NYC celebrates 400 Years of Dutch Design

By danielle

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There are many things we love about the Dutch: beer, tulips, delftware, clogs and Gouda cheese.  For those that admire great design, we can add Richard Hutten, Gerrit Rietveld, Marcel Wanders, Tejo Remy, Renny Ramakers and many others to the list of global Dutch influences.  So when we heard of the festivities (Pioneers of Change and the New Island Festival) at Governors Island, we hopped on the free ferry to celebrate the contributions these pioneers have given to the arts, fashion and design.

Our first stop was the New Island Festival.  The Festival is part of NY400, an extraordinary celebration to commemorate the anniversary of Henry Hudson’s voyage from Amsterdam to New York Harbor. With a Heineken in hand, we walked the grounds, checking out some of the quirky performances and meandering the hundreds of WIND NOMADS (SLeM‘s landscape theater project featuring 400 large, colorful paintings made to look like they are flapping their wings in the wind).

SLeM's WIND NOMADS

SLeM's WIND NOMADS

Some familiar pieces of outdoor furniture from Belgian-based manufacturer Royal Botania and the aroma of Wafels & Dinges lured us into the Flanders House. Inside was a compelling photo installation from Flemish artist and architect Ellen Depoorter.

Royal Botania's EZ at the entrance of the Flanders House

Royal Botania's EZ at the entrance of the Flanders House

Next up:  Pioneers of Change. The activities were set up in and around eleven officers’ houses at Nolan Park. Hats off to Renny Ramakers of droog for this amazing installation and celebration of Dutch design, fashion and architecture.

Pioneers of Change, Products Powered by Droog New York

Pioneers of Change, Products Powered by Droog New York

One of our favorite houses was #16, which featured the work of Maarten Baas.  This iconic young designer creates clocks by projecting footage of people in action, so that their recorded movements become the clock hands, moving minute by minute, hour by hour.

Maarten Baas's abstract clock showing a minute passing as a pile of dirt is swept forward with a broom

Maarten Baas's abstract clock showing a minute passing as a pile of dirt is swept forward with a broom

We also really enjoyed Platform21’s Repair Manifesto, whose mission is to promote creative repairing rather than replacing.

Dutch wallpaper produced by Rath & Doodeheefver c 1890.  For this occasion, Daan van den Berg bares gifts in the form of four Wall Souvenirs.  With each pattern created by a different designer in a different time, transferring the souvenir onto a damaged spot on the wall creates instant history.

Dutch wallpaper produced by Rath & Doodeheefver c 1890. For this occasion, Daan van den Berg bares gifts in the form of four Wall Souvenirs. With each pattern created by a different designer in a different time, transferring the souvenir onto a damaged spot on the wall creates instant history.

Platform21's Repair Manifesto #6: Repairing is a Creative Challenge

Platform21's Repair Manifesto #6: Repairing is a Creative Challenge

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