Is it important to go and see things, experience them, learn about the people who created them and why? Part of the value of something is linked to its origin. The best way to learn about the origin is to try and meet authors, artists, designers or makers.
More than you bargained for?
When you buy bread in a supermarket, you just pull it off the shelf. Your expectations are not high, but you know it will be nutritious and still your hunger. Yet, when you take the time to go to a bakery, you actually get more than just bread. Perhaps because you took the time to make a separate journey for this single purchase, it already shows that you consider it worth the extra effort.
You might have become so disappointed by the bread available at the supermarket that you wondered if there was anything better. Anyway, you wandered off to the bakery. Where you invariably have to queue to be served. Expectation for free. Similarly minded individuals wait patiently for their turn. Where urgency is created as you see loaf after loaf being sold before you can place your order. And then, if you are lucky, the shop is so busy when your turn comes, the baker himself comes from the bakery into the shop to lend a hand and helps you. He excitedly tells you about his loaves and the grains and he chooses one with care that he thinks you will like. Still heady from the aroma of the ovens, you wander home with your purchase, excited about tucking into it later and doing your best not to give into the temptation to start nibbling a crust.
So it is with the applied arts. You can select a cupboard, table, chair, vase, lamp or time piece from a catalogue or a website and place an order or travel to a megastore to struggle a weighty flat pack. If you are lucky, the cashier will ignore you up until the point that they ask you to insert your card. Luckily, they didn’t disturb you typing messages on your phone either. Don’t worry as you apply torque with the Allen key to put your purchase together that you might one day grow weary of this piece, you are already unsure of, they are generally designed to wear out before your patience does.
Instead you can come to Dutch Design Week and meet the designer-makers. Wonder at the beauty of their creations, talk to them, learn about the ideas that started the whole ball rolling, find out what might be coming next. And, with your head buzzing with ideas, return home to find a place for one or more of the things you have seen.