Netherlands Embassy and Consulates, China

The Dutch Creative Industries

The big 5 of the Dutch creative industry

Combining creativity and business

For centuries, Dutch creativity has inspired and informed. Dutch masters Rembrandt and Van Gogh transformed the world around them. Today’s masters include iconic figures such as fashion designers Viktor & Rolf, architect Rem Koolhaas, illustrator Dick Bruna and DJ/producers Armin van Buuren, Tiësto, Hardwell and AfroJack. They exemplify the strengths of Dutch design: pragmatic, open-minded, conceptual, out-of-the-box, and adhering to the principle ‘less is more’. Dutch design also embodies innovation, creativity and a business approach.

Pioneering in different areas all around the Netherlands and beyond

Today, Dutch creativity is producing pioneering architecture, design, music, TV shows/formats, gaming and fashion. Some of these activities are concentrated in certain cities around the Netherlands in distinct creative hubs. A few examples are the following: 

  • Amsterdam is a creative melting pot of interactive design and fashion
  • Rotterdam is the city of architectural and urban design.
  • Eindhoven, the technological heart of the nation, is home to the most famous school in the Netherlands for design, the Design Academy
  • Delft hosts the largest and oldest academic program in industrial design and is the hub of ceramic production
  • Utrecht is home to a large number of gaming companies and the Dutch Game Garden
  • Arnhem’s ArtEZ Institute of the Arts is known for its Fashion Biennale and internationally successful fashion design

A long tradition in design

There is a long tradition of interior design in the Netherlands, exemplified by Gerrit Rietveld's designs for living of the 1920’s and 30’s whereby architecture and interior were very much integrated, a more recent example of this is Marcel Wanders’ design for the Andaz hotel in Amsterdam. Dutch designers are also strong in visual communication, particularly in typography, packaging design and signposting at major airports like Amsterdam’s Schiphol and New York’s JFK.

Prestigious Dutch architecture all around the globe

Dutch architects have been awarded prestigious contracts around the world such the design of the Guggenheim Museum in Las Vegas, the Gazprom headquarters in Russia, Governors Island in New York, the Dalian Football Stadium in China and the Seattle Public Library. The Netherlands is known for its integrated approach to urban development and building projects. In addition to architectonic design, the spatial design, aspects of sustainability and social context are taken into account within the Dutch approach to architecture and planning.

Original and well-known TV formats, dance music and an active Online Gaming industry

Dutch TV producers have claimed prominent positions in the world's television channels with original formats, including So You Wannabe a Popstar, The voice, Idols and Big Brother. Similarly, the Netherlands has one of the most active online game markets in Europe, accounting for 35 percent of total spending. The Netherlands has a leading position in serious gaming for applications in many businesses, industries and in education. The Netherlands is also a pioneer in the area of dance music and large dance events.