May 2017 - Future Impact

The art of living together

Rutger Oolbekkink of Inbo is on behalf of Nederlandwordtanders project leader for design price question WHO CARES, which is about care in Dutch post-war districts. Together with Coen Hermans, Rutger is the coordinator of the jury, project organization, participants, media and partners of the contest. Rutger tells us about his role: "That means I interfere with every decision and that I, together with a project team, make sure that the organization, communication and programming works well, but also that we're talking about the right things." 

"In a contest it is important that it actually has impact. And WHO CARES has made some impact in the meanwhile. These new solutions for living, care and support are not only needed for the elderly, but also for others who need care and support in numerous ways. And that could be any of us at any given time. Within WHO CARES, we positively express that as: 'the art of living together'. A city well-suited for people who need care, is a good city for everyone." 

A future-proof living environment is not just about stacking bricks and providing a home without thresholds, but it also encompasses the way people care and receive care. Municipalities and corporations also need to learn how to think more integrally about this topic - and to invest more. Solutions for 'wicked problems' are not realised alone. "Therefore, I am proud of the fact that most participants have worked together in an integral team." Innovation is a result of teamwork. General practitioners, architects, social designers, residents and physiotherapists and many other professionals think this is a challenge. 

In the autumn we will present the resolved plans during the Dutch Design Week, an international stage, because it is a question that is ever-present. "There are many neighbourhoods that can use a kick start, and there are a lot of people in the Netherlands who would be helped with smarter solutions, allowing them to stay a part of society. Just look around. I'd like to contribute to that." 

More information: Rutger Oolbekkink