Dutch designers—with an interest in tradition and history, as well as the possibilities of technological intervention and mass production—have long placed an importance on functionality, craftsmanship, and the individual experience. By reimagining objects, many of the designers represented in this exhibition take cues from the rich historical past of Dutch culture while incorporating new materials and technologies.
The first half of the 20th century marked a period of innovation in the Netherlands through the radical ideas of De Stijl and the Bauhaus. Since the early 1990s, with the establishment of the collective Droog Design, international attention has once again focused on the Netherlands. Droog’s generation of designers, as well as those who have emerged more recently, are transforming expectations. Their designs build on the possibilities of material exploration and broadening the relationships between form and function, beauty and iconography.
Contemporary Dutch Design showcases objects from the MFAH collection demonstrating a range of materials, techniques, and unprecedented approaches that place Dutch designers at the forefront of the contemporary design field. This exhibition is presented in conjunction with Joris Laarman Lab: Design in the Digital Age, on view in the Beck Building from June 24 to September 16.