The Eindhoven region is widely regarded as one of Europe’s high tech hotspots. Eindhoven (227,000 inhabitants) is the 5th largest city in the Netherlands and the economy of the Eindhoven region is the 2nd largest in the Netherlands (40% of Dutch investments in R&D are spent in this region). The region has a unique ecosystem in which the entire value system is represented: from fundamental research, education, development, design and engineering to production, marketing & sales. This strength is essential in its policy to boost innovation and economic development and to tackle its social, economic and spatial issues.

Eindhoven was a finalist for World Design Capital 2012 because of the presence of world famous knowledge institutes, as well as a large base of designers and industry (from multinationals such as ASML and Philips Design to SME’s). But more important: because of its policy to search for innovative solutions for complex human-centered social and spatial issues through design. 

By using the city’s design powers, Eindhoven can solve her own social tasks, such as safety, health care, social cohesion, etc. From experience, Eindhoven knows that using a design working method results in creative solutions focused on the final user. The designers make sure that the final user is involved, and exactly that is important for Eindhoven.

Design City Eindhoven is the home of Dutch Design Week (DDW), northern Europe’s leading design event, which occupies a unique position internationally because it deals more with what the future might bring than what the present holds. DDW looks to the future and the ways that designers are studying and shaping that future. The municipality of Eindhoven subsidizes structurally the DDW (Dutch Design Week), the DDA (Dutch Design Awards) and the Design Academy for its Graduation Show. Besides that, the municipality uses design in its own societal issues. These projects can be about many different themes, from multi-stakeholder procurement for a smart lighting grid in the city to how to make it possible for elderly people to live longer independently in their own home and to prevent isolation. Even public servants are trained in design thinking since the installation of an in-house designer.

In 2017 the first World Design Event will be hosted in Eindhoven, this is a globally unique event. Under the slogan ‘Learn by Doing – Do by Learning’, the world’s most creative minds have an opportunity to join committed city dwellers and test solutions for the future.

Contact person: Bernadette Bergsma, EU Policy & Project Adviser, Email: b.bergsma@eindhoven.nl, Tel.: 0032 2 737 72 20