'TU/e Research' first exhibition to be held by TU/e itself during Dutch Design Week

‘Drivers of Change’ is the subtitle of the first exhibition to be held by TU/e itself during Dutch Design Week (DDW). Under the banner of TU/e Research, the university is keen to give an accessible insight during DDW into the impact of technology on tomorrow's world and on the people who inhabit it. The expo will be sited next to the now familiar 3TU exhibition ‘Mind the Step’ in the Klokgebouw on Strijp-S.

TU/e has been involved since the very beginning of Dutch Design Week (DDW) in 2002, albeit until now mainly from the angles of Industrial Design and Architecture, tells Lucas Asselbergs, project leader of Mind the Step and involved as an advisor in the new TU/e Research expo. Hugely appealing, of course, he acknowledges - not least of all in an aesthetic sense.

“But it doesn't always address the major research themes so important at TU/e, which will radically change tomorrow's world and in which we are making great strides with hard technology. In any event, the days when DDW was only about stunning furniture and eccentric fashion are long past."

Crown jewel

Moreover, until now, according to Asselbergs, the university has primarily invested its efforts in Dutch Technology Week, another annual event, with a stronger regional emphasis and based on other principles. But, he believes, this event lacks the international fame, the huge size (with work by more than 2600 designers) and the broad public (estimated at over 335,000 visitors, some 100,000 of them in the Klokgebouw) of Dutch Design Week, “which is surely one of the city's crown jewels”.

He continues: “You also see that visitors like coming back to the Klokgebouw because they know that's where the connection with technology is made. And because they are looking for the wider story: what does the future hold for us?” The university's student teams have been among those offering a rich contribution there during past editions of DDW, he feels, by showing how various disciplines come together and how out of that fusion the future is ‘made’.

TU/e Research is taking as its structure four of the university's focus areas: Looking inside the Body, The House as Energy Supplier, Internet of the Future, and Safe Driving. Within each of these themes, two research projects will be presented. Among the work on show will be that of Menno Prins (next-generation sensors), Dick Broer (smart solar-shading windows and ‘walking’ plastic), Richard Lopata (medical imaging via echo scans), and Gijs Dubbelman (safe driving).

In contrast to Mind the Step, TU/e Research won't be a highly interactive exhibition full of prototypes and products. “We are mainly about showing things, and using, say, short films and demo-setups to do that,” tells Jeanette Schoumacher, who is handling the production and communication for both expos. Whenever possible, the researchers involved will explain their own work during DDW; at other times TU/e students will provide text and explanation.

That TU/e is putting on its own exhibition for DDW, literally and figuratively alongside the 3TU exhibition Mind the Step, “may come as something of a shock to the 3TU Federation,” says Asselbergs. “But with its 800 square meters, Mind the Step is perhaps ten times bigger. Besides, the two expos will each have their own unique look and feel.

The expo ‘TU/e Research - Drivers of Change’ in the Klok building will be opened on Saturday October 20 at 14:00 hrs by Rector Magnificus Frank Baaijens. An hour later, Executive Board member Jo van Ham will open the adjacent 3TU exhibition ‘Mind the Step’. On show during DDW will be other TU/e contributions scattered across the city, some of them in the Veem building (also on Strijp-S) and canalside in the former Campina factory.