By J. Streker
The question of why Dutch design is so eye catching and popular is something that has been in the back of my mind since I lived in Germany. The limitations inherent in living in the Netherlands forced designer, architects, and artists to approach everything from a unique angle. I can’t think of many other cultures that would have decided, or been stubborn enough, to not let nature do her course and instead force their civilization on her. Yet instead of building monuments to their power over earth, they have retained a sense of respect by letting her breathe in areas and respecting their own boundaries.
I think that the minds of a society that came up with ways to create land where there was once water, and maintain said land, show a balance of creativity, artistry, and engineering that naturally lends itself to design. I also think the practicality of Dutch design is appealing in a time of excess. They simply don’t have the space for extra. Everything must have a purpose and when you’re limited in what and where you can build your creativity can flourish in how to build it.
When looking at architecture in Amsterdam I was struck by the EYE – New Dutch Film Institute building, pictured above. The word ontsluiten, to un lock or open up, is brought up in False Flat reference how infrastructure can unlock a community making It accessible and opening up what lay hidden before (Betsky and Eeuwens, 104). The Film Institute building unlocks city around it by framing it in a different way. The cityscape of Amsterdam can be seen almost like the unfolding of a movie. The combination of two very different yet interactive and immersive media like film and architecture the building offers a new experience for a visitor/viewer. Much like how the scholars of last week showed how different methodological frames can affect the viewing of a work of art, the framing of architecture can influence the view and experience of a city.
On an informal side note, the featured/title image of this post is of Qubic, housing in Amsterdam designed by students for students. It is made of modular units of the same size that could be made for cheap and could be stacked and brought together easily and for little cost. As a poor student, I would love to live in a residence that looked this cool (and is hopefully still affordable)!
Betsky, Aaron, and Adam Eeuwens. False flat: why dutch design is so good. London: Phaidon, 2008. Print.
EYE – New Dutch Film Institute / Delugan Meissl Associated Architects” 10 Apr 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2017. <http://www.archdaily.com/223973/eye-new-dutch-film-institute-delugan-meissl-associated-architects/>