In this edition of our Partner Profile series, we spoke with Dutch Digital Design to take a closer look at how they showcase digital creativity coming out of The Netherlands.
With the help of an expert team of curators, they foster a platform where you can dive into the creative process of Dutch creatives. From sharing knowledge on how to leverage AI to forecasts on the future of design, Dutch Digital Design spotlights innovative projects from The Netherlands to inspire the whole industry.
We spoke with them about the distinct elements of Dutch design, how it shapes their work, and their role in leading Europe’s digital evolution.
Can you talk a bit about your organization, and what you do?
The Dutch Digital Design foundation aims to contribute to the success of all Dutch creatives, agencies and brands within the field of digital design. By collaborating in a community, exchanging knowledge and creating a stage where the best interactive work and visions are shared. This increases the appeal towards potential clients, business partners and talent, at home and abroad. The initiative started in 2014, is an independent foundation and has 30 partners who make its activities possible.
What initiatives or major projects is your team working on this year?
We’re aiming consistently on 3 big events per year. We attended SXSW with the topic ‘The Future of Realities’, The Cannes Lions festival with the topic, ‘AI Creativity‘ and will be at Dutch Design Week with the topic ‘Challenging our digital future’
Next to the events our focus will be on sharing knowledge towards our group of partners, within our breakfast sessions we discuss and share knowledge. An example topic is ‘How to integrate AI within your organization’. Within the industry we’re all facing this so better to team up and share ideas instead of reinventing the wheel. This is one of the benefits of being part of Dutch Digital Design.
Of course our main focus is curation of digital work crafted in The Netherlands or by a Dutch person. With the help from our great team of curators we focus on selecting the finest and spreading the work through our platform and socials.
What are the distinct and unique elements of Dutch design? How does it differentiate from the design industry in other European nations?
It’s mostly the mindset, we as Dutchies tend to be pretty vocal, honest and open about our thoughts. We always try to get the most out of the situation and aren’t afraid to share our thoughts towards the stakeholders, this means a very open conversation where the focus is on finding the best solution regarding the challenge we’re facing. Craft wise the talent is here to make all dreams become reality and one keypoint, as Dutchies we always deliver our promises. And last but not least: the Dutch are known for pushing boundaries. We are constantly innovating, exploring and aiming for that moonshot. Some say that because we are such a small country, we’re used to crossing the borders and that’s reflected in our work mentality as well.
Your mission is to showcase the breadth of digital design in the Netherlands. How do you achieve this goal?
We showcase the best work that’s being made within the industry. And we do so by curating the work with a team of high level professionals, our curators. This amazing team is led by Esmee Lechner and Jop Quirindongo to help find the best produced work from The Netherlands. Within our system (homerun) we openly discuss and preselect cases for an in-depth meeting with the curators where we make the final selection.
When the final selection has been made our amazing copywriter and content creator Nicole Picket-Groen will interview the makers of the selected cases and write an article we publish on our platform and through socials and other (inter) national channels like The Drum.
What role does Dutch Digital Design play in pushing forward innovation across the craft? How does that extend to the broader European design industry?
We do this showcasing the level of creativity, high quality work and innovation. We do so by being present at multiple events across the globe and share our take on certain topics directly from the partner agencies. Meaning, our partners have the opportunity to share their vision and innovations first hand towards the growth. Next to events we focus on writing multiple thought leadership articles per year published on well known platforms like The Drum.
AI is on everyone’s mind. In your opinion, how are you seeing AI and machine learning impact the Netherlands’ design landscape? What do you predict in the future?
We believe AI has a huge impact within the design landscape. With the help of (generative) AI and machine learning we’re now able to pick up tasks more efficiently, meaning less manual labor and more time to focus on the bigger picture and creativity. Adapting is and has always been key within the creative industry, and we’re excited to see our partner agencies and the digital community in the Netherlands embracing AI in their processes and projects. In the meantime, we must not shut our eyes for the ethical dilemmas that arise such as bias in AI generated design.
This season, we’re asking everyone this question: How do you define the “European Internet” and what does it mean to you?
For us one thing is crucial: Data protection. With the principles of GDPR, we have set these rules to protect everyone’s personal data within EEA countries. Including laws is very important for us to keep privacy where it’s so much needed. We believe that with the ‘European Internet’ we’re establishing quite a comprehensive framework for how digital is supposed to be working and operating in Europe. And while it might include more rules and regulations it is also protecting the consumers. But it doesn’t stop our industry from being creative and producing the most beautiful and innovative designs.