11 July 2019


The Modern Netherlands 1963–1989: The Design of a Model Nation

Design Museum Den Bosch, ’s-Hertogenbosch

–18 August 2019



In his study “Imagined Communities” Benedict Anderson showed that the nation exists only as the mental image of their members’s communion. The Design Museum Den Bosch now shows the role design plays in the creation of that image in the exhibtion “The Modern Netherlands 1963–1989: The Design of a Model”.


The Netherlands has been striving to be modern since the 1960s. State companies such as the Post Office, Dutch Railways and the Tax Office became paying customers of the country’s designers. The aim was to leave behind everything that was traditional and to communicate the country’s new post-war values: openness, tolerance and democracy. From the humble postage stamp to large-scale public construction projects, the government was involved in every type of public design, carried by the desire to revive a society in upheaval.

The exhibition “The Modern Netherlands” takes a fresh look at public design between 1963 and 1989, which was criticised in the 1990s, taking into account the social ambitions of this wide-ranging project and the designers who implemented it.


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