Dutch Design

Going circular: the Dutch reports

By | Dutch Design

The Netherlands aims to become fully circular by 2050, an ambitious yet feasible goal. There are many initiatives throughout the year to promote awareness about becoming circular and adopting circular business models.

Here are five key resources to inspire and scale circularity:

Cover: A Circular Economy in the Netherlands by 2050

1. A Circular Economy in the Netherlands by 2050

Published by: The Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, also on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations.

Available here.

Cover: The circularity gap report 2019

2. The Circularity Gap Report 2019

Published by Circle Economy. This report is published as part of the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE).

Available here.

You can also download.

Cover: Circular is going global

3. Circular is Going Global 2018

This publication is produced by Netherlands Enterprise Agency on behalf of Holland Circular Hotspot.

Available here.

Cover: City as a Service Circle Economy 2018

4. City as a Service 2018

Published during the We Make The City Festival, this paper builds upon the concept of a ‘City-as-a-service’, as initiated by ABN Bank. It presents an exploration and deep dive of a broader study – City as a service – which was published by ABN AMRO bank and can be found here:

Available here.

Cover: Organizing for the circular economy

5. Organising for the Circular Economy

Jonker, J., Kothman, I., Faber, N. and Montenegro Navarro, N. (2018). Organising for the Circular Economy. A workbook for developing Circular Business Models. Doetinchem: OCF 2.0 Foundation.

Available at and

You can also download.

Circular Business Strategies: the Dutch approach

By | Dutch Design

For the 3rd year, we visited the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven and were amazed by the new projects and ideas to build a better future: smart cities, circular packaging, design research, future of food, and more. During two days we followed presentations organized by CIRCO ( and had the chance to participate in a very instructive and playful workshop organized by BMI ( to learn how to implement circular business strategies.

To learn more, here are some extra links with great content:

Last December, we had the chance to share some of these cases and knowledge to our partners at B-think, an international design consultancy based in Rio de Janeiro. Part of the presentation can be seen here. If you are interested in a presentation with the full report, please contact us.

Circular Beach – a pioneer way to scale change 

By | Dutch Design
Circular Beach logo

The first time we visited Scheveningen, one of the most famous beaches in the Netherlands, we found the experience unusual and intriguing. Being originally from Rio de Janeiro, we were familiar with other elements, foods, objects, sounds, and rituals. It was exciting to observe the whole user experience: how people arrive, how they select a place to relax, the way they leave, what they bring to the beach, what they eat, how they seat or lay down in the sand, how they interact, and how they protect themselves from the sun – well, they didn’t, at least in that cloudy day.

Then, a few months later, I came across this amazing project named Circular Beach, led by Dutch designer Cleo de Brabander and entrepreneur Ellen Sluis. The project received the support from the Stimulerings Fonds and is on R&D phase. It is “a journey towards creating a beach where all activities, services, and commerce are closed-loop and regenerative by design”.

I had a great chat with Cleo in Rio and met Ellen in Amsterdam in January to discuss opportunities to build a competitive brand strategy for Circular Beach.

Ellen was really kind to answer a few questions:

1. You came back to the Netherlands after living for 6 years in Rio. What kind of bridges between both countries do you believe Dutch design can build?

Brazil and the Netherlands have a long shared history. But when we look at the future, I think design can connect both countries even more. In different ways, Brazilians and the Netherlands are very creative people and I believe that through collaboration and exchanging and sharing knowledge, we can create beautiful innovative solutions to the challenges both countries face.

2. Have any aspect of Brazilian lifestyle somehow influence your creative process? If so, which and how?

I like how in Brazil people are more creative in overcoming challenges. In Brazil, there are so many unstable factors that if you try to map all the risks, you won’t start the project. I have been inspired a lot by the Brazilians and learned to just do it and tackle the challenges along the way. We cannot control everything. I have learned to be more intuitive, less rational and to dream more, and bigger.

3. Circular Beach is quite a project! What kind of legacy you, Cleo and the team intend to build? Imagine we are in 2029. What stories would you tell?

It’s kind of a cliché, but the natural beauty of Brazil is, of course, one of the things I am most passionate about. With the Circular Beach we want to combine fun, fashion/design and sustainable impact in a ludic environment. The beach is a major attraction, so a very interesting place to introduce the concept of circularity, but it is also a place where pollution is very visible, as – especially the urban beaches – are little areas of natural beauty inside a(n) (already polluted) city. In 10 years I would love to see many beaches around the world having made the transition to a Circular Beach, forming a growing network where issues and solutions are shared!

Thanks Ellen, and veel succes!

Dutch Design Week 2018 – Cases and insights

By | Dutch Design

For the 3rd year, we visited the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven and were amazed by the new projects and ideas to build a better future. We also followed presentations organized by CIRCO for two days and participated in a very instructive workshop organized by BMI to implement circular business strategies.

Last December, we had the chance to present some of these stories and knowledge to our partners at B-think, an innovation consultancy based in Rio de Janeiro. Part of the presentation can be downloaded here.

