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MaterialDistrict Rotterdam 2019: Meet the ambassadors!

From 12 to 14 March 2019, our trade fair MaterialDistrict Rotterdam (formerly known as Material Xperience) will take place for the 14th time. MaterialDistrict Rotterdam is the world’s largest multisectoral trade fair, focusing on materials in six sectors: Architecture, Interiors, Urban & Landscapes, Products, Textiles & Fabrics, and Print & Sign. Today, we would like to introduce you to the sector specialists who work with us to bring best material innovations per sector to the attention, the ambassadors.

Why ambassadors?
Seventy per cent of all current innovations is related to materials. In addition, creative professionals from every sector are craving examples of new materials and design, as well as inspiration from different sectors. With the trade fair MaterialDistrict Rotterdam, we aim to make these innovations accessible. Divided in the sectors Architecture, Interiors, Urban & Landscapes, Products, Textiles & Fabrics and Print & Sign, MaterialDistrict caters to everyone’s need. Each sector is represented by an exhibition showing the sector’s latest innovative projects and materials from the MaterialDistrict collection. 180 exhibitors show their material innovations, and in the speaker programme, consisting of 50 experts, inspirers and visionaries from various sectors, share their vision with the visitor.

To make sure each sector is optimally represented, we have invited ambassadors to work with us to make MaterialDistrict Rotterdam an up-to-date, interesting, inspiring and lively event for all professionals.

Let’s meet the ambassadors!

The sector Architecture is represented by Ben van Berkel and Filippo Lodi of the architecture and design studio UNStudio.

 Founded in 1988 by Van Berkel and Caroline Bos, UNStudio is an international architectural design network based in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Current projects include the design for Qatar’s Integrated Rail Network, the large-scale mixed-use project FOUR Frankfurt, and the headquarters of in Amsterdam.

With UNStudio, Van Berkel has realised the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Arnhem Central Station in the Netherlands, the Raffles City Hangzhou mixed-use development, the Canaletto tower in London, a private villa in upstate New York and the Singapore University of Technology and Design, amongst others.

Lodi holds several master’s degrees in engineering, architecture, art and business. As Head of Innovation and Knowledge Management, Lodi leads UNSKnowledge, UNStudio’s strategic research and development thinktank. He develops of disruptive technologies for the built environment from a unique coating that cools down buildings to forest-based biocomposites for facades and interior partitions – as well as providing consulting services to companies on their workflow and rebranding strategies.

In 2018, Van Berkel founded UNSense, an Arch Tech company that designs and integrates human-centric tech solutions for the built environment. It works very closely with UNStudio to develop new sensor-based technologies geared specifically for improving people’s health in the built environment.

Dutch designers and conceptual thinkers Niels van Eijk and Miriam van der Lubbe of design studio Van Eijk & Van der Lubbe will represent the sector Interiors. The two joined forces in 1998 and ever since, they have been working and designing for cultural institutions and businesses that focus on the future. The studio creates designs to make a difference.

Van Eijk & Van der Lubbe gave a preview of the future of cars and created the look of the Dutch National Archive, but are also curators of multiple exhibitions themselves, and their work is featured in the collections of museums around the world. Partners and clients include Volvo, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Textielmuseum, Dutch Design Foundation and Design Academy Eindhoven.

Print & Sign
Annemarie Kleve is project leader at Anders2, a Dutch graphic design firm that focuses on concepts, graphic design and photography, and will represent the sector Print & Sign.

Kleve is an expert on printed matter and paper. She has a vast interest in other countries and cultures, and is well-travelled. According to Kleve, communication demands to have the guts to be distinctive, with your own book, magazine or striking printed material. To make printed matter special, you need to look beyond paper by stimulating the senses. You can change the experience of the story by looking, listening, tasting, feeling or smelling.

Anouk Groen, director of RNA Design, is the ambassador of the sector Products. She is a trend forecaster, specialised in colour, material and finish design (CMF). With degrees in Product Design (Art Center) and Marketing Management, she focuses not only about the forecasting of colour and design, but also about finding the source of the trend and telling the story that goes with it, and why it is important. Groen’s presentations are useful for any industry that creates products that need to be updated regularly. She is currently consulting in the fields of automotive, telecommunications, audio visual and interior.

Textiles & Fabrics
The sector of Textiles & Fabrics is represented by Anne Marie Commandeur of Stijlinstituut Amsterdam and Liesbeth in ‘t Hout.

Commandeur is specialised in textile innovation for both interior and apparel. She heads a team of multidisciplinary designers working on creation and communication in the area of material innovation, forecasting, colour trends and strategic design concepts. Her work includes projects for Heimtextil, Swarovski, INVISTA and Textile View Magazine among others. She lectures on trend forecasting and design application at Design Academy Eindhoven and is appointed as guest lecturer and external examiner at various international design schools and universities.

After working as an art buyer for Dutch PTT, In ‘t Hout started her own firm in 1984 as a consultant for work apparel. She worked with many Dutch companies like NS, ANWB Wegenwacht, Muziektheater, Schiphol Airport, amongst others. Along with Lidewij Edelkoort, she became dean and board-member of Design Academy Eindhoven. After DAE, she was dean of the Amsterdam Fashion Institute and later co-director ad-interim at Sandberg Institute. She founded Fashion Council NL and worked for it as director/liaison officer. Currently, she is doing projects as an independent consultant for fashion and design.

Urban & Landscapes
Cees Donkers represents the sector Urban & Landscapes. Until his retirement in 2015, he was the urban architect of the city of Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Donkers redeveloped the neighbourhood in which he lives, Witte Dorp, as well as the former PHILIPS building De Witte Dame as the start of the transformation of the former PHILIPS factories. He helped Eindhoven shake its name as ‘the ugliest city in the Netherlands’. Donkers also started series of open debates on the redevelopment of Eindhoven, and founded together with Technical University and Design Academy Eindhoven ‘City as a Lab’, a research project on urban beautification.

He is the founder the Architectural Center Eindhoven and Brabant Academy, an online platform for research in urban planning, and has received a national award of the Ministry of Urban Planning. Donkers has a large international network of start-ups and young professionals and gives lectures and workshops on urban transformation.

MaterialDistrict Rotterdam
Want to visit? MaterialDistrict Rotterdam takes place from 12 to 14 March 2019 in Rotterdam Ahoy, the Netherlands. Click here for your free ticket!