My view on the design culture in Netherlands
when i was a kid back in school, i always used to draw this very familiar image of a house, two mountains, a river and a family whenever anyone asked me to draw anything.
it didn't really matter what they were asking me to draw; if they asked me to draw birds, i would just add a couple of crows to the same picture. they wanted me to draw an animal, i would draw something with four legs into the same picture.
Now, most of this picture didn't really bother me, not that they were only two mountains, not that there were always just three crows, not even that the family that were always holding hands.
What did bother me was the shape of the house. Every house i ever drew when i was a kid always had these slanting roofs. and to the kid me, this made no sense. Why not just make it flat? What was the big deal?
Then came high school, and i had much more pressing problems to deal with than the shape of the house. But somewhere along the way, I learnt that the roof was slanted to allow rain water to drain from the roof of the house.
Sure, that made sense.
Except that in India(at least from the part i am from) it didn't rain that often. I mean it rained, but it was only for a short period of time.
Then i came to the Netherlands, and here i truly did understand why the roofs were slanted. It rains all the time over here.
Now, none of that has anything to do with my blog about DUTCH DESIGN , but i just wanted to tell that story. Win-sorta win situation right?
Anyways, Dutch design is very functional, much like the roofs in my story. I drew it like that because everybody else was drawing it like that, Dutch kids probably drew it like that, well because the houses here are made like that.
Dutch design, especially architecture is very different from that of India. Rotterdam is an Industrial city, and for that, it has sky scrapers, and usually very geometric buildings. Amsterdam is the capital, so its sort of like a potluck of all kinds of buildings. Groningen, is at its heart a student city, so its kind of evolved to meet the needs of the student community.
Now, in India, art isn't really…..well they don't care about art. The Dutch on the other hand do, a lot. And its very evident from the moment you step foot in the country. From the ads on the TV to the to the posters that line some of the walls, it very evident.
Dutch design is more expressive. And the fact that the Dutch has given the world some of the best artists(like Vermeer, Rembrandt, Van Gogh) does speak for itself.
Its experimental, quirky and at times even humorous. And thats what makes it such a feast for your eyes.
They celebrate Dutch design, with Dutch Design Week every year at Eindhoven. Where artists and collectives from all over the Netherlands present their work for the public for a whole week. I highly recommend going for this. You will not regret it.
The term Dutch Design is actually more associated with product design. Now product design is a term that isn't understood all around the world. So let me break it down.
Product design isn't designing clothes, thats Fashion design.
Product design isn't designing vehicles either, thats Industrial design.
Product design is that huge grey area that comes in between the two.
The Netherlands is known in the design world for its product designers and rightly so.And as a design student, who hopes to take product design in the future......its exciting, its very exciting.