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Dutch Design Year

The city of Eindhoven boasts some of the most talented designers thanks to its academy. Now it has a place to show and sell some of the best designs courtesy of product designer Marleen Kurvers.

By Cassandra Pizzey /asdf 19-01-2012

As many design shops are shifting over to the internet - avoiding high rents and high risks, yet creating a feeling of distance to the customer - Dutch Design Year has opened a tangible shop in the design heart of the Netherlands, Eindhoven.

Located in a large space between a restaurant and vintage clothing shop, Dutch Design Year - as the store is named - shows products by (young) talented Dutch designers alongside some highlights of Dutch Design Week throughout the year.
Architect Mark Theijssen is responsible for the shop’s interior, using panels on either side of the shop to create a closed-in space and feeling of intimacy. “Combining the white panels with industrial wooden beams creates a great contrast,” says Marleen Kurvers, a designer herself and initiator of Dutch Design Year.

Inside the shop, a living room has been created which displays various products for sale. “The shop should give the public new ideas for combinations and materials used by the designers; sustainable materials such as plastics and waste fabrics. The collection will change constantly, giving customers many ideas and updates about contemporary design.”

So why did Kurvers feel the need to begin a design shop in Eindhoven?

“As a reaction to all the impersonal web shops. I wanted a physical shop where people can sit, touch, smell, and see the products in real life, an experience for all the senses, and place where people can feel cosy and at home.”

“As a young designer myself I noticed the need among the designers to have a platform in the region of Eindhoven, with mainly new products, instead of often existing products of the bigger design brands. Eindhoven is becoming more and more THE design city of the Netherlands and I think we constantly need this new input, a dynamic space in the centre where young, talented designers can sell their work.”

The choice of designs on show is dictated by their use of material, thus the copper lamps by David Derksen are on show, next to the paperpulp vessels of Debbie Wijskamp. Jolan van der Wiel’s gravity stools show the property of the material, and the tactility of material is demonstrated by Patrick Schols’ cabinet.

The shop has only been open for a few months now but is gaining interest from the public. Another showroom in Eindhoven full of young designers is already on the agenda, helping Kurvers move towards her hope of creating a broad platform for talented designers aside from the west of the Netherlands.

Photography: Bas Meeuws

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