With the support of the Province of Limburg and ECCE (European Centre for Creative Economy – Dortmund), ‘Kreative KLasse’ from Essen and DDDE presented a small intervention in the city of Essen, organizing an exhibition ECOCRAFT at Raum:Klasse. ECOCRAFT has been presented before in march on ‘Gut. Die Messe 2014′ in Bochum.

Dutch designers have an interesting view of sustainability, which is different than the German approach. This vision is communicated in an exhibition stand with designs and ideas of designers: Ragbag, Think Paper, H2 Interior, Lisanne Janssen and Bee Collective. ‘Kreative Klasse’ will respond to the Dutch presentation from a German point of view.

ECOCRAFT opened with a reception on Thursday, June 12th from 18:00 in the Theater Passage, Rathenaustraße 2-45127 Essen. This get-together was the closing event of the Forum d’Avignon Ruhr and the starting-event of the Kulturpfadfest, which took place on June 13.


By assignment of the Province of Limburg DDDE selected four top designers from Limburg to join the Limburg Open Lab (LOL): Maurice Mentjens, Gay Jongen, Boy Bastiaens and Albert Kiefer. The designers will develop the next promotional gift for the Province of Limburg as a team and in only one day. The prototype will be 3D printed at the end of this intensive whole day workshop, that will take place at the Social Beta Event 2014 in Heerlen. The audience of the event will be invited to observe and interact with the designers while their working. The future is now!

“The Social Beta Event takes place every year in the Euregion Meuse-Rhine. It is a three day cross-over event for new technology and innovation that matters. Discover business opportunities and challenges in an inspiring, creative environment full of thinkers and makers. An event for today’s and tomorrow’s society.”

Sign up for this inspiring event, before tickets are sold out!


Dutch Design Desk Europe will present Dutch designers on the Business-to-Consumer fair GUT. Die Messe. in Bochum from March 21st till 23rd, 2014.

Under the title ECOCRAFT, DDDE will collaborate with the Province of Limburg and the European Centre for Creative Economy in Dortmund (ECCE). The exhibition will show the work of the Dutch Designers; Ragbag, Think Paper, Bee Collective, Lisanne Janssen and H2 Interior. On Saturday, there will be two lectures given by Janicke Kernland (Studio Kernland) and Stella van Himbergen (Dutch Design in Development). During lunch there will be a matchmaking event between German and Dutch designers.

‘GUT. Die Messe’ stands for the concept of sustainability, which combines ecological, economic and social aspects. It’s about transformation design, an expression of a (sustainable) lifestyle and that is just as important as any new technical innovation.


Under the title ‘DUTCH DESIGN 2014’, Dutch Design Desk (DDD), in collaboration with the Dutch Consulate Cologne and the Chamber of Crafts Cologne, will present sixteen designers on PASSAGEN 2014 from January 13th to 19th, 2014. The exhibition shows the latest work of designers Alexander Pelikan, Chris Slutter, Dave Keune, DUM, Fabian Von Spreckelsen, Geke Lensink, Kaspar Hamacher, Kranen/Gille, Kees Marcelis, Jeroen Wand, Jacco Bregonje, Jesse Visser, Maurer United, Maurice Mentjens, Mieke Meijer and Roel Huisman.

The opening will take place on Monday, January 13th at 18.00 h. Speakers are Honorair Consul Jean Möhring, Director Handwerkskammerr Köln Dr. Ortwin Weltrich and Director Dutch Design Desk Nicole Maurer. The address is of the exhibition is: Handwerkskammer Köln, Heumarkt 12, 50667 Köln.

PASSAGEN is the largest design event in Germany and will open this year’s design season for the 25th time with international design projects, exhibitions and presentations. Together with the International Furniture Fair (IMM), which simultaneously takes place in Cologne, PASSAGEN is an unparalleled international design event every year.

DDD was founded in 2011 as part of the DutchDFA program and supports Dutch designers entering the German market. DDD collaborates with Dutch associations of the creative industries, the Dutch Embassy and Consulates in Germany, the Dutch ‘Het Nieuwe Instituut’ and several German partners. DDD is financially supported by the Province of Limburg and the ‘Stimuleringsfonds voor Creatieve Industrie’.


For the second year, DDDE is presenting Design-Boulevard.NL during the Inspire City event at the Heerlen ‘Meubel Boulevard’. Twentyfive young designers from the Euregion Meuse-Rhine are being presented at different stores on location. The event takes place November 1st – 3rd, 2013.

This year’s participants are: Strikks, Lena Berens, Gabriel Guevarra, Caramel, Ellen Truijen, Fabian Seibert, Patricia Yasmine GrafSabine Schumacher, Marco Iannicelli, Til HennenLucie Berben, Dorinda Bielen, Nick Ceulemans, Mieke Dierckx, Robin van Hontem, Lore Langendries, Coralie Miessen, Eva-Katrien Schröder, Alexia de Ville, Danielle Vroemen, Luc Vincent, Monique Désar and Lisanne Janssen.

