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DESIGN TRENDS spotted at the first Online Design Festival, the VDF

Do you miss Milan Design Week 2020 as much as I do?

If so, then you can get a bit of the Milan vibe and a lot of inspiration by checking the Dezeen Virtual Design Festival.

VDF is running until the 30th of June 2020 and it’s the first online design festival. 

But before, let me shortly introduce myself. I’m Iris Havekes, Interior designer and trendwatcher from the Netherlands at C-More interior design and trends. If you want to know more about me, just follow the link. I’m happy to share here at IB, some design trends I spotted at VDF x Ventura Projects, the Dutch design organization. 


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How will be the design festivals of the future?

Online design festivals could ever replace real ones?

Since the world is changing rapidly and “back to normal” is not the direction we are heading, online design festivals may be one of the ways we are “traveling” and meeting up in the future. 

Although I still miss meeting the designers, colleagues, design lovers and creatives in person, the touch and feel of materials and forms, smelling, taste and hearing the food, drinks, stories, talks, music, sounds, and senses, don’t you? We humans need to meet each other and connect in person. I’m sure we will find new inspiring ways to be able to experience this again soon. 

I embrace the thoughts of Dezeen’s founder and editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs.

“While we cannot pretend that these are normal times, we can at least explore alternative ways of sharing design, helping others, coming together as a global community and doing business.” 

It’s so good to see 35 architects and designers contribute to a heartwarming video of messages to help launch the Virtual Design Festival

Back to the Future Design Festival, where we can wander around in a virtual design world. There are product launches, collaborations, talks and interviews with designers, architects, filmmakers, performers and much more. With a little bit of imagination, it is actually almost like the Milan Design Week live. It can be just as overwhelming. But please do tune in for a short visit.  Or take a deep dive and keep coming back, reading, listening, scrolling and soaking everything up like a sponge. The latter will be me. You can find the schedule and topics here.


|| Be Inspired: How homes are changing after corona virus?


Design trends from the Ventura Future at VDF

For now, I’ll introduce you to the Ventura Future section, which is part of the VDF program. I’m from the Netherlands and Ventura Projects was based in the Netherlands too.  

Unfortunately, Milan Design Week 2019 seems to be the last time we’ve enjoyed the live version of Ventura Future. A few days ago the news got out that this beautiful, inspiring and my favorite go-to event in Milan, had to stop due to the immediate effects of Corona/Covid-19. That’s very sad news. 

I, and I know many with me, was always drawn to the magnificent design events they curated at the Milan Design Week and again, is a real loss that Ventura Future gave notice that they won’t be coming back to Milan. 

The good news is that VDF x Ventura Projects features the work of over 80 international designers, schools and brands which were supposed to be in Milan this year, [ ] panel discussions, the project Channeling Change and Hello Humanity . In this Live panel, designers show how they cope with the Corona/Covid-19 situation


For this post, I selected four design trends, spotted at VDF x Ventura Projects that hopefully inspire you in these uncertain times:

  • #1 Craftsmanship
  • #2 Connected and connection
  • #3 Sustainability
  • #4 Nature

4 Design Trends

from VDF x Ventura Projects


Design Trend #1 / Craftsmanship

Making things by hand is one of the ways to express ourselves and how we experience the value of things.

Combining handmade tradition with new technology create new opportunities.


Kodai Shimizu‘s home appliances combine craft with technology



Frattinifrilli introduces multifunctional stool and bentwood chair



Studio Kali introduces handmade homeware collections



Design Trend #2 / Connected and Connection

Now even more than ever, we experience the importance of connection and being connected.

Designers show ways to use our senses in the real and virtual world.

Take a seat at Rapt Studio’s TABLE A digital installation facilitating virtual connections. “Inspired by the belief that we can leave a space better than we found it, TABLE seeks to cross-pollinate design, human interaction, and nature in novel ways to create an experience of connection during this time of social separation.”



Soulmate by Martina Guandalini for VDF x Ventura Projects

Martina Guandalini introduces collectable Soulmate furniture



Fulu by Studio Tada for VDF x Ventura Projects

Studio Tada is presenting a haptic fingernail that allows users to experience touch virtually.


Orange or Red weaves giant tapestries for multifunctional rooms


Studio Yvon Smeets is a product designer based in Arnhem, with an interest in the relationship between people and objects.



Design Trend #3 / Sustainability

We mistreated and neglected our planet for many years.

Now a time has come that designers address this subject, not as small part of a design but as a starting point.

|| Learn more: e-Book : Designing a Circular Future

Puma’s Design to Fade collection is biodegradable and manufactured on demand



Burg Roadshow presents seven student projects that tackle sustainability in design


With “Channeling Change” 14 designers are answering the question “Why design if it’s not sustainable”.

For the designers of this traveling exhibition, sustainability is no longer a constrain, but the starting point. Designers are researching and experimenting with materials, people and nature


Waterschatten by Studio Nienke Hoogvliet, which uses waste toilet paper to make objects

Studio Billie van Katwijk is a design studio whose work is informed by the cycles of nature where waste does not exist

Studio Lionne van Deursen Imperfect Perfection is its most recent research project, for which it has created a biodegradable and leather-like material composed of bacterial cellulose.


Design Trend #4 / Nature

How far have we humans driven from our origin.

We are part of nature. Designers are sampling and implementing nature in conscious and subconscious ways.


KOY uses terracotta to create a biomorphic furniture collection

Imperfect Perfection lighting range is made using bacteria


Bjørne models laser-cut Ljós lampshades on mountain sunsets


Newtab-22 uses seashells to develop concrete alternative



Fractall’s sculptural homeware combines natural and manmade materials



Circular Union uses mushrooms to create eco-friendly Mush-Hues dyes


Home Landscape furniture by Level Project references nature


I hope you enjoyed this small selection of the Dezeen Virtual Design Festival x Ventura Projects participating designers.

Iris | C-More Interior design + trends