Looking back on the Embassy of Safety

In the Embassy of Safety we look at how designers can contribute to current safety issues. This embassy concentrated on research and experimentation and attempts to answer the question ‘Is safety a right?’ by generating practical solutions from multiple perspectives.

Type Topic
Date 27 November 2019
Looking back on the Embassy of Safety

What if Lab kick-off

On Saturday 19 October, we kicked off What if Lab: Safety Matters at the Embassy of Safety at Dutch Design Week. For this What if Lab, all participants work on specific safety issues and explain why these require an original solution.

Social design in practice

In the period prior to Dutch Design Week, police officers and mayors tackled worked together with social designers to tackle issues from their daily practice. In this session, we looked back on this process and on the added value of the creative sector in tackling security issues in general. What did the participants learn from each other? Where did their worlds clash? What surprised them? And what is needed to ensure that such cooperation runs smoothly?

Is there a Brabant culture of undermining?

Can we say there’s a so-called ‘undermining’ culture in Brabant? The municipality of Eindhoven, the VNG and various stakeholders will work with this question during Dutch Design Week, together with a number of designers. They do so in a creative session at the Embassy of Safety of World Design Embassies. The intention is to look at the theme of undermining from a social and cultural perspective, from all kinds of themes and questions.

Drug waste as a waste stream

What if… chemicals from drug labs could be managed as a waste stream? In the Embassy of Safety, Taskforce and RIEC are looking for possible answers to this question, not by sticking to what they are doing now, but by combining each other’s knowledge and expertise in order to investigate possible new scenarios. Together with designers, they analyse the current approach and tools of the organisations present and explore new opportunities.

Hedone and Heilige Boontjes

To deal in street fashion instead of dealing in drugs. This idea stems from police officer, Marco den Dunnen. With HEDONE, he offers an alternative product to young people who perceive the sale of drugs as their only chance to generate income and success. HEDONE is free from crime, but uses a marketing and distribution strategy that they are well acquainted with: the way drugs are sold on the streets. HEDONE has become a professional clothing brand and will be  launched during Dutch Design Week. Afterwards, HEDONE is further expanded to offer young people with an increased risk of getting into drug crime to work as a streetfashion dealer, producer, designer and ultimately an entrepreneur.

Another project of police officer Marco den Dunnen is Heilige Boontjes. Marco and youth worker Rodney shared the opinion that reintegration could be different, sustainable and above all more fun – with coffee. In 2015, they opened a coffee shop in Rotterdam under the name Heilige Boontjes, followed by a restaurant. Young people who have difficulty finding a traditional job due to their conviction history can find employment here as a barista, a coffee roaster or in the kitchen. At Heilige Boontjes, the values and norms of the street are transformed so that they resonate with social norms in a useful and desirable way. Heilige Boontjes has sustainably reintegrated 52 young people back into the workforce since its inception. 15 of those have continued in full time positions within the company.

Red or blue pill

Cleaning up the waste of drugproduction and -sales criminality, while the use of these same drugs is completely accepted. There is a growing movement of police officers who’ve had it. They manifest their statements via public actions. They confront the Dutch clubbers with their role in the drug chain. The public gets to choose: looking away or… face the confrontation.

What if… algorithms change the world?

Governments work hard for better service with transparant and safe use of data. There are numerous initiatives and alliances that develop algorithms to make this data into information, that helps solving societal issues. The use of them raises new questions. In this Future Search we jumped into the future, so we can work towards a future that we’d like to face.

Embassy of Safety theme conference

In this meeting Hans Boutellier showed how the meaning of safety has changed over the past decennia. He went into the Dutch culture of moral ambiguitiy and how it contributes to an environment in which undermining crime thrives. Tanja Jadnanansing made the severity and the urgency of undermining crime tangible by examples from her daily practice as chairman of the southeast district of Amsterdam. Kees Dorst illustrated how we can forge meaningful relationships between all those involved, through experimental projects. He pointed out how we can take full advantage of networks of government, civilians and companies to work towards a safe future with a broad sense of responsibility.

Rather watch a wrap-up of the entire week? Watch the recap here.

De Embassy of Safety was made possible by the Vereniging van Nederlandse Gemeenten, Taksforce Undermining, the police, Taskforce-RIEC Brabant-Zeeland and Dutch Design Foundation. Looking for more information about the Embassy of Safety? Listen to the podcast here.

icon-arrow-thin icon-close-super-thin