Today (21 October) is the start of the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, where 2500 designers present their ideas, experiments and solutions. The theme of the event is “Stretch”, to encourage both designers and the public to get involved with each other and to break out of their comfort zone.
Everybody has different comfort zones depending on the subject and circumstances. As human beings we have created all sorts of artificial mental boundaries within which we maintain a sense of security. Trying to describe those boundaries for oneselve or for others is very difficult. Experiencing and experimenting are great ways to discover and stretch the boundaries.
In order to make progress in a complex and interdependent world Niinimäki et al. (2017) show that if we create a playground where a diverse group of people are open minded, share information and are ready for shared learning we can start to design into the unknown.
The Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven is for the coming days such a playground to experiment what stretches can be made.
Niinimäki, K., Tanttu, M., & Kohtala, C. (2017). Outside the “Comfort Zone”. Designing the Unknown in a Multidisciplinary Setting. The Design Journal, 20(sup1), S4434-S4443.