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Salone del Mobile 08: The hidden world of Dutch design

Dutch designers are currently creating quite a stir on the international scene. A new book tries to uncover the secret of their success.

By Editor Design.nl / 19-04-2008

Dutch designers are currently creating quite a stir on the international scene. A new book tries to uncover the secret of their success.

In 'How they work: The Hidden World of Dutch Design' photographer Inga Powilleit and stylist Tatjana Quax examine the working methods of seventeen designers, as well as the typically Dutch approach which has made them world-famous: a fanatical attitude towards their work, a healthy lack of respect for convention, and a determination to go their own way. Design.nl caught up with one of the authors, Tatjana Quax.

How/why did you come up with the idea for the book?
The photos were originally made for the 'Own World' series for the Dutch version of ELLE Living (ELLE Wonen). The series, which looks at Dutch designers, uses many small photos, which we felt deserved to be shown in a larger format. 010 publishers then gave us the chance to create our own book with our favourite photos. The result is a book of photography with unique photos, which offers a chance to take a look behind the scenes at Dutch design. The hidden world!

How did you decide which designers you would ask?
That wasn't hard because the people we asked are the ones making a difference in the international design world at the moment.

Was it easy to approach the designers?

Yes, most of them I've known for some time through my work for Studio Aandacht and ELLE Wonen. Inga Powilleit is currently one of the best portrait and reportage photographers in the Netherlands, so it wasn't difficult to get the designers to pose.

Can you describe what the 'typical Dutch process' is?

A fanatical attitude towards work, a healthy lack of respect for convention and a determination to go their own way!

In the end did you discover the 'secret of their success'?

Hard work and going for what you believe in.

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