Design District, the Netherlands
Design District is an exhibition where you can find all that’s new on the area of design. It is specially organized for interior designers, architects, stylists, retailers and other design professionals. But also non-professionals are welcome. It is held in the Netherlands, last couple of times in the Van Nelle Factory. The latter is a historic piece of design on its own.
About Design District
At Design District you will find a lot of top brands that show their newest and best products. It varies from young designers and starting labels to established international brands. In a range of furniture, lighting, bathroom-furniture to materials, floors, fabrics and more. That is what I also love about this event, the diversity. The stands itself are small to medium-sized, that keeps it organized and makes that the designers only show their newest or best products.
The event is three days but you can buy a one-day ticket. The first two days are for professionals only, the third and last day everyone can visit. I have only been here on the professional-only-days, so I can not say if it is really crowded on the last day when the doors are open for all public.
It started in 2002 with the name ‘100% Design’. I heard the event has always been in special and history-rich locations, I have visited Design District at the Van Nelle Factory in Rotterdam and the Hembrug site in Zaandam.
It is a good place to get some inspiration, learn about the latest innovations and to extend your network. It is nice to talk with all kind of design professionals and to learn from each other.
The event is, in my opinion, the perfect size to visit in one day; you will have enough time to take your time and not have to rush along every stand.
The stands are kind of sorted by the type of product that they show. Not completely because some brands have several types of products. You can easily find your way around and gain lots of inspiration. I have definitely seen some new styles and innovations I like!
Van Nelle Factory
The Van Nelle Factory in Rotterdam is considered the most important industrial monument in the Netherlands. This is also recognized worldwide as such when it was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site in June 2014.
The factory designed by Brinkman & Van der Vlugt in collaboration with constructor Jan Wiebenga is an example of ‘Het Nieuwe Bouwen’, Dutch modernist architecture from that time.
It is a former coffee, tea and tobacco factory of Van Nelle and built between 1925 and 1931. The complex with its characteristic steel and glass facades and concrete supporting structures forms the expression of the ‘ideal factory’, with daylight that offers pleasant working conditions in the factory and radiates openness to the outside world.
The Hembrug site
The Hembrug site is an area on the border between Amsterdam and Zaandam. Behind high fences and strict security, the Artillery Devices produced firearms, artillery and ammunition for the Dutch army from 1895 onwards.
Over the years, a lot of extra buildings have been added and demolished on the site. Because of the function of the factory and the danger of explosion, the site has characteristic buildings such as those with semicircular roofs that had to conduct a possible shock. Also, the position of the buildings and the design of the outdoor space were aimed at limiting the damage in the event of an explosion. The result is a factory site that is unique in the Netherlands.
In 2003 the factory closed its doors. Nature took over the deserted area and the abandoned buildings fell into decay.
In 2011 the redevelopment of the abandoned site started, with three monumental buildings being renovated. The goal was to get new life into the area as a business park for creative and innovative entrepreneurs.
It completely changed in January of 2014 when the gates opened to the public for the first time in history. Various entrepreneurs now work in the renovated, industrial buildings and there are various events and festivals taking place.
The event itself is very interesting to join but the buildings and area’s where the whole event takes place often have a big history and are equally worth your attention. They also offer a guided tour through the place; you will be informed about the history of these buildings.
When: Beginning of June, every year
Where: Check their website for the location of the next event.
For more information: go to their website
Take your phone or notebook with you: write down, make pictures to remember al that information and inspiration you got.
Go, get inspired and enjoy!