Yesterday I went to the soft opening of the Dutch Design Workspace, an incubator in Shanghai for Dutch companies active in the fields of design, fashion and architecture. I am on the selection committee of the incubator program and this was my first visit to the Workspace. I was pleasantly surprised, the Dutch Design Workspace looks great. The space is big and very bright, with lots of windows and a very nicely designed interior. Plus it has a very nice rooftop terrace!
The Dutch Design Workspace is open for small and medium sized Dutch design companies. These companies could already have done a project in China and want to develop their (international) business or start for the first time in the Chinese market. At least one of the key designers of this company will move to China to live in Shanghai and work within the incubator location together with the rest of his (local) team.
The second group that the incubator aims at is individual Dutch designers. He or she should have a strong design talent and sufficient skills to work in a flexible environment. The designer will live and work in Shanghai, close to the location of the incubator. For these participants the incubator offers a flexible solution; they can start with workspace on an individual basis that can be extended once their activities grow.
The third group is local designers, researchers and other collaborators. The participants from this group shall have a strong relationship with one of the participants, one of their projects or Dutch Design in general. The support of the incubator program does not apply for this group; market standard fees will be charged for the workspace.
Selection will be made by the incubator organization to ensure that they fit the requirements of the Dutch Design Workspace, level of design quality and do not become competition to other Dutch participants.
The first three companies that were selected for the incubator program, architecture firm MVRDV, museum and expo designers Northernlight and multidisciplinary design firm FiveSpices,