New Citizen (Design) at Dutch Design Week 2019

October 31, 2019

New Citizen (Design) at Dutch Design Week 2019

Not long ago we teamed up with New Citizen Design for all their ME adventures. We’ve had a lot of fun at Index and saw there that their curations were well received by the local audience. Now they were back on their home grounds in the Netherlands to shine during Dutch Design Week, and that gives us the opportunity to dive deeper in what New Citizen Design and a ‘new citizen’ means and stands for. We dove in the archives of Dutch Design Week 2019 to find all that would be attractive for this new mentality-group. Yes, for the team that has to stay in Dubai because of high season, there definitely was some huge FOMO when the goldmine of (Dutch) design and signals of change was opened again this week… 

Concept statement: New Citizen
As quoted by New Citizen Design; ‘We define the new citizen as a metropolitan person, internationally oriented, more often educated but not of a specific social class or generation. The new citizen is self-confident and has great trust in the future, you can see this in our New Citizen Design products. He is curious for what’s new and agile to change. It may not surprise you that the new citizen is an early adopter or belongs to the early majority of innovation followers. New citizens have different expectations from life in that they expect ‘things to last as long as they last’. They do not design their life-path but take it more as it comes. New citizens enjoy contributing to a better society and a better world. Well-being to them is more important than prosperity.’
So what does a ‘New Citizen’ find attractive? What is part of their mentality? For this ‘city-dweller’ mentality group we formulated 3 soft spots we’d like to explore and link to our greatest discoveries at Dutch Design Week 2019;

Soft spot 1: New perspectives and true communication
In a big city individualization always happens fast. This has its pros but also its obvious cons. It’s easy to not talk to anyone for the whole day and sort of disappear within the concrete jungle without any form of human contact.
Our vanishing ability to talk to strangers is getting more attention at the moment. A British awareness campaign that went viral (again) last week;

And that while a conversation with a stranger can have a positive influence on well-being;

The New Citizen rebels against this lost of human interaction and demands true conversations. Of course design is there to facilitate this need.
Take for example Paradosso ‘Let it go’ that could turn your boring meetings into something more dynamic, almost like you lean against a bar while having some good old speak-easy bar-talk. 
Or, as seen on DDW19: Chairwave by VOUW. Research by VOUW shows that people not only do not mind the conversation with a stranger; they even like it, but do not dare to take the initiative. Their Chairwave encourages contact between strangers by only unfolding the seats next to a sitting person.

In line with meeting strangers and having conversations the New Citizen wants to gain new perspectives on the city he lives in and likes to be inspired and surprised. Belvedere Chair provides you with exactly that; a new perspective and a way to ‘bath’ in the city.

Soft spot 2: Not so serious; the city is my playground
The New Citizen is living a stressful live and needs moments to escape from that. That is why ‘city ingredients’ with a wink, small surprises and playful additions to their environment will always strike a chord.

Creature Comfort Airmchair by Supertoys Supertoys at ELLE Decoration Fluid Forces. Photo via ELLE Decoration & Monique van der Reijden

As seen on DDW19: ELLE Decoration’s Fluid Forces Hub curated a lot of these playful elements. Highlight for us were Supertoys Supertoys (what’s in a name right?) ‘objects for an animist world’, with for example the Creature Comfort Armchair that with its juvenile, child-like features, plays with comfort and friendliness.

Swing Chair by New Citizen Design. Available for in- and outdoors and in several colors and finishings (from black to (real) gold!), in our webshop!

Or, available in our own webshop, the beautiful Swing Chair (that even comes in 24k gold!); a playful addition to every living, office space, lobby or restaurant. The circle encourages fun and exercise and is perfect for clearing the mind, reading a book, informal conversation or just a break from the so-serious. And good to know; rocking has physical, mental and emotional health benefits. It releases endorphins and calms the mind. So, time to start playing again!

Soft spot 3: I demand freedom to set my own boundaries
Because the city sometimes gives the feeling to imprison its inhabitants, the New Citizen highly values privacy, freedom and flexibility. 

Teddy Kamper's 'I have Something to Hide'

Sometimes this privacy is facilitated close to the body, as with Teddy Kamper’s ‘I Have Something To Hide’ clothes (as seen on DDW19); she graduated as fashion designer at HKU with a design for clothes that with ‘Razzle Dazzle’ army-techniques literally confuse camera lenses. A way to fight the omnipresence of big brother. 

For the digital presence of the New Citizen Alex Gehlen developed Seven Clicks (as seen on DDW19). Sevenclicks is a search engine that helps you to harness the creative potential from your click-journeys on Wikipedia because it helps you off the obvious path. Go explore! 

The New Citizen needs flexibility in the places he goes to and the products he uses. How lovely when a product is developed with the notion that it can be reshaped when needed for a different purpose. That is what re:flex (as seen on DDW19) is capable of.

Oasis Vase by New Citizen Design

And of course if it is possible to get flexibility in the purpose of a product, a New Citizen would want to own it. That is why we are proud to sell New Citizen Design’s Oasis Vase. Take a closer look to the shape and material and you will discover the big water gallon most of us use at home. Why not reuse this as an object of art?

Urban Nest goes conceptual! 
We’re proud to take the step towards ‘conceptual design’ and take that step together with New Citizen Design. Especially in a ‘New City’ like Dubai, we are confident we will find our ways and the New Citizen living in it!  
Now we shift from Dutch Design Week to Dubai Design Week 2019, 12-15 November. We'll be back with some interesting events so stay tuned! 

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