Frans Schrofer & Ineke Hans Dutch Design Ambassadors to Korea
during Seoul Living Design Fair 2014
Korea’s next big step may be home product design after its formidable global success in consumer electronics and automotive design. Frans Schrofer and Ineke Hans were invited this spring by the East-West Education Center (EWEC) to talk about Dutch Design at the Seoul Living Design Fair. This annual event attracts over 100,000 attendees and 200 Korean designers, studios and members of the press. But what can two Dutch designers teach a Korean public?
“Dutch Design is schizophrenic.”says Schrofer. It’s pragmatic and rational but it’s quirky-conceptual and self-expressive, too. These are truly strange concepts in a country of industrial giants like Samsung, Hyundai and LG who apply a top-down, authoritarian decision making process.
Schrofer cites the love-hate relationship between the Dutch and Calvinism, their egalitarian social structure and the history of international trade as sources of inspiration. A more surprising source of creativity is the fact that living space in the Netherlands is restricted. This drives Dutch designers toward a solution that uses limited resources to achieve comfortable living.
According to Hans, the Dutch are a self-motivated folk who hate the status-quo norms. Like children, the Dutch constantly ask “why?” The best example is the famous Dutch football coach, Guus Hiddink, who bucked Korean traditions to create football history. We have a football coach to thank for the fact that Dutch Design is now popular in Korea.
Korean conglomerates have conquered the world with designed gadgets and cars. Are they willing to flip their organizational structures to allow young local and international talent take the lead to develop home interior products? Loaded with ambition, intelligence, might, integrity and creativity, they could revolutionize our way of living!
For more information: