Country of innovation
The Netherlands is a country of innovation. Of course, our beautiful old cities, remarkably rich history, and unique waterworks are at the core of our existence, and without windmills, canals or tulips, the Netherlands wouldn’t be the country it is today. But the funny thing is that those old cities, picturesque canals, and extraordinary waterworks were created thanks to our innovative spirit.
Our canals were created after we learned how to be proper traders. Tulips turned out to be a very popular export product. And the windmills? Well, they’ve ensured our existence in many ways.
These Dutch icons, many of which are designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, are admired at home and abroad, but at the same time our contemporary, innovative culture is gaining popularity and acclaim. Shaped by our DNA of innovation, a new generation of Dutch people is setting new standards in the fields of design, art, and architecture.
This new Netherlands is not limited to the Randstad metropolitan area. Cities such as Eindhoven, Arnhem, and Groningen are hotbeds of creativity and innovation, with issues such as sustainability and functionality as core values. The Dutch always look to the future and ask how we can make things a little better. We do this for ourselves and for the world. It’s all about innovation that benefits everyone.
Come and experience New Dutch yourself
Dutch Design: groundbreaking Netherlands
Here’s what Martijn Paulen, director of the Dutch Design Foundation, says about design with a purpose: “In the past, someone would design something and then show it. Today it's: 'How can I use my creative abilities to help the world?' In short, the starting point is no longer someone's own urge, but rather the issue at hand.”
Good examples of this can often be found at the Dutch Design Week, an annual event in Eindhoven that focuses on progressive works mostly by young talents.
For example, Brekr, a young Doetinchem start-up in electric mobility, was one of the standouts of the event in 2019. Their 'Brekr Model B', the first electric moped in the world, won the prize for Good Industrial Design. What made the electric Model B stand out is its design, with its batteries hidden where the gas tank would normally be.
And of course electric vehicles do not have noisy motors, meaning they’re practically silent when whizzing through the streets at high speed. Because that can be dangerous, Brekr developed sound effects when accelerating and braking.
Fashion: a major role in the new Netherlands
As with many other Dutch designs, sustainability is a topic of conversation, as evidenced by the fully circular Mud Jeans and the Fashion for Good-platform, which aims to reduce waste and transform the industry.
Traditional Netherlands proves our innovative power
Our tip for 'The Delta Works'© Sjoerd Bracke & Cuno de BruinCategory: Read
The world’s largest storm surge barrier is in Zeeland. The Delta Works is a series of unique structures designed to prevent a flood disaster such as the one the Netherlands experienced in 1953.Read more
Our tip for 'Amsterdam’s Canals'© JJHV via iStockCategory: Read
A trip to the Netherlands wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Amsterdam and its picturesque canals. But they are not just there for their looks. There is real history behind them. Those canals are there for a reason…Discover the canals of Amsterdam
Our tip for 'Flevoland'
This province, located near Amsterdam, is regarded as the largest land reclamation project ever. The Netherlands was in dire need of space, so a beautiful new piece of land was created over a period of decades.Read more
Architect of the future
Forget about the famous canal houses and windmills for a moment. Contemporary Dutch architecture is modern, exciting, and increasingly sustainable. As an innovative country, we successfully insert a great deal of creativity into our constructions (except for a period in the 1970s when we developed apartment buildings to cope with the growing population).
For example, architectural firms OMA and MVRDV have shaped the skyline of Rotterdam with special sustainable buildings such as the Markthal and the mirror-clad Depot Boijmans van Beuningen. They are internationally renowned firms that are involved in projects as far away as Ecuador and the United States.
But they are not alone. On the contrary, modern buildings can be found all over the Netherlands. Consider, for example, the floating farm in Rotterdam, the first floating farm in the world. In Groningen, science and culture come together in the contemporary Forum building, while in Eindhoven the vertical forest of the Trudo Tower reaches for the sky.
Funnily enough, old factory buildings are also a sign of innovation these days. Instead of tearing it all down, creative architects and entrepreneurs are refurbishing these buildings in a sustainable way, so that the new generation can also benefit from them. Examples include the Werkspoor cathedral in Utrecht, the Werkwarenhuis in Den Bosch, and the Hembrug area in Zaanstad.
Three extraordinary buildings
Our tip for 'Floating farm'© Iris van den BroekCategory: Read
Dozens of cows live and graze on a unique, floating farm in Rotterdam equipped with a milking robot, spacious stalls, and an automatic feeding belt. Want to know the best part? The Floating Farm is as self-sufficient and circular as possible.Read more
Our tip for 'Depot Boijmans van Beuningen'
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is an art depot of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. It is the world's first publicly accessible art depot, with more than 151,000 collected works of art stored, arranged, and structured in 14 depot spaces with five different climates.Read more
Our tip for 'Trudo Tower'
The Trudo Tower in Eindhoven is one of the finest examples of green high-rise buildings. Because each loft has a balcony with greenery trays, the Trudo Tower has room for no fewer than 125 mature trees. More than 5,200 shrubs and plants, including climbers and hanging plants, grow and bloom in and around the tower. This creates a green oasis of up to 70 meters high. It’s a unique location in the bustling Strijp-S, the innovative district of Eindhoven.Read more