The Windmills of Their Minds

By Tk Published on .

Rem Koolhaas may be the best known, but the list of Dutch designers with international reputations for innovation and experimentation is a long one, and some of them even have names almost as cool as Koolhaas'-like Irma Boom, Mecanoo and Droog Design. Which leads us to a book from Phaidon with a very odd name: False Flat: Why Dutch Design is So Good, a profusely illustrated $69.95 tome by Aaron Betsky and Adam Eeuwens, designed by the aforementioned Boom. As to that boastful but easily supported Why, the answer isn't the hash bars, though they no doubt can't hurt. As for the first part of the title, according to Phaidon it's "derived from a condition easily appreciated on a bicycle or even on foot in the Netherlands, as the landscape appears to be completely flat, but actually slopes up ever so slightly. This phenomenon serves as a metaphor for Dutch design that, with wit and technological know-how, alters our visual world." Seen here, no metaphor intended, is the inventive Clojo toilet paper holder, by Henk Stallinga, 2002.

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