The Best of Dutch Design?

The Best of Dutch Design?

By Jaime Gillin
NAi Publishing, in collaboration with the Dutch Design Awards, recently released the 2010 Dutch Design Yearbook, a 216-page atlas of the best, newest, and most innovative work by designers in the Netherlands from the past year, spanning the fields of architectural and interior design, product design, fashion, and graphic design.

The bilingual publication includes essays by critics Glenn Adamson, Aaron Betsky, and Rick Poynor, as well as heaps of photos of creative and eye-catching projects by Dutch designers working both locally and globally. The projects and designers featured include the Dutch denim label G-Star RAW, whose Fall/Winter 09/10 collection (pictured above) featured oversized pockets; untreated denim paired with silk and cashmere; and vibrant primary colors.

For her Frozen in Time exhibition in a Paris gallery, above, Wieki Somers poured resin over stools, vases, and lamps.

The animation Pimp My Planet imagines what you could do with the planet if you could arbitrarily reduce, relocate or reshape continents and countries.

"A small company can afford to be more daring and explore its own young market," writes Timo de Rijk, one of the yearbook editors, describing the small, independent bicycle company Van Moof bicycle.

Irma Boom: Biography in Books is a 700-page overview of virtually all the books produced by Holland’s most famous graphic designer, presented in a tiny miniature format.

Interior architect Ira Koers and visual artist and graphic designer Roelof Mulder were asked to design a ‘temporary’ interior for the library of the University of Amsterdam, which is planning to move into a new building at some point.

The Amsterdam husband-and-wife designer team Scholten & Baijings created tableware: unglazed cups and saucers that resemble spatial sketches in paper and cardboard. The drawn-on ‘ribbing’ provides a natural decoration and gives the crockery an almost architecturally modular beauty.Gray tones prevail, broken by florescent poison yellows and pinks in the bottoms of the drinking glasses.

Next Architects designed a 'Growth Monument' to celebrate the bicentenary of Tilburg, and its past as a textile producer. Behind the Audax Textile Museum is a set of 252 vertical glass-fiber rods which, with their different lengths, form the outline of one of the former factory buildings.

For the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, the Netherlands built an entire street: Happy Street. "It is John Körmeling’s interpretation of the world exhibition’s theme: Better City, Better Life," write the Yearbook editors. "Körmeling’s ideal city is a ‘trade route’ where everything happens in close proximity. He personally sees the design as a response to modern town planning, in which life and work are expected to be entirely separate functions. With Happy Street Körmeling would like to show that the Netherlands is at the forefront of developing cities on a more sustainable and a more human scale."


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