Driving Dutch Design 2018 #4: ‘We live in an amazing world’

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“We live in an amazing world,” says designer Fransje Gimbrère as she starts her pitch. She was introducing herself at Klokgebouw during Dutch Design Week as part of the Driving Dutch Design (DDD) initiative. Her ABN AMRO coach Jasper Wijmer looked on proudly. The designers have shown impressive personal growth since the start of their intensive ten-month programme.

Second edition

The pitch delivered by his driver brought to an end Jasper’s second year as coach. Jasper, a Senior Procurement Consultant, is keen to take part again next year. “You coach a new individual each year. Each participant has different needs, a different area of expertise and a different chemistry with their coach.” For Jasper, it’s the chemistry that really counts. “I see myself less as purely a coach and more as one half of an equal partnership based on mutual inspiration. Fransje has brought me as just much during the programme as I’ve given her.”


Fransje also recognises the value of this positive interaction. “To me, the strength of DDD lies chiefly in the coming together of different worlds, which is refreshing.” Jasper has given her invaluable insight into the business culture of a major corporate such as ABN AMRO. “He’s also taught me how to let things go. I was incredibly busy during my year with DDD, and that made me nervous. Jasper showed me it wasn’t necessary to stress over things.” For Jasper, it’s a privilege to see Fransje being able to say ‘no’ to certain tasks. “It’s not always easy to find a job in your own specialist area straight after finishing your degree, especially not in the design industry. Fortunately Fransje, like the other designers taking part in DDD, doesn’t appear to find this too much of a problem.”

Working from your passion

Jasper admits he himself is quite impatient. “I’m used to working under pressure and tackling projects quickly. Obviously I concentrate on activities that tie in with my specific role. That may sound logical, but for a designer it’s quite different. They’re not used to doing what others tell them, but work from their passion. That’s very inspiring to see.” It has encouraged him to make his own work more motivation-based. “In future, I’m going to try to do more that intrinsically interests me, which is bound to give me more enjoyment.”

After Driving Dutch Design

"During the pitches, you quickly realise how good the dynamics are between the drivers. We all feel very safe within the group. A few of us are still quite nervous and have difficulty presenting, but we encourage and help each other through it. The message is: it’s OK to fail since we’re all working towards the same goal, i.e. to deliver a great presentation during Dutch Design Week. That’s the ultimate aim of Driving Dutch Design.” Fransje believes that the drivers complement each other very well. “We’ve all got our own role in the exhibition and make a real effort to bring the different qualities within the group to the forefront.”

More about Driving Dutch Design

Driving Dutch Design 2018 (DDD18) is a programme that helps young designers develop their entrepreneurial skills. It’s a joint initiative of the Association of Dutch Designers (BNO), the Dutch Design Foundation and ABN AMRO. In this series, we’ll spend the next few months following Jasper Wijmer and Fransje Gimbrère. We’ll look at the issues they discuss and how Driving Dutch Design is helping them. Next time, we’ll zoom in on a new masterclass. DDD will conclude with an exhibition and presentation during Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven in October. 

Want to find out more?

Read part 1 of this series.

Read part 2 of this series.

Read part 3 of this series.

Want to find out more about DDD18? Visit the programme website.


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