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 adhead 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”.
Moreover, the use of materials has to 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.
We are very proud to be able to offer you iconic Dutch Design in the UK.
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. 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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