This is the first time in DDA-history that the prestigious International Jury Award has been won by not one, but three designers. The international jury is particularly keen on the Dutch approach to collaboration. The winning projects had already been awarded Dutch Design Awards in the categories Habitat and Service & Systems and Best Client.
The three internationally renowned prize winners share one common thread: they actively encourage other designers, from around the globe, to acquire new perspectives and attitudes. According to the judges, it is about time that designers dare to question themselves and their role as a designer. In the eyes of the jury, ‘useful doubt’ is characteristic of the Dutch school of design, which has become a cradle of solutions and tangible interventions.
The international jury determined the following winners based on the national jury’s nominations:
Het Grootse Museum van Nederland
Good commissioning is just as important of the act of designing itself. Together with Fabrique concept, house style and website of Het Grootste Museum van Nederland (‘The Largest Museum of the Netherlands’), Museum Catharijneconvent thought up ways to make churches in the Netherlands more accessible to day visitors. “The fact that there is a category devoted to Best Client in the first place is epitomic of the Dutch design climate,” say the judges. Collaborations with governments, companies and other parties are key to successful projects wherein everyone involved is equally invested, open and in for a touch of good-natured humour.
Spicing up design with humor is exactly what the speculative project Cow&Co (Anastasia Eggers & Ottonie von Roeder) managed to do by placing cows at the helm of their own circular milk production. The judges classify this project as a wonderful thought experiment, which raises questions about the distance we tend to create between the origins of our food and the autonomy of animals. While this combination alone is deserving of recognition, the jury was also impressed by how the project acquired international relevance because of the simplicity and universal character of the cow as a symbol.
The Zaligebrug by Next Architects has been designed to reveal and draw attention to the fluctuating water mark; as such, it fails to fulfill its sole purpose of containing the water. The judges agree that this is something that can only be pulled off successfully by the Dutch. “The conference in which the initial idea was brought to light already provided enough incentive for an award,” they say. The judges also commend the client for having the audacity to commission this project. The result is a striking image that not only sheds light on the impact of climate change, but literally makes users endure the consequences.
The International Jury Award has been instated with the aim of placing DDA winners in a broader, international context. The international judges have exchanged their knowledge and thoughts with the Dutch jury before awarding three selected projects. These judges, who are all experts in the field of design, were led by chairman Job Meihuizen (DDA) with the aim of awarding winners of the Dutch Design Award who have the potential to really make a difference on an international scale. This year, the jury consisted of the following design experts (in no particular order): Cameron Sinclair (US), Lilli Hollein (AT), Ikko Yokoyama (HK), Yuval Saar (IL), Pieter Aarts (NL), Joost Alferink (NL), Saskia van Stein (NL), Roosje Klap (NL) and Jaapjan Berg (NL).