The Dutch have always been pragmatic in figuring out durable, smart solutions for the challenges facing the world. The Netherlands has contributed a large number of scientific discoveries, including blood cells and photosynthesis, as well as revolutionary inventions, including the first sawmill and WiFi. With strong profiles in electronic dance music, art, design, gaming, fashion, architecture, and more, Dutch creative industries have gained international acclaim.
The Dutch entertainment industry has grown into a major export product for the Netherlands with electronic dance music leading the way. Dutch DJs such as Armin van Buuren, Tiësto, Afrojack, and Martin Garrix are well known around the world and perform in front of millions of people around the world every year.
Furthermore, global TV shows like “The Voice” originated in the Netherlands. In fact, “The Voice” is one of the most successful, with more than 500 million viewers worldwide.
In the same vein, Dutch design and fashion have both gained widespread popularity, and have become synonymous with quirky, out-of-the-box thinking, application of new technologies, highly distinctive forms, and far-reaching involvement of end users.
It can be characterized as conceptual, open-minded, pragmatic, process-oriented, and innovative. The Netherlands has several internationally successful fashion designers and fashion brands, including Iris van Herpen, Pauline van Dongen, Suitsupply, Daily Paper clothing, Viktor & Rolf, and more.
The Dutch penchant for design also applies to landscapes and skylines. The Netherlands is home to some of the world’s top architects, such as Rem Koolhaas, Ben van Berkel, and Francine Houben, creative director of Mecanoo Architecten. Francine Houben was recently involved with US partners in the redesign and renovation of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C.
For the most part, the Netherlands itself is forged by hand. Topographical and social circumstances, such as low-lying land, the presence of large areas of water, the focus on sustainability, and the lack of living space, have led to innovative architectural solutions. Whether it’s a groundbreaking approach to protect the land from flooding or developing innovative products for the future, the Netherlands is known for its pragmatic yet innovative approach to design.
In a changing consumer market, Dutch companies help to bridge the gap between print and digital worlds by using augmented reality techniques. They help users to see a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are supplemented by computer-generated input based on sound, video, graphics or GPS data.
The Netherlands, with the most innovative serious games companies in Europe, is a serious player in the global gaming industry. Serious games can be used for educational purposes, recruitment processes, emergency response training, or practicing skills, such as driving and surgery.
Computer simulations can prevent dangerous situations from happening. The Netherlands is at the forefront of simulation techniques on a number of topics, from water management to combat training. The use of simulators and virtual training software will allow people to build their skills in a practical and cost effectively.
The Netherlands is also on the forefront of 3D printing, an emerging technique that can be useful in during crises. Imagine robots building their own supply lines through emergency disaster areas, where roads and rail lines have been disrupted.
To highlight the strength of Dutch culture and its interests for an American audience, the Netherlands assigns a cultural attaché whose staff promotes connections between the United States and the Netherlands.
Working primarily out of the Consulate General in New York, the cultural staff serves as an intermediary between the Dutch and American art worlds by promoting Dutch arts, culture and shared cultural heritage in the US, and by encouraging and facilitating cultural cooperation and exchange.