Which country scores higher in the area of design? Is that the Netherlands or is that Belgium? Frank Huygens, curator Applied Art and Design at the Design museum Ghent and Mienke Simon Thomas, who has the same function in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, are providing background information.
Throughout the whole of the nineteenth century, Belgium led the way, with a strong artisan traditional and a rapidly emerging industrial buzz; it was much more interesting than what was happening in the fusty, old, dozing Holland! In the twentieth century, the roles seem to have been reversed and the Netherlands took the lead with functionally designed furniture and utensils in light, modern materials, with a high quality fitting out of the public space and with the ironic commentary of Droog Design. But the question is: to what degree is this rough picture true? Anybody who looks carefully will also find a lot of unusual items in nineteenth-century Holland and will probably have to admit that both countries have been equally matched in the past fifty years.
This video has been made to accompany the exhibition ‘Design Derby: Netherlands-Belgium (1815-2015)’, which can be seen in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen from 19 June to 13 September 2015 and in the Design Museum Ghent from 22 October 2015 to 13 March 2016.