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Dutch Design Week 2019

An audio design system to underscore the design festival opening event

Dutch Design Week is the biggest design festival in Northern Europe and represents work and ideas of more than 2600 designers to more than 350,000 visitors.

EJJI was approached in an early stage to be part of a concept-team that created the 2019 opening event. The theme of this year is


After the timeline of the event was ready, we identified key moments where sound could play an important role:

1. Create a spatial sonic experience to welcome the visitors.

2. Create music for the offical kick-off opening sequence.

3. Create an audio design system to make sure all music, audio logos and video underscores derive from the same place.

1. Sonic experience to welcome visitors

In previous editions the organisation had some difficulties in keeping the attention focussed. We knew that audio could help fix this.

We experimented with spatial audio and created a soundscape that had both a calming and focussing effect.

2. Official kick-off music

It was time to start the event.

The foundation was a motion design animation that had been building in intensity for an hour (!). Now everything changed into a higher gear, working towards the end sequence.

Video, light, design, dance, dialogue and music were intertwined to create an intense multi sensory experience.

We used an obscure stepsequencer / synthesiser, the 'Tenori-on' as a foundation for the patterns that kept rising in intencity. We recorded exotic languages and spread them around the room using spatial audio. The song builds momentum and rises into a euphoric soundscape that officially started the event.

3. Design system for cohesion

The system we created is based on the principles of a Tenori-on synthesiser: A step sequencer and sound generator that creates repeating patterns and textures.

We abstracted different patterns, Timbres (musical colors), and a harmonic system.

These elements create a scalable system of reusable elements that serve as the basis for all audio that we delivered.

Learn about our ideas and approach when designing the system:

Speaker Audio Identities

As part of the opening event, each speaker was given given an individual audio logo to introduce them on stage.

Including the ambassadors, the CEO of the Dutch Design Foundation Martijn Paulen, moderator Anna Gimbrere and the major of Eindhoven John Jorritsma.

We designed the idents with care. By extracting them from the design system, they form a cohesive series whilst giving them a unique character that reflects the people they represent.

Client: Dutch Design Foundation.

Production: Meisjes van Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Animations: Remy Berden.

Role: Creative direction, Immersive, Music production, Sound design.

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