Shining examples: the winners of the 2016 Dutch Design Awards announced

Dutch Design Awards
Dutch designer Christien Meindertsma (her 'Flax' chair pictured) scooped the Product Design prize and was also honoured with the competition's top prize, the Future Award
(Image credit: Christien Meindertsma)

The Dutch Design Foundation has announced the winners of its 2016 Dutch Design Awards (DDA), celebrating innovation among local creative talent. Selected by a jury composed of Dutch and international design personalities and headed by retail chain De Bijenkorf’s CEO Giovanni Colauto, the shortlisted finalists were presented to the public in a week-long exhibition during Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, while the winners were unveiled during a ceremony tonight.

Double winner Christien Meindertsma scooped the Product Design prize and was also honoured with the Future Award, which highlights the most rousing project amongst all winners. Over the past few years, the designer has been developing a new composite material using flax – a widespread crop that requires very little water – that is mixed with polylactic acid, a biologically degradable plastic made from lactic acid. The composite is then cut into triangular sheets to be used in furniture manufacturing. Meindertsma’s design makes full use of each sheet of material, drastically reducing waste.

The jury was won over by her mission and entrepreneurial capabilities: Meindertsma bought a flax farm to learn how the material can be cultivated and processed, expanding her understanding of the product and its potential. ‘This project is clearly about more than just another chair,’ said jury member Ravi Naidoo, founder of South African creative platform Design Indaba. ‘It is the result of long-term research into the material qualities of flax, and a desire to connect with Dutch companies to launch a new product on the market.’

Architect Marco Vermeulen

 Architect Marco Vermeulen won the Habitat prize for Biesbosch Museumeiland

(Image credit: Architect Marco Vermeulen)

Likewise, material was the main focus of Young Designer winner Tom Soest. He graduated from Design Academy Eindhoven in 2012 with a project that researched the potentials of repurposing building waste as bricks. Fast forward four years, the self-styled ‘brick baker’ has developed his concept into a fully-fledged company, Stonecycling, which now uses recycled bricks (available in different colourways to boot) in building projects. ‘Tom's work reminded me of the importance in looking at design for the mundane,’ commented jury member Safia Qureshi of London-based architecture studio D-Tale. ‘Taking the leap from design as a service to a design product that belongs in the market place with scalability requires a range of skills which more and more designers should be developing.’

Other winners included graphic designer Joost Grootens, whose studio redesigned legendary Dutch dictionary Dikke van Dale with a novel mix of colour and type, also creating an architectural case that gives the trio of books a precious stance. Multidisciplinary collective Sistaaz of the Castle scooped the Fashion award, while architect Marco Vermeulen won the Habitat prize for Biesbosch Museumeiland, a striking example of eco-friendly, self-sufficient architecture.

Winner of the Research category was urban development office Specialist Operation, whose Uruzgan's Legacy traced the reconstruction of public services in Afghanistan. The final prize of the evening – for Services and Systems – went to Frank Kolkman, whose speculative ‘Designs for Flies’ offers unprecedented possibilities for research into rare diseases. ‘The project demonstrates the added value of involving designers at an early stage in the development of new medical products or services,’ explain the jury. ‘It’s a promising prototype that, in collaboration with scientists and patients, spotlights the need for new approaches to drug research.'

Dutch Design Awards

Meindertsma has been developing a new composite using flax – a widespread crop that requires very little water – that is then mixed with polylactic acid, a biologically degradable plastic

(Image credit: Meindertsma )

Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven

The designer's work was shown alongside the other shortlisted finalists in a week-long exhibition during Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven

(Image credit: press)

A Design Academy Eindhoven graduate

The Young Designer prize went to Tom Soest, a Design Academy Eindhoven graduate whose project – like Meindertsma's – was a concentrated material investigation

(Image credit: Tom Soest)

Recycled bricks building waste

Soest repurposed building waste to create recycled bricks

(Image credit: Soest)

A recycled bricks in building projects

He has now developed his concept into a fully-fledged company, Stonecycling, and obtained permission to use his recycled bricks in building projects

(Image credit: press)

The Services and Systems

Frank Kolkman won the Services and Systems category with his speculative ‘Designs for Flies’ system offering new possibilities for research into rare diseases

(Image credit: Frank Kolkman)

graphic designer Joost Grootens

Other winners included graphic designer Joost Grootens, whose studio redesigned legendary Dutch dictionary Dikke van Dale with a novel mix of colour and type

(Image credit: Joost Grootens)

The trio of books a precious stance

Grootens also created an architectural case that gives the trio of books a precious stance

(Image credit: Grootens )

Uruzgan's Legacy traced the reconstruction of public services in Afghanistan

Winner of the research category was urban development office Specialist Operation, whose Uruzgan's Legacy traced the reconstruction of public services in Afghanistan

(Image credit: press)

a book exploring the impact of the Dutch government on the Afghan land

The office's photographic research was gathered in a book exploring the impact of the Dutch government on the Afghan land

(Image credit: press)

INFORMATION

For more information, visit the Dutch Design Awards website (opens in new tab)

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.