Every year, Dutch Design Awards (DDA) celebrates the best of Dutch design. This year during Dutch Design Week (DDW) we will announce a new DDA winner on DDW TV every afternoon for eight days. Last but not least the category Best Commissioning! And the winner is… Rijksoverheid with their project Water As Leverage.

Water As Leverage | Rijksoverheid

Cities all over the world are being hit hard by climate change and far-reaching urbanisation. Water as Leverage for Resilient Cities Asia (WaL) sees water as a catalyst for sustainable development: water is globally not only the most significant risk, but also the best connective factor. Through research by design, WaL develops an integral and inclusive approach for the global urban climate problem. Together with multidisciplinary teams, WaL is currently designing climate-adaptive concepts for three cities: Semarang (Indonesia), Chennai (India) and Khulna (Bangladesh). The transformative approach and projects, that are being developed in collaboration with the local government, financiers and the vulnerable communities the programme focuses on, should eventually be scalable throughout Asia and the rest of the world. 

— ‘With Water as Leverage, the Rijksoverheid shows that we can approach even large, global issues as an opportunity instead of as a threat' - the jury.

Jury statement

Water as Leverage (WaL) takes the Netherlands to international levels with an approach that is refreshing, not only for governmental agencies. The Rijksoverheid shows that we can approach even large, global issues as an opportunity instead of as a threat. This is the daring mentality for which the Netherlands is internationally known, especially when it comes to water management. The urgency is apparent and WaL focuses immediately on taking action with three concrete pilots, while the working method offers all kinds of opportunities for scaling up the approach. This demonstrates a strong confidence in the power of design. The jury thereby also sees possibilities for other (knowledge) domains that should see WaL as a shining example.  

Best Commissioning

The prize for clients that use designers and design strategically and structurally in their business or institute. From selection and briefing to offering creative space and securing results within the organisation.

Committee: Pieter Aarts, Madeleine van Lennep, Luuk Ros, Mark van Iterson, Henk Haaima, Jaina Padberg-Bührmann.

The other nominees in this category were Gemeente Groningen en NL Architects E.A. with their project Forum Groningen and Triodos Bank, Rau Architecten, Arcadis en Ex Interiors with their project Triodos Bank – De Reehorst


For eight days, we will announce the winner of each category every afternoon at 16:00h during ‘DDA Award Show Live’ on DDW TV. These afternoons are hosted by none other than Isolde Hallensleben and give us the opportunity to take a closer look at the three nominees per category. From 17 to 24 October you can watch the DDA Award Show Live at 16:00 on ddw.nl

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