‘Rembrandt painted in the style of his time and was known as being critical of society. Dutch Design also comes from a design philosophy based on current issues facing society. By designing in an investigative and critical way, modern design can provide the answers to a number of societal issues. As an example, sustainable design was the result of caring for the climate. Overconsumption and wastage are counteracted by the reuse of materials. An enduring factor is the willingness to bear responsibility for a number of the challenges of our time as both an artist and designer. This will only grow as the urgency to find solutions increases. A positive, critical attitude will ensure Dutch designers remain at the forefront. If Dutch designers have demonstrated one thing, it is that they have an infallible instinct for expressing the zeitgeist in a timeless and confronting way. Originality and resourcefulness are part of the fabric of the spirit of Dutch Design.’
Curator Masterly – The Dutch in Milano Photography Frieda Mellema Styling Selina Martin
The Salone del Mobile is the annual international design fair that Milan has hosted for more than 50 years. In doing so, the Salone sets the worldwide standard for exclusive designs and high-quality products. The Dutch Design pavilion is located in the Palazzo Francesco Turati representing the fourth time the palazzo has done so during the Salone del Mobile.
Dutch Design vs Made in Italy
‘Both Dutch Design and Made in Italy are renowned the world over. Both labels create expectations and offer guarantees. The bar is high, and everyone who is a part of either brand aspires to meet all the requirements. The difference is partially based on the approach and partially based on the aesthetics. Where Italian design draws from all artisanal resources, Dutch Design is characterized by sober, minimalistic aesthetics. In my view, Dutch Design is very focused on solving problems. Designers want to change the world for the better through designs that are well thought out. Without focusing on the differences, Milan is the place where these two styles meet.’
Palazzo Francesco Turati
‘The Dutch pavilion was given a beautiful home in the restored historic spaces in the Palazzo Francesco Turati. Balance is extremely important here: which elements are centre stage and steal the show? Could it be the beautifully inlaid wooden floors, the marble doors, ornaments with gold lustre, or wall coverings made of velvet or silk? Or will the attention focus on new Dutch Design? From top to bottom, the palazzo showcases a formidable eye for detail and unconditional love for quality. Without one outdoing the other, the beautiful Italian craftwork forms an amazing backdrop for contemporary Dutch Design.’
Meeting and dialogue
‘A number of circumstances aligned to ensure the success of the Dutch pavilion in Milan, including our host, the beautiful palace, the exhibitors, the visitors, and my role as curator. Everything is designed to facilitate meeting and dialogue. Historical Dutch companies such as Royal Mosa and Royal Delft present themselves alongside inquisitive young students, which creates an exciting dynamic. In order to stand out in this Mecca of international design, joining forces is crucial. Together, we represent a strong brand: the Netherlands that is big and growing in the field of Dutch Design.’
Rembrandt van Rijn Museum Bredius Masterly The Hague.