Design Indaba founder Ravi Naidoo appointed ambassador for Dutch Design Week 2018

Alongside Laurens van den Acker and Wendy Plomp, he'll be bringing his trademark activism and sense of purpose to this year's event.

Part of the Project

Ravi Naidoo

Each year, the Dutch Design Week (DDW) - Northern Europe’s largest annual design event held in the city of Eindhoven - appoints a carefully selected crop of individuals, each of whom have deep roots in the design world, to serve as its ambassadors. For the 2018 iteration, which takes place from 20 to 28 October, Design Indaba founder and CEO Ravi Naidoo has been selected for the role. He’ll be sharing ambassadorial duties with designers Laurens van den Acker and Wendy Plomp.

The trio will be succeeding Dutch architect Winy Maas, design duo Lonny van Ryswyck & Nadine Sterk, and Icon-founder and Dezeen editor, Marcus Fairs.

With a strong focus on design for the future, nearly every imaginable discipline and aspect of design can be found on offer at DDW. A strong emphasis is placed on experimentation and innovation, with plenty of attention given to the work and development of young, emerging talent. Given this positioning, it made perfect sense that DDW be the launching ground for Antenna, a programme that aims to take young designers to the next phase of their careers by giving them the opportunity to present their work and exposing them to experts and professionals within the greater creative network.

“Last year, Design Indaba and the Dutch Design Foundation piloted a new platform called Antenna, a global scan of the best design talent emerging from the leading universities in the world,” explains Naidoo. “It was a signature event, and billed as a World Design Event on the programme. The conference was a rousing success, and we were moved by the quality, activism and launch readiness of many of the graduation projects presented. The peer to peer interaction was also a huge bonus, as it spawned new collaborations amongst the graduates assembled in Eindhoven.”

This year, Design Indaba and the Dutch Design Foundation have made the decision to double down on the programme by not only renewing it but by also launching an exhibition of the work of selected talents that will travel between Dutch Design Week and Design Indaba annually. “So the platform continues to evolve, as we explore as to how we can give support to the best emerging talents in the world,” adds Naidoo. From his perspective, the world's emerging design talents are unlocking the future with their ideas and projects that help to make the world a better place, and these individuals deserve more attention and appreciation. 

"We want to have them as our millennial coaches. We want to listen. We want to help them realize their dreams."

The founder of the Dutch Design Foundation, Martijn Paulen, had this to say of the selection of Naidoo as a 2018 ambassador: “Ravi Naidoo's ambassadorship underpins the importance that our organisation attaches to talent development, inclusivity, and internationalisation. We see Laurens van den Acker as the link between people, innovation, technology, mobility, and industry. And with the appointment of Wendy Plomp, we stay true to our core values: innovation, research, and experiment.”

You can learn more about DDW 2018 by visiting the official website.

Read more on Antenna and Dutch Design week.

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