2014 in retrospective

December 19 2014
photo: Sjoerd Eickmans
photo: Sjoerd Eickmans

With the end of the year coming up, it's time to look back and reflect on the 12th edition of Dutch Design Awards. A year that consisted of, amongst others, a new set of categories, a visit to South Korea, minister Jet Bussemaker who opened the Awardshow and overall winner Sweetie: a perfect example of design with a large impact in society. A selection of highlights.


The criteria 'impact' and 'innovation' played an important role this year during the selection process. From all submissions the committee selected a total of 31 finalists. According to the selection committee, designers are increasingly focussing on developing new perspectives in 2014. “The role of the designer is shifting from giving form and creating content to content manager", says the selection committee Communication/Service&Systems. The Fashion/Product committee concluded that Dutch (fashion) designers have the qualities to change existing notions of aesthetics like no other.


The work of all finalists was exhibited during Dutch Design Week. For 9 days long the new venue at Strijp-T became the landing strip for the best of Dutch design. Around 20.000 visitors came to see the exhibition, where voting for the Frame Public Award was also possible.

During the Awardshow it was time to celebrate the past design year with all winners. Besides Minister Jet Bussemaker, who opened the evening, the programme consisted of talks by Richard van der Laken and Alexandra Daisy Gainsberg. By doing so the projects where placed in a broader context.


In addition, leading up the the Awardshow and exhibition of the Dutch Design Awards 2014 the new responsive website was launched. The most prominent function of the site is the Dutch Design Gallery, giving an overview of the best work of Dutch designers since 2003. Here, one can be inspired by the rich design archive or search directly per year.


To also promote Dutch design internationally, the exhibition annually travels around the world. This year the context in which this happened was extra special: by invitation of the embassy a selection of the finalists was on show at the Dongdeamun Design Plaza in Seoul, South Korea. As part of the state visit of the Dutch government the exhibition was opened by King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima. This resulted in a lot of media attention.

photo: Sjoerd Eickmans
photo: Sjoerd Eickmans
photo: Sjoerd Eickmans
photo: Matt Douma


Very satisfied we look back at an exciting and successful 2014. However, none of this would have been possible without the work of our special partners: La Bolleur for the overall concept, Philips Lighting for lighting up the exhibition, Atelier Eindhoven for the location at Strijp-T, Vandejong for the new website, nai010 for the Dutch Design Yearbook, Frame for adopting the Public Award, Dutch Design Week as public partner, the Eindhoven Municipality, all media partners and sponsors. Last but not least: the 2014 finalists, committee members and the international jury.

Thank you all for a fruitful collaboration and hope to see you next year!