TU/e presents Drivers of Change at Dutch Design Week 2022

October 20, 2022

TU/e is present with an exhibition at Dutch Design Week 2022 from October 22 to 30. Drivers of Change brings new research and designs that have an impact on the society, technology and science of the future.

Spectral Sensing, theme Sensing the Invisible. Photo: Bart van Overbeeke

Dutch Design Week is an annual highlight in Eindhoven, where designers, companies and educational institutions showcase what they have to offer. This year, the TU/e showcases a selection of research and design subjects to the general public on the Ketelhuisplein at Strijp-S. This year, TU/e opted for a more compact exhibition with 5 major themes: Sensing the invisible, Better Health, Building the Future, Sustainable World and Design thinking.

Short and sweet, that is how the Drivers of Change 2022 exhibition highlights areas of research and design in which TU/e wants to make a difference, today and in the future. Because, it can no longer escape anyone's attention: society is facing enormous challenges worldwide. Whether considering climate, sustainability, efficiency, food, healthcare, energy, housing, or mobility: there is work to be done.

Project Manager Lucas Asselbergs: “Sustainability and health are in fact the two main themes and, in my opinion, also the biggest issues for the future. In the five thematic areas you constantly come across these two main themes. The awareness that we are facing major social transformations is also evident at TU/e.”

The colorful bug

Imagine: you’re wearing a piece of jewelry which changes color in relation to changes in your hormone balance, the salt or calcium level in your blood, or in the water quality where you want to swim. Using 3D-printing with a newly developed liquid crystal ink, this could be a reality in the near future.

A layer of ink that changed color under the influence of external conditions already existed. However, it was never possible to 3D-print an object using this ink. The beetle in the exhibition has been fully 3D printed, with liquid crystal throughout. The beetle’s shield changes color when it comes into contact with moisture. This bug is just an example; you can print any object you desire. From a personalized medical device that interacts with its wearer to a ring that changes colors if the water is contaminated… the seemingly impossible will be possible.

Responsive liquid crystal for 3D printing - theme Sensing the invisible



The 23 projects now on display form a nice cross-section of research areas being spearheaded at TU/e. Of course, whether a subject has been exhibited at the DDW before and whether there is a strong (visual) design component that comes into its own at the exhibition, also impacted the selection process.

Asselbergs: “For an exhibition, the expressiveness of what is exhibited is very important, and that was a big challenge for Drivers of Change this year. I think we succeeded in presenting subjects that do not naturally lend themselves to a public exhibition in an attractive way. For example, we make it clear how being able to register the invisible will have a very big impact on our future, as in the case of biosensing and the antennas for 6G.”

New antenna technology for fast 6G

6G is on its way: the sixth generation of telecommunications. This new generation will provide even faster, more focused and energy-efficient data. In 6G, antennas will come in small chips that can be inserted any where. This is a major step forwards; the current large antennas have to send a lot of (lost) data through the air to achieve a good range.

It’s crucial that these new chip antennas can provide precise, 100% directional coverage in all desired directions. The slightest error in the manufacturing process has major consequences for the operation of devices. Therefore, the new generation of antennas needs to be thoroughly tested. To make this possible, AntenneX has developed a spherical test chamber (anechoic chamber), the only one in the world that can accurately measure these antennas. In this way, we’ll be able to make even more effective devices and systems, making self-driving cars and VR in the medical world a true reality.

Spherical test chamber for measuring new chip antennas - theme Sensing the invisible

The research projects will be on display in glass containers on the Ketelhuisplein. Attending staff and students can inform visitors, when they have questions. The grand opening will take place on Saturday, Oct. 22, with Stella Vita, Team Solar Eindhoven's camper-on-solar-energy, also stopping by and the team providing refreshments.

“Every year we like to make a celebration of the opening day. Now that we can unpack again, we will do just that,” says communications advisor Jeanette Schoumacher. “Everyone is welcome to stop by and take a look. Saturday will be busier than a weekday, but that is precisely why it is extra cozy and festive. Besides our exhibition, there is something to see for everyone on the Ketelhuisplein at Strijp-S.”

Stella Vita: freedom in a campervan

In a single hour, the amount of power from the sun that strikes the Earth is more than the entire world consumes in a year. Thanks to this amazing energy source, we can make mobility all about energy production rather than about energy consumption.
Stella Vita is the next generation in the series of solar-powered vehicles that student team Solar has produced in recent years. It’s a next step in a number of ways: it’s not a car, it’s a self-sufficient house on wheels.

The solar panels attached to the van’s roof allow the user to experience a sense of ultimate independence and freedom. You can travel wherever you want without needing a charging station. Moreover, Stella Vita generates enough energy to not only drive, but also cook, shower and watch TV. And importantly, the fridge has exactly enough room for 24 beer cans!

Team Solar Eindhoven - theme Sustainable World


This year TU/e is collaborating with Pakhuis de Zwijger to host an interesting lecture series on design and our society from October 24 to 28. The lectures will take place on the TU/e campus and are free to attend, although advance registration is recommended to ensure a seat in the room.

In addition, the online component of the DDW is also well-stocked this year. Design United's online shows showcase daily emerging design talents from the four collaborating technical universities of Delft, Eindhoven, Twente and Wageningen (4TU).

More information

Read more about the exhibition projects and interviews with the researchers in the Drivers of Change 2022 exhibition booklet.

General information about all exhibitions, lectures and events during DDW can be found here. Backgrounds and more information about Drivers of Change can be found on their own website.

Nicole van Overveld
(Science Information Officer)

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