Katja Pahnke and Martijn Paulen will form the new management of Dutch Design Foundation

Katja Pahnke © Paul Raats
28 September, 2023

Dutch Design Foundation is preparing for the future by appointing Katja Pahnke, a breath of fresh air with a clear course. Together with Martijn Paulen, she will form the collegial board, each focusing on their portfolio; Paulen remains responsible for ‘strategy and innovation’, and Pahnke will be responsible for the portfolio ‘general and organisational development’. From 1 November, they will work together to achieve the organisation’s grand ambitions.

Pahnke has a background in the tech industry. In recent years, she has built an impressive career as a member of the board, supervisory board and advisory boards at internationally renowned businesses such as Eindhoven Engine BV, TU/e ​​High Tech Systems Center and Prodrive Technologies BV. Paulen is enthusiastic about Pahnke’s background and appointment: “I am really looking forward to working with Katja, an absolute powerhouse. In addition to a mountain of knowledge and her relevant background, she also brings new networks. Combined with her positive energy and decisive attitude, this offers excellent opportunities for the future. In the exploratory discussions, we were already well aligned regarding the ambitions, opportunities and direction for Dutch Design Foundation.”

In turn, Pahnke is enthusiastic about working for Dutch Design Foundation. She acknowledges that making connections has always been central to her work and sees a role for herself in that. “There is enormous potential in the power of design when it comes to setting social transitions in motion. Within our broad network, we have everything we need to make an impact on a global scale. In my previous positions, I have advocated relevant connections between technological developments and people’s development, between professionals and students, between knowledge institutions and companies, and between scientific and applied research. I am really looking forward to using that strength in the design field and linking it to multidisciplinary working and systems thinking from other domains. And all this with a highly enthusiastic team in an incredible ecosystem”, says Pahnke.

As of 1 November 2023, after Dutch Design Week (21 – 29 October 2023), Pahnke will take over the role from current director Igor van Hooff. She will commit to further professionalising and scaling the organisation with all successful activities, including Dutch Design Week, Dutch Design Awards, World Design Embassies and What if Lab.