Design

Dutch Design refers to the design aesthetics that all Dutch designers seem to have: minimalistic, experimental, innovative and unconventional, plus a sense of humour.

What's happening?

News

Design Language exhibition at Salone in Milan

10/04/2018/BvL

Home is where the heart is. But how do you conquer that heart when your house is far away from home? During Milan Design Week, hospitality forms the starting point of the second edition of the international design exhibition Design Language. 

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What's going on?

24-25 May 2018 Conference
What Design Can Do
Amsterdam, NL design
6-8 juni 2018 Vakbeurs
Design District
Rotterdam, NL architecturedesign
4 oktober 2018 Conference and exhibition
Innovation Expo
Rotterdam, NL design
20-28 October 2018 Event
Dutch Design Week
Eindhoven, NL design

The best examples

Ghana Design Network exports Dutch design expertise to Ghana

Last year, the Dutch design world began exporting its knowledge and experience in the field of brand design and design strategy to Ghana within the framework of a pilot project. According to one of the project’s initiators, Peter Kersten, the pilot is a great success.

Lees verder design

Smart toilets for emergencies

The first ‘smart toilet’ from Unesco-IHE is not only hygienic, safe and cost-effective, but can also identify health problems. 

Lees verder design

Up until the 1980s the Netherlands was mainly known for its graphic design. Dutch design really took off in the 1980s with designers such as Benno Premsela. At the end of the 1980s, ‘Dutch Design’ gained standing and was often closely associated with a group of Dutch designers, most of whom received international acclaim from the 1990s onwards and include ‘authors or star designers’ Maarten Baas, Jurgen Bey, Richard Hutten, Hella Jongerius and Marcel Wanders. Furthermore, internationally renowned design bureaus and collectives such as Droog and Moooi have contributed to the growing presence of Dutch Design at the Salone Del Mobile in Milan and other important design events. In more general terms Dutch Design also includes fashion designers (Viktor & Rolf) and architects (OMA).

The rise of Dutch Design was due to the accessibility and quality of the Dutch design studies on the one hand and the quality of the customers and assignments on the other. The Industrial Design study at the Technical University Delft is the oldest of its kind and has been a university study for over 35 years. The Design Academy in Eindhoven, formerly known as the Academy for Industrial Design, was the starting point for many a famous designer and holds an international leading position.

Design as subsector of the creative professional service providing sector: design on assignment, may be less visible, but has a much greater reach. The face of this part of the sector is determined by the more than 30, often internationally leading, design agencies, a handful of internal design departments of often large corporations and a couple of hundred self-employed individuals. These agencies and departments are responsible for practically every product we come across on a daily basis. From toasters to street furniture, from sofas to child’s bikes and from traffic lights to office chairs; all these items started on the desk of a designer. The designers contribute to the development of the concept, the transformation into a product, the engineering and the moulding, user testing, the styling and the design, the product presentation and market introduction. That is the domain within which the designer operates, usually in collaboration with other professionals and suppliers.

The trend this past decade has been for the domain ‘design’ to develop and expand into strategic advice, the development of combinations of products and services combinations and policy development. Strategic design, service design and policy design are being offered by existing design agencies, as well as by an increasing number of small and larger consultancies. The latter use ‘design thinking’ as a term to refer to a new approach which uses design as a means to approach a problem and thereby characterizes the realization of solutions.

Even though the turnover of the sector is fairly limited, over EUR 200 million, its added value to the national economy should not be underestimated. The sector profit achieved in 2010 was the same the year before, EUR 44 million. Graphic designers generate more than half of this total turnover. The annual export of Dutch Design amounts to more than 5 billion euro, which is 1.7% of the total export. The top three destinations for [Dutch] Design are Germany, Belgium and Great Britain.

The Dutch Design association, the BNO, represents more than 6,700 designers; 2,500 of whom work as independent designers, while the others work for one of 150 design bureaus and corporate design departments.

Rita van Hattum

Board secretary / General affairs BNO