DDW 2016 – Agents of Change Tours

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by René van der Velden

During the Dutch Design Week I have joined one of the four Agents of Change tours organized by The Umbrella. I already knew what the tour would look like, as I was involved in some of the preparations, but I was not informed about most of the projects we visited. I was one of the eight participants who were led by Ron Krielen to four locations where we were informed about socially engaged projects in Eindhoven. At each location we got a personal tour and explanation of the projects.

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For me this was a whole new way of experiencing the DDW, as for the other exhibitions I have gone there by myself and without a personal presentation. I liked how the projects were presented more in-depth and personal. The fact we were in a group sparked discussion about the projects which would not have happened if I had visited these projects on my own. This format made sure the full potential of the projects was shown.

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The social projects and the participants who were also socially involved, have given me more insight in the social design environment of Eindhoven. I have seen that it can both stimulate as well as counteract social initiatives. Which is important knowledge for if I want to establish my own social projects in Eindhoven. The different views of the participants and project designers showed me their versatile experience with social initiatives and the importance of creating a strong network. I have also learned that many social projects are very uncertain and that flexibility is an important trait as a social designer.