Dutch design in development

April 2005 -

Under the motto 'Trade, not aid', Dutch Design in Development (DDiD) was launched on 8 March 2005 in Amsterdam with a symposium. DDiD connects businesses in developing countries to designers in the Netherlands so that they can collectively arrive at a better product.


Baskets and vases made from used car tyres in Morocco, a project of Butterfly Works

Design, marketing, communication - the first association is one of Western decadence, with fast talking, haute couture suits and expensive products. While the 'honest' products from developing countries are prejudiced by an image of the simply designed baubles and trinkets found in Fair Trade shops. A link between design and development does not readily appear to be logical. Or does it?

Take Inbar, for example, a project partner who focuses on products made from bamboo and rattan. Both of these materials are more sustainable than wood because the plants grow extremely fast. Bamboo and rattan are often used for furniture and utensils, but they have an old-fashioned image. With good cause: the rattan chairs and baskets usually have a simple design, and bamboo is mostly seen in the shape of clumsy side tables or uncomfortable garden benches. Thanks to the help of designers who know the Western market and who are aware of the latest developments, Inbar demonstrates that bamboo and rattan offer many, many more possibilities.

Products from the Inbar catalogue

This is development cooperation new style: trade based on equality, profitable for both parties. Consumers want sleek, modern products; manufacturers in developing countries want the Western market to take them seriously, and Dutch designers are looking for inspiration. Dutch Design in Development is the sum of these ingredients.

DDiD is an initiative of the NCDO in cooperation with BNO, VEA and the Presemla foundation. It is organized by Share People.