthum respond to this theme with their project HACKED, in which they use the existing production chain of the fast-fashion industry to create new opportunities for designers and consumers alike. Under the name Van Slobbe Van Benthum they set to work on the remnants and overproduction of this sector. They will present the findings of their research in an extensive display with critical commentary.


The notion of time and history as fluid will play a central role in the Temporary Fashion Museum. It will present a purely speculative history of 65 years of Dutch fashion, curated by Guus Beumer and fashion journalist Georgette Koning. From how our collective love of the bicycle has influenced the silhouette of womenswear to how the Provo movement introduced white into the fashion palette. Marjo Kranenborg presents a hall of fame of timeless fashion icons as red lipstick, the white shirt and the trench coat. Surprising archives give an insight into fashion’s malleable memory. Ranging from the highly personal in the form of the haute couture outfits of Swiss collector Eva Margarita Hatschek Steiner, to the collective in the form of the ultimate vintage store with unrivalled pieces from (Dutch) fashion history assembled by Ferry van der Nat.

Het Nieuwe Instituut Rotterdam

These are my Go Design picks for the coming months. Would you like to suggest some more? Then please send me a tweet @ConnieFluhme.

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