Celebrating Dutch Design in The Hague

I’ve always longingly watched my designer friends head off to Paris, London and Milan for the big annual design shows—I’ve never been able to go myself. But I had the great fortune of happening upon a small—but extremely cool—design festival in The Hague, Netherlands, last week while I was on a trip to Amsterdam with my sister.

The Festival Designkwartier Den Haag is a series of pop-up installations by dutch designers, artists and craftspeople in this charming town, which is known more to us as the Netherlands’ seat of government, yet has a thriving shopping district even when the festival’s not there.



edwinpelserAbove photos from Zeeheldenkwartier’s Facebook page

I had tagged along with my sister to a legal conference she attended in Amsterdam, and broke off last Saturday to take the short train ride out to The Hague. My walk from the train station to the festival was studded with cool architecture,


and a quintessential European flea market.




But I digress. One of the first attractions I saw at the festival was a Dutch design auction, which was really pretty brilliant, because the starting bids also included the research investment cost and hours spent producing each piece of art.




Artist Roos Meerman produced these works with a Spirograph-type machine that’s activated by sound waves. Different sounds cause a pen to dance across the fabric to create all sorts of shapes and patterns.


The starting bid for one of these works was 360 Euro, but the research investment and materials that went into it was 4,500 Euro/ makes the opening bid look like a steal!

The festival also included all kinds of gorgeous ceramics, such as these by Studio Ineke Van Der Werff:


Modular-block pieces that resemble building parts by Remy Van Zandbergen (you can see the mold on the right):


And the swirling, shiny colors of Alissa + Nienke.




One of my favorite venues was a converted dairy, which was taken over by the design magazine Woth—Wonderful Things.


The magazine filled the space, which is now a residence, with all manner of products by Dutch designers.






The interior architecture of this space, with its original black and white tiles, transom doors and iron columns, was a gorgeous backdrop for modern design and furnishings.


A cast of moms and their adorable daughters were on hand to make lunch in this drop-dead kitchen:


There was too much to see during this day of design to fit into one post. I’ll be sending the next installment on Thursday. Have a great week!


  1. […] previous trips this year. This post is from my trip to Amsterdam and The Hague, where I blogged here and here about about the incredible design to be found there. What I didn’t include at the […]