Reflection on „SWITCH | Dutch Design on the move“

21 April, 2016

Anna Brinkmann was in the TextielMuseum for her master research for ArtEZ. Curator Suzan Rüsseler asked her to write a blog review on „SWITCH | Dutch Design on the move“. Here’s what she thinks:

With this exhibition TextielMuseum Tilburg is exploring the national design scene and its topmost influencers over the past 25 years. But what is it actually that marks Dutch Design and how does it have an international relevancy?

When looking at the collection and artists represented, it is one thing in particular, that unites them all: Ideology. What characterizes Dutch Design first and foremost is the aim to revolutionize the way they implement aesthetics and create for the better.

Does this mean that the Dutch Design language is more an ideological voice than a collective visual code? One can assume so. It is almost more about the way they design than the final result, as you can see for example in the approach Maarten Kolk en Guus Kusters ('Waterloop-vis (schol)'  and Karpet 'Waterloop-Algengroei') employ within their work,

The path is the goal. And the designers communicate it that way. It is a unique manner of including the spectator and making the design an interactive exchange between the designers and consumers rather than presenting flawless solutions.

Atelier NL takes this ambition yet to another level when they translate their work into an own miniature yarn-machine. With an astonishing love for detail they illustrate how beans and potatoes can be manufactured into biodegradable yarn.


This retrospect the TextielMuseum has brought together, consecutively comes back to ideologic inspirations and combining visual aspects with ethical values. However what makes Dutch Design so attractive is the way the designers succeed time and time again in merging their principles with appealing visual attributes.

Dutch Design is a constant play with codes and visuals, one feels to enter a gigantic playground that simply invites to co-create and contribute. Quite a rare quality and an important one as the current state of upheaval of the international design scene shows.

With this exhibition TextielMuseum Tilburg might be exploring the past of Dutch Design but also the path international design has chosen to take in the future. What other surprising developments do Dutch designers have waiting for us in the pipeline?

This Article was written by Anna Brinkmann, fashion strategist and concept developer. Within her master research for ArtEZ she is exploring the impact textile conception has on the wearer and the environment. „Redefining Fashion through its material rather than trend cycles“ is the frame she developed the visionary concept for the textile platform Textile Innovation Lab by.

Karpet 'Waterloop-Algengroei'
Maarten Kolk en Guus Kusters (designers)
Audax Textielmuseum Tilburg (commissioned and produced by)
Eindhoven, 2010
Object number 15327

'Waterloop-vis (schol)' (M2-01)
Maarten Kolk en Guus Kusters (designers)
Audax Textielmuseum Tilburg (commissioned and produced by)
Eindhoven, 2010
Object number 15330

'De Garenmachine', installatie
Atelier NL (designer)
Audax Textielmuseum Tilburg (commissioned by)
Eindhoven, 2010
Objectnumber 15358