And the winners are... Dutch Design Awards reveal victors

Winning two Dutch Design Awards
Winning two Dutch Design Awards - including the prestigious Future Award - was Refugee Republic, an interactive online documentary by Submarine Channel mapping the lives inside a Syrian refugee camps
(Image credit: press)

Unveiled this weekend, the Dutch Design Awards celebrate a wide spectrum of design disciplines and their most talented local players. 

Winning both the award for the best communication project and the Future Award – the most prestigious accolade which recognises the project with the widest impact amongst all the victors – was Refugee Republic (opens in new tab), an interactive online documentary by Submarine Channel mapping the lives within a Syrian refugee camps with both humour and clarity. The piece employed different narrative techniques (from film to illustration, music and interviews) to highlight the very serious issues affecting the inhabitants of the camp with a light, non-judgmental tone. ‘A project like this,’ said judge and South Africa-based global conference Design Indaba founder Ravi Naidoo, ‘demonstrates that empathy is your best design tool.’

Selected by a jury led by KLM (opens in new tab) Global Brand Director Frank Houben, director of architectural institute Bureau Europa (opens in new tab) Saskia van Stein and design consultant Joost Alferink, the judges awarded Teresa Van Dongen (opens in new tab) with the Young Designer prize. Her work merges aesthetics, scientific research and techniques (like bioluminescence) to produce beautifully crafted lamps. ‘It opens up a new poetic domain for design,’ said van Stein, noting how the young Dutch designer's relatively small portfolio (Van Dongen graduated from Design Academy Eindhoven just a year ago) holds incredible potential.

The Design Research category was won by Arna Mackic, whose Mortal Cities & Forgotten Monuments (opens in new tab) project was formed as a proposal for the Bosnian city of Mostar’s cultural heritage. Mackic developed the idea of monuments built not for religious purposes, but that refer to sentiments more commonly shared within a population; social or historical motifs that don’t suggest potential conflicts but a more neutral, common ground.

SchilderScholte (opens in new tab) architects’s Pani Community Centre, built last year in Rajarhat, Bangladesh, was awarded the Habitat Prize, celebrating a building that improved the quality of life in the area it was erected. The Rotterdam-based practice built a vocational school and community centre which also acts as a gathering area for women and children of the local town. The building was more than an aesthetic exercise and included important details such a yellow paint to repel mosquitoes and clever cross ventilation techniques.

Presented with the Fashion Award was Lanvin (opens in new tab)’s creative director for menswear, Lucas Ossendrijver, for his ability to translate a haute couture quality into pret a porter label. Ossendrijver infused new life into the brand through collections that feature classic shapes with eclectic mixes of fabric and textures.

A multimedia tour created by Fabrique for Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum was awarded the Services & Systems accolade, while the Best Product award was won by Flex, a Dutch innovation lab working on a variety of everyday objects and identities for their Post Sorting Aid.

The panel of judges was as varied as the winners, with an international arm of note-worthy ambassadors including Matilda McQuaid, Deputy Director of Curatorial and Head of Textiles at Cooper Hewitt Museum (opens in new tab) and JoAnn Edward, Director of the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco.

Dutch Design

The piece employed different narrative techniques (from film to illustration, music and interviews) to paint a picture of life in the camps that highlighted all very serious issues affecting its inhabitants with a quirky tone

(Image credit: press)

Beautifully crafted lamps

Young Designer Award winner Teresa Van Dongen was chosen for her work which merges aesthetics and scientific research to produce beautifully crafted lamps

(Image credit: press)

The Design Research category

The Design Research category was won by Arna Mackic, whose Mortal Cities & Forgotten Monuments project was formed as a proposal for the Bosnian city of Mostar’s cultural heritage

(Image credit: press)

The Best Product prize went to Post Sorting Aid by Flex

The Best Product prize went to Post Sorting Aid by Flex, demonstrating how the design you don’t see is just as important as the design you see

(Image credit: press)

SchilderScholte architects’s Pani Community Centre

SchilderScholte architects’s Pani Community Centre, built last year in Rajarhat, Bangladesh, was awarded the Habitat Prize, celebrating a building that improved the quality of life in the area it was erected

(Image credit: press)

A multimedia tour

A multimedia tour created by Fabrique for Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum was awarded the Services & Systems award

(Image credit: press)

Lanvin’s creative director for menswear

Lanvin’s creative director for menswear, Lucas Ossendrijver, was presented with the Fashion Award

(Image credit: press)

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.