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Distributed for Reaktion Books

Dutch Design

A History

Experimentation and Dutch design have long gone hand in hand, from postage stamps to the Rietveld chair to the clean simplicity of Schiphol airport. Mienke Simon Thomas skillfully details the groundbreaking accomplishments and popular products of Dutch design in Dutch Design Culture.

            Thomas, a museum curator, delves deeply into the rich design history of the Netherlands, beginning with the historical roots of Dutch crafts education and the moral and social ideals of modernism that became central to the nation’s cultural dialogue. Touching upon such issues as the emergence of the professional industrial designer, public work initiatives, debates about design as art, and the provocative notion of “anti-design,” Thomas argues that though Dutch design from the beginning has been driven by aims of functionality, simplicity, and affordability, it has also embraced luxury and exclusivity. The book also discusses the role played by leading Dutch designers and their works, including Wim Crouwel, Marcel Wanders, and the design collective Droog Design.

            An unprecedented, detailed history, Dutch Design Culture is a critical primer on one of the leading national design movements today.

272 pages | 83 color plates, 88 halftones | 6 3/4 x 8 2/3 | © 2008

Art: Art--General Studies

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"This is what we’ve been waiting for: finally, an unprecedented critical analysis of the history of Dutch design. Mienke Simon Thomas’s Dutch Design is a book to have and to read: an important and richly detailed study of the cultural, economical and social-political context of twentieth-century design in the Netherlands."--Wim Crouwel

Wim Crouwel

Table of Contents

1  New Art, Old Craft, 1875-1915
2  Design as Art, 1915-40
3  Good Design, 1925-65
4  Design as Profession, 1945-80
5  Design for Debate, 1960s to the Present
Photo Acknowledgements

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