What if - the shipyards

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea. 

It was this powerful quote of the French writer Antoine de Saint Exupéry in mind, offered by host Ingrid van der Wacht, that during the Dutch Design Week (DDW) 2015 some fifty people spent an afternoon… building ships. Designers, design festival directors, design policy makers and ambassadors of design: with their imagination and kilograms of post-it notes they took off and sailed along.
They went on this expedition to find answers to the question of the day: what if design festivals could really make a difference? What if these festivals were not so much events for and about designers, but open to everybody, not only in theory but in practice, helping to create a better world?
The answers are clear and unmistakeable: the festivals as we know them, have to open their doors, let the public in and communicate with the world around them in a much stronger manner. The design world has to leave her comfort zone, literally, as the participants of this afternoon showed by placing themselves in the most extraordinary locations, from people’s homes to jailhouses. Commissioned by DDW, Debbie Langelaan Nieuws & Communicatie wrote a report about this afternoon to always remind the participants of their good intentions. 

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