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What Design Can Do… For Eindhoven (And For Students)

Students from the Department of 'Man and Communication', Design Academy Eindhoven, will present projects that seek to tackle social problems in Eindhoven during the Breakout Session For Eindhoven (and for students) on May 10 2012 . Join them to discover how traffic lights, skylines, second floors, an imaginative police force and food can make cities like Eindhoven, or yours, a better place!
Design students are the future of design. At the department of Man and Communication, they are encouraged to look beyond the design bubble and engage with real world issues. A policy that The Stone Twins have dubbed "Less monologue - more dialogue".’ What Design Can Do’ provides the students with an ideal platform to meet and talk with design practitioners, to gauge the relevance and resonance of their thinking.

Declan Stone (head of Department Man and Communication) and Catelijne van Middelkoop (coordinator of Department Man and Communication) will moderate a discussion between the students and the audience, and invite you to participate. Question their concepts, make them think, rethink and even start again. It's a physical crowd-sourced session that will prove fruitful for all concerned.


Participants and Projects:

Alix Gallet & Catalina Diaz Garcia
Traffic Light Entertainment
Insight: A lot of time is wasted waiting at traffic lights - sometimes 42 seconds.

Solution: A sound system - a random mix of recorded messages with music and noises - that makes the time you spend waiting at the stoplights more enjoyable. The sounds can be location and time specific (for example: traffic lights in the market area would play recipes, traffic lights in a central location late on a Friday could broadcast jokes, match days could have live score updates, etc…).
Desiree van der Gracht                                 
Eat & Meet
Insight: People of different ethnic origin, class and age do not meet.
Solution: Food can bring random people together. By utilising existing food vending machines and pop-up ones, video technology can create conversations with people than might otherwise not have met.

Lenča Praxova                                                          
Eindhoven Skylines
Insight: Eindhoven is dull and feels sometimes claustrophobic.

Solution: Make the skyline of Eindhoven accessible to the public. Create special routes along the roofs of buildings and connect them with bridges. Themed-trails with location in mind are proposed (for example: an art route, a design route, a garden route, a sports route, etc…).

Marit van der Gevel                          
Beyond the System
Insight: Eindhoven is over-planned and thus feels cold and impersonal. It seems that there is no opportunity for expression.

Solution: A city initiative that documents the unique, the weird and the beautiful in Eindhoven. 
Celebrate personal expression and differences via various media (a book, a website, a weekly column, an art exhibition, etc...).

Michelle Bours                                                         
Celebrate Difference
Insight: Eindhoven is made from six different villages - Strijp, Woensel, Gestel, Tongelre, Stratum and Geldrop. These areas sometimes do not connect, there seems to be a lack of community.

Solution: Celebrate differences by re-creating the 'border-lines' for real - on a massive colourful scale - throughout the city. Paint these colour coded lines across roads and pavements and up and over buildings. An artistic statement that literally gives colour to the city.

Roel Nabuurs & Maartje Slijpen       
2nd Floor 2nd Chance
Insight: A lot of upper floors in the centre of Eindhoven above retail space are not being used. This results in a bare and empty city centre that makes it unpleasant, unsafe and eerie.

Solution: Create a vibrant city centre by allowing people to live on the 2nd floor. Make these floors accessible - independent from the retail space below - with fantastic constructions.
Tess Janse                                                                 
Recipe for Integration
Insight: Some people in Eindhoven sleepwalk - they buy the same food week-in-week-out and cook the same recipes. They never have personal contact with other communities, ignorance breaths fear and racism.

Solution: Food brings people together, so employ 'Food Ambassadors'. These specially trained people are chosen by the city to represent a community and it's cuisine and are placed at Eindhoven markets and big grocery shops. These reps are friendly and a approachable and have one goal; for you to experience a new culture. 

Zeno Koenigs                                               
UDTF (Underage Drinking Task Force)
Insight: Policies to prevent underage drinking in the centre of Eindhoven are not working.

Solution: Actions by an over-the-top comedic police force ‘The UDTF' and activities that shame and embarrass underage youths.


What Design Can Do’ is an international conference about the impact of design, fashion and architecture in the world. The conference takes place in the city theatre of Amsterdam on the 10th and 11th of May 2012. The role of different disciplines in the contemporary society will be discussed. The conference is initiated by Richard van der Laken (co-founder of Designpolitie) and is sponsored by Premsela, DutchDFA, Design Cooperation Brainport, BNO and NAi.

Published: 08-May-2012 09:15


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    Break out session at What Design Can Do 2011 © Leo Veger

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    Volunteers assemble the What Design Can Do 2011 book © Leo Veger

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    What Design Can Do 2011

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    What Design Can Do 2011 audience at de Stadsschouwburg© Leo Veger

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