Dutch designers as facilitators of change at Design Indaba

During this year’s Design Indaba Conference five design thinkers from the Netherlands will climb the stage. They are in Cape Town to share their views, but also to get a taste of the latest developments on the African continent. We’re proud to welcome Erik Kessels (KesselsKramer), Niels van Eijk & Miriam van der Lubbe (Van Eijk & Van der Lubbe) and Cecilia Martin and Klasien van de Zandschulp (Lava).

Dutch design is typically known for its down-to-earth, minimalist style and unlimited ways to innovate and experiment. The five Dutch design thinkers speaking at Design Indaba are a great example of this: by exploring the limits of their own areas of expertise and entering into cross-disciplinary partnerships, they more than often serve as a multidisciplinary facilitators for change.

The presence of the five design heavyweights confirms not only the leading position the Netherlands has in the world of design, it also points out that the African continent is the continent of the future. The designers may have a big track record, but being at Design Indaba, the biggest design event at the African continent, gives them a great opportunity to be inspired by a next generation of disruptive design thinkers, daring changemakers and captivating thought-leaders that grew up on the African continent.

The need for design thinkers rather than ‘just’ designers is rapidly growing, as manufacturers realize the economic relevance of innovative design. And as this new mindset is growing, design starts serving as a catalyst for cross-border product and service development. By using logic, creativity, intuition and imagination, design is increasingly about finding human-centric and innovative solutions, which engage and benefit the user. It is about a new ways of thinking about technology, markets, service and industries – basically everything. It makes design much more than merely an aesthetic improvement.

Speaker profiles

Erik Kessels is the co-founder and creative director at communications agency KesselsKramer, and still works as an artist and photography curator.

Niels van Eijk and Miriam van der Lubbe (Van Eijk & Van der Lubbe) are concept thinkers, product and 3D designers, striving to deliver work that questions and engages its user.

Cecilia Martin and Klasien van de Zandschulp (Lava Studio) have an ultra-interdisciplinary approach to design, working at the intersection of design, creative strategy and technology.

The attendance of the five design thinkers has been facilitated by the Dutch government, contributing to the #cocreate.NL platform. #cocreate.NL is a pilot-project of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with RVO/Holland Branding. It aims to showcase the Dutch way of collaborating, anywhere in the world: explorative, cross-fertilizing and purposeful. By showing examples of Dutch contributions to projects around the world, the Netherlands hope to share ideas, inspire and connect. Join the conversation on Twitter: @cocreateNL.

For more information on the Design Indaba programme and tickets, visit the Design Indaba website.

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