Visit the website for more information.


On the 2nd of October, 2013, a group of Dutch professionals from the cultural and creative sectors were invited to meet with some of their German colleagues across the border. This trip was the result of collaboration between the Dutch Design Desk Europe (DDDE), the Economic Center for Creative Economy (ECCE), and the Dutch province of Limburg ( and their renewed commitment to work together across the national border which separates them geographically.

A bus collected the Dutch group and served as a mobile conversation platform on the way to and from our German locations. The first stop brought us to the Dutch Consulate in Düsseldorf, where Arne van Vliet gave and Jorn Konijn gave presentations on the new EU funding possibilities in the next policy period 2014-2017 (the programme Creative Europe) and some experiences and insights from previous matchmaking projects in India, China and Brazil, respectively. The stay at the consulate combined the presentations with a lunch, after which we left the building through some very futuristic elevators, back to the bus and onto our next stop: the Dortmunder “U”.

This building was once a storage facility for a brewery, and has since been re-purposed into a cultural building, presenting exhibitions, cinema, a restaurant and more. A press event was organized where several speakers, to be named Kurt Eichler, Prof. Dieter Gorny, Noël Lebens, Nicole Maurer, Monika Simshäuser, Prof. Kurt Mehnert, Bernd Scholz and Guido Röcken solidified their agreement to work together and expressed their approval of the latest developments in the collaboration.

DDDE and ECCE are the driving force of the current programme of cultural exchange, while the political climate is very supportive at a local, national, and the EU-wide level. Political representatives Noël Lebens of the Dutch province Limburg, and Monika Simshäuserof the Commission for Arts & Sport in Kulturverband Ruhrgebiet, both attended the event and expressed their enthusiasm for the alliance.

Earlier this year, on April 18th, the province of Limburg, ECCE and DDDE signed a Letter of Intent in which they pledged to work together and share knowledge in order to further the chances of professionals interacting across the border. Both regions have much to offer each other in terms of exchanging knowledge and the establishment of cross-overs in the area of their creative industries. More specifically, they aim for cooperation between the creative industries within the different regions, the creation of relevant interregional and international networks, the realization of interregional projects, making use of relevant financing possibilities coming from the EU meant to support the creative industry, and an effective organizational/administrative cooperation between the regions.

The event of October 2nd was designed to invite and encourage collaboration between the Dutch and German participants, and after having spoken to several of them throughout the day the feedback on this point was overwhelmingly positive. The format of the communal bus ride allowed for the Dutch professionals to mingle amongst themselves which led to many new acquaintances – and the expansion and strengthening of your network is always a positive development.

At the end of the day, participants agreed that meeting each other in a laid-back but focused professional environment was a solid first step in initiating further interaction. Concrete project proposals and common fertile grounds for research studies were discussed and agreed upon. Possibilities for participation in existing formats as well as additional channels of communication will allow the participants to stay in touch easily and build up the future collaboration.


TEDxEutropolis is the first cross-border TEDx conference, it’s third edition will be held in Aachen and Heerlen on Saturday August 24th, 2013. The theme of TEDxEutropolis 2013 is ‘Are We Connected?’. It centers itself around our current hyper-connectivity, trying to uncover its value and meaning through interesting talks and dialogue.

The TEDxEutropolis event furthers the spirit of Ideas Worth Spreading by bringing people together to share a TED-like experience in Eutropolis. Eutropolis is a crossborder networkcity, a vision of an international partly urbanized, partly green area with 3.9 million inhabitants, three nationalities, three languages and with many institutions in the field of culture and education.


During the D’Avignon Ruhr 2013, on 27 June 2013, the new initiative N.I.C.E. presented the „Network for Innovations in Culture and Creativity in Europe“ to the public for the first time. The Catalyse Culture project follows the new EU course subsequently bringing the Forum d’Avignon founded 2008 in France from the Ruhr area to Bilbao. In March 2014, the first Forum d´Avignon Bilbao will test the new conference form based on the German example with a triad of research study and theoretical-practical debates, to collect additional findings on the spillover effects of creative nonconformists.

High profile speakers and participants were present to intensify and advance the debate on the European and international impact of culture and creative industries, and examined more closely the changed framework of cultural policies in Essen at the World Heritage Zollverein. Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth welcomed the participants with a live transmitted speech. Urban developer Charles Landry, known to many from IBA–times (1989-1999), gave the introductory speech for the new open network for cities, universities and NGOs. Nicole Maurer of the Dutch Design Desk Europe represented the Netherlands as participant of N.I.C.E. .

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Androulla Vassiliou, live from Brussels.

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