Watch the Dutch Design Week 2018 After Movie.

Eindhoven Maker Faire

By | Dutch Design, Event, Netherlands

If things get complicated, bring in the Dutch!

Continuous experimentation, trial and error, a hands-on attitude and critical thinking were some of the elements that instigated us to visit the Eindhoven Maker Faire during the first weekend of September. Although the event was open to all ages and targeted to people passionate about building and designing things, it was clear that the new generations were the protagonists of a ‘maker culture’ that is constantly being nurtured and improved in the low lands.

Important themes such as circular economy and sustainability were shaping young mindsets and empowering participants to collaboratively build a fairer society. We saw toys powered by renewable energy, a waste-based structure used to build floating houses, all sorts of robotics, electronic kits as well as many traditional craft experiments, offering a good balance between digital and non-digital. There were also recycling workshops, art apps, music, science, industrial design and other exciting projects inviting to create the “internet of your things” ( and the skills of the future (

A 3D sewing technique integrated in garments acting as a shield was a very special design project focusing on empowering vulnerable women in intimidating situations. The idea is being developed in collaboration with MLY Stella Verdult and Sage & Ivy, all fashion brands based in Eindhoven.

We also experienced the creations of Team Rembrandts – a robotics group located in Eindhoven with students from Fontys University of Applied Science, Zwijsen College and Heerbeeck College. They were one the many exhibitors engaging the audience, and the title of this article is currently their slogan: “If things get complicated, bring in the Dutch!”

Exactly a hundred years ago, artists such as Piet Mondrian, Gerrit Rietveld, and others who created and joined the De Stijl art movement catalyzed the Dutch design culture. Nowadays other initiatives such as public and private investments in the creative industries and events like the Eindhoven Maker Faire do contribute to make the Netherlands an unequivocal place where impact and progress go hand-in-hand to frame a positive future.

To explore more, check the following links:

Dutch Design Week 2016

Understanding Dutch Design

By | Dutch Design

This interview is part of the project NAVE in partnership with BORDA, a series of actions connecting innovation between Brazil and the Netherlands.

Raquel Sztejnberg has been living in the Netherlands since 2015, is a Branding expert, and co-founder of Borda, a knowledge platform developed to expand creative boundaries and Dutch soft power. Borda and Orbe – a Recife-based design and innovation laboratory – have teamed up to create bridges between the two countries and to connect design and business before, during and after the Dutch Design Week 2017. Learn more about the project.

“To boldly go where no one has gone before”

My first trip to Dutch Design Week was in 2016. More than just a fair or a one-off event, DDW is indeed a destination, a unique experience. It is hard to say what struck me the most: whether the democratic character of the event – not for specialists but for people of all ages, backgrounds, professions and types – or bold, free ideas and solutions, ready to positively embrace failure in search of new ideas and solutions. Experimentation, renewal and ‘crossovers’ are distinctive characteristics of this event in relation to other world design meetings.

Dutch Design is an attitude, a mindset

Design in the Netherlands is a part of life and not just a luxurious instrument used by a few companies. Thought and applied seriously to create a better society, with more intelligence and inventiveness. Minimalist, experimental, innovative, functional, unconventional and with a sense of humor – this is how Dutch design is usually described.

Here the involvement of different audiences in the creative process is also one of the characteristics of the discipline. And without a doubt, the enviable synergy between schools, universities, private companies and the government represents a valuable stimulus for the entire economy of the country. About € 84 million were invested in public-private alliances in the period 2016-2017*. Architecture, fashion, and urbanism mix with energy, health, education, infrastructure and security, generating strategic partnerships for success. All part of Dutch DNA.

DDW 2017 Stretch

Stretch: beyond the comfort zone

The next edition of Dutch Design Week takes place again in October and always in the city of Eindhoven. It will be celebrated 19 years since the birth of the fair, which has become the most important in Northern Europe, a local event of global impact with the participation of more than 2,500 designers and public of almost 300 thousand national and international visitors.

The theme of 2017 is Stretch, set by the Dutch Design Foundation to stimulate new perspectives beyond the comfort zone. Made to inspire and provoke, the design is, in the words of the Foundation director, Martijn Paulen, brain-yoga: “Exercise for those who, in a complex and challenging world, do not want to rust.” Bio design, Sustainable design, Circular design, Spatial design, Food design, Service design, Social design and various other disciplines will be presented, discussed and experienced during the DDW2017. There is also an internationalization program made to extend the Dutch design ecosystem and make it number 1 in the discussion of the future of design and the design of the future.

“To boldly go where no one has gone before”, adopted in official reports, is the perfect motto for a country with a powerful and pulsating creative wealth that is inversely proportional to its dimensions. It is worth to find out more about this unique scene. Follow us!

If you are interested about DDW2017 we are organizing an immersion with all curatorship and personalized consulting for companies in Recife.

Infos about the program: