The Dutch and their iconic Dutch Design

The Dutch and their iconic Dutch Design

The Dutch and their iconic Dutch Design

The first time I discovered how well products are designed in the Netherlands compared to the UK was when I entered my student flat in London. It had a sink with two taps. A hot and a cold tap. My mind was confused… I wanted lukewarm water running from the tap for shaving. Apparently, the UK had not yet adapted to the mixture tap in the 90s, which was already the design standard in The Netherlands for many decades. Design and specifically interior design and home decor in Holland has always been ahead of the times.  

Dutch Design is a term used to indicate design that originates from the Netherlands, particularly product design. This means that there is a common design aesthetic amongst designers in the Netherlands. Dutch Design can be characterized as minimalist, experimental, innovative, quirky, and humorous. The Dutch care about their products. They don’t just want them to function well, but the design must be simple, powerful and fun. The Dutch don’t mind making fun of themselves. They live by the credo: “Be normal, that’s crazy enough already”.

 Gerrit Rietveld Red and Blue Chair

Moreover, the use of materials must be carefully considered in Dutch Design. Many prefer new high-tech materials, but also materials that look worthless but are renewed and revalued by the designers. Others like Ecri Living work only with the finest clay and pottery and DutZ Collection glassware only uses high quality glass. 

All our glass vases, outdoor ceramic planters, plant pots, decorative ceramic bowls and centrepiece handblown vases are designed in Holland, following the long-standing Dutch Design traditions.

DutZ Cylinder C8 | Topaz transparent | mundgeblasenes Glas |versch. Grössen  – Blumen & Ambiente

Dutch design is renowned for its innovative, minimalist, and functional approach. It has significantly impacted the global design landscape, characterized by simplicity, clever use of materials, and a strong emphasis on sustainability and craftsmanship. A standout feature in Dutch design is the creative and extensive use of glass, which is employed not just for its aesthetic appeal but also for its functional benefits.

Glass is a versatile material that aligns well with the Dutch design ethos. Its transparency and ability to manipulate light are leveraged to create open, airy spaces that blur the lines between indoors and outdoors. This characteristic is particularly valued in the Netherlands, where natural light is a precious commodity during long, dark winters. By incorporating large glass windows, skylights, and glass walls, Dutch designers maximize natural light, enhancing the sense of space and connection with nature.

One prominent example is the Rietveld Schröder House in Utrecht, designed by Gerrit Rietveld. This iconic structure utilizes glass extensively to create flexible, light-filled interiors. The use of glass partitions allows for a dynamic, adaptable living space, a principle that has influenced modern architectural designs worldwide.

Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - Rietveld Schröder House - Iconic Houses

Contemporary Dutch designers continue this tradition, often pushing the boundaries of what glass can achieve. The Glass Farm in Schijndel, designed by MVRDV, features a façade entirely made of glass printed with images of traditional farmhouses, blending modern materials with historical context. This innovative use of glass showcases how Dutch design balances tradition with cutting-edge technology.

Furthermore, the emphasis on sustainability in Dutch design has led to the development of advanced glass technologies. Innovations such as insulated glass and smart glass, which can change its properties to regulate heat and light, reflect the Dutch commitment to environmental responsibility.

In summary, the use of glass in Dutch design exemplifies the core principles of transparency, lightness, and sustainability. Through its innovative applications, Dutch designers create spaces that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing, making significant contributions to modern architecture and interior design.

We are very proud to be able to offer you iconic Dutch Design in the UK.      

From wikipedia

The Netherlands were primarily known for graphic design until the 1980s, when the term Dutch Design started to come into popular use. The term came to be closely identified with a group of Dutch product designers who have gained international recognization particularly from the 1990s onwards. These include Maarten Baas, Jurgen Bey, Richard Hutten, Hella Jongerius, Wieki Somers, Hester van Eeghen and Marcel Wanders, as well as internationally recognized design firms and collectives like Droog and Moooi which helped gain prominence for Dutch designers at major design events such as the Salone del Mobile in Milan.[3] More broadly, the term could be extended to fashion designers such as Viktor & Rolf and architects such as Rem Koolhaas and Francine Houben. The emergence of an internationally recognized Dutch design scene has been fueled by a strong educational system for designers. The Design Academy Eindhoven has produced many well-known designers. In a 2003 article, the New York Times called it "without question, currently the best design academy in the world." Another well-known school is Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. A second contributing factor to the success of Dutch design is government support for new designers. Financial support from the Fonds BKVB (the Fund for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture), launched in 1988, has enabled design students to set themselves up as independent entrepreneurs right after graduation.Also playing an important role is the fact that design has become an integral part of product development in the Netherlands. Designers are included in the earliest phases of innovative processes and the production development cycle. The Dutch electronics company Philips, for instance, has around 450 people working on design at 12 offices around the world. The Dutch Design Awards are awarded annually during Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven.

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