Dutch Design in Amsterdam

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Dutch Design Hotel Artemis offers modern rooms less than 20 minutes’ drive from the centre of Amsterdam, including a gym and a waterside terrace for warm days. Business guests benefit from 11 multifunctional meeting areas.

De Stijl

De Stijl was a modern art movement that aimed to combine the different arts into a coherent whole. Its members included the painters Piet Mondrian, Vilmos Huszar, and Bart van der Leck, and the architects Gerrit Rietveld, Jan Wils, Robert van ’t Hoff, and J.J.P. Oud. De Stijl’s philosophy was known as Neo-plasticism and it sought to simplify the visual world by eliminating color and reducing shapes to simple lines and rectangles.

Its pared-down aesthetic had a profound impact on 20th century art and design. It was particularly influential on architecture. It inspired the Bauhaus and other schools of modernist architecture. It also influenced the work of hard-edge painters Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman, and Minimalists Donald Judd and Dan Flavin.

De Stijl’s style was applied to furniture, decorative arts (including rugs), typography, and architecture. Rietveld’s Schroder House in Utrecht is a good example of the clarity, austerity, and order that characterizes De Stijl architecture.

Knotted Chair by Marcel Wanders

In the world of contemporary Dutch design, Marcel Wanders is one of the most recognizable names. His playful designs reinterpret historical archetypes and blur the lines between art and design.

Wanders’ Knotted Chair combines high-tech materials with traditional craftsmanship. It features aramid cord, an aerospace material overbraided with carbon cores that form an invisible structural grid. The result is a lightweight chair that’s reminiscent of a time-worn hammock but has the strength and durability to support a person.

The chair first drew global attention as part of the Dry Tech exhibition put on by design collective Droog Design in 1996. It’s now listed in the permanent collections of several museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the V&A museum in London.

Wanders grew up in Boxtel, Netherlands and graduated cum laude from the School of the Arts Arnhem in 1988. He’s since co-founded the design label Moooi and runs his own studio, Powerhouse. He’s designed for a variety of top European manufacturers, including B&B Italia, Cappellini, Target, KLM and Flos.

The Red and Blue Chair by Gerrit Rietveld

Gerrit Rietveld was an artist with a strong vision who designed many furniture pieces, including the iconic Red and Blue Chair. His work is considered to be among the first major furniture of modernist design.

This particular piece of furniture is part decorative art and part useful furniture. Originally, this chair was stained wood. However, it was painted in its famous red, blue and yellow version around 1923, as a contribution to the Dutch De Stijl art/design movement.

De Stijl strove to achieve universal modernization of the arts, based on geometrically reduced forms and primary colors. This chair is a perfect example of this philosophy.

Designer Job Smeets was fascinated with Rietveld’s work and wanted to create a reconstruction of the famous Red and Blue Chair. The result is an homage to the master, now on display at the Centraal Museum in Utrecht. The reconstruction is a collaboration with several Dutch designers, including Wim Crouwel and Etienne Feijns.

The Merry-Go-Round Coat Rack by Somers

The designs of Studio Wieki Somers exemplify the subtle merging of functionality and poetry that characterizes contemporary Dutch design. Her merry-go-round coat rack, for example, turns a functional gallery fixture into an artistic installation by inviting visitors to hoist their jackets onto the carousel and lock them with a numbered tag.

This tension between down-to-earth familiarity and meanings hiding underneath the skin of products is a common thread throughout the work of Somers, who studied at the Design Academy Eindhoven and has garnered informal and formal international acclaim for her designs. Somers’ belief that everyday objects have unexplored potential is evident in her reimagining of traditional Dutch furniture forms and foreign materials.

Dutch designers, like their art historical forefathers, pull inspiration from a vast spectre of influences. With the addition of new pure forms that take advantage of advanced technology, these designers are helping to shape the global zeitgeist. Whether by introducing playful forms to the kitchen or re-imagining porcelain tableware, their designs are thoughtful and delightful.

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