Michel van Schie: Dutch Design ambassador

Michel van Schie: Dutch Design ambassador

This year, Spark partner Michel van Schie scouted the ultimate winner of the Product category of the Dutch Design Awards. While he thinks that’s a nice fact, he doesn’t think it’s particularly special. He thinks that the fact that the search for potential winners is part of the work of a committee member is much more valuable. “It’s because of this that the Dutch Design Awards is a really prestigious prize.”

July 25, 2019

Prize for champions

Van Schie continues: “In addition, the criteria are also much broader than for other awards. It goes much further than the concept of Industrial Design that prizes such as the iF Design Awards and Red Dot aim for. As is the case at Spark, issues such as sustainability and social interest also play a role. The Dutch Design Awards reward champions much more frequently.”

The Awards started in 2003 as the Nederlandse Design Prijzen and, in collaboration with the Dutch Design Week, are an important driver behind the development and international promotion of Dutch Design. Because Dutch Design might be steadily gaining prominence and prestige in the Netherlands, but the label still has a way to go in the rest of the world.

Van Schie