This summer, I swapped sweltering Rome for a few months of lowlands cool. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be a permanent move back, but it definitely felt great to rediscover the homeland. As if I viewed the Netherlands with foreign eyes, story ideas just kept popping up.

Eindhoven, a former industrial town in the south, was never really on my radar. For a feature in Let’s Go Mag, I spent a few days traipsing around this city that is swiftly transforming in an exciting design hub (“northern Europe’s unofficial design capital”). The story was a preview on the annual Dutch Design Week.

Taking a break from food writing, I noticed that reporting about design and designers is not much different. Designers are just as passionate about their work than chefs. Or any creative people, really. Spending time with them, I always feel invigorated and inspired. Take Marleen Kurvers, one of the designers I interviewed for this story and owner of the shop Dutch Design Year, where it is Dutch Design Week all year round. “Her enthusiasm for the city’s work is evident, and she happily tells the back story of each piece as she shows you around the space: chairs made from industrial robot arms and refrigerator plastic; paper vases with profits going to help lift women in a Mumbai slum out of poverty.”

One of the most exciting discoveries for this piece was Sectie C, an artist ‘village’ located on a former industrial plot where artists and designer collaborate in creating amazing objects. Check it out when you get a chance (only upon appointment), especially for the work of Spanish-born artist Nacho Carbonell.

Read the full feature here: Dutch by Design, with brilliant pictures by René van der Hulst.

Irene de Vette

Author Irene de Vette

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