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Dirk was born in 1964 in Belgium as the son of a cabinet maker. He studied Interior architecture and furniture design at the Architecture Institute Sint-Lucas in Ghent, Belgium. After completing his studies, Dirk Wynants founded his first company (Extremis) in 1994. To date, he is still the full owner and president of the board of directors, but gives priority to design and art direction. In addition to Dirk’s activities in Extremis, he is managing director of his own design studio Dirk Wynants Design Works.

Listen to the podcast with Dirk "Why on earth do we keep designing new stuff"

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In 2013 Dirk accepted the offer to share his design experience at the Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts (SIVA), where he also expanded his Belgium based design agency Dirk Wynants Design Works (DWDW), by opening a second studio. That's when Dirk Wynants and DeTao became partners. A design studio was born to offer world class de­sign services to the Chinese market and top notch design education to Chinese students.

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Dirk Wynants Design Works has not only a design studio in China, but also in Belgium. Our Belgian studio can be found in a renovated farm in the rolling countryside near Poperinge between the typical hop gardens. 


DWDW Shanghai is more than a design stu­dio. We established a 4 year undergraduate program in Durable Product Design in order to nurture the future designers of China. Through a close collaboration between students, design studio and the industry, we aim to offer the best design education in the country. This Master Class for Durable product design by Dirk Wynants Design Works and DeTao Shanghai offers the unique experience to be immersed in the design philosophy and knowledge of a world renowned design studio. Our world faces an abundance of bad products and a lack of good products. Dirk Wynants believes in the big responsibility of future designers to create good design which is not only inspired by the demands of the market and its clients. It is his mission to transfer his values and the corresponding design method to his students through practical participation. Theory is nothing without practice. After completing a bachelor degree, many designers find themselves in need of practical experience. Participants of the Master Class for durable product design will apply their acquired skills in the design process of real projects for our design studio. The Master Class aims for Graduate students and young professionals with a design background. For more information about the educational program, visit the website.

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Discover the secrets behind the unique success story of the pioneering Extremis company. “I’ve always been attached to the globe.” Well haven’t we all? Follow Dirk Wynants on a journey to discover the inspiration behind his global design brand and the origin story of his original masterpieces.

The design critic Chris Meplon has been keeping a close eye on the Belgian and international design scene for years. She presents a portrait of Dirk Wynants as an inspiring role model for young designers and entrepreneurs. She also challenges him with twenty incisive questions. Isn’t functionality a thing of the past? Isn’t Good Design a rather paternalist notion? Does the present-day consumer really know what he wants? The designer’s precise answers provide a mass of information for all those who truly want to learn something about the sense and nonsense of design.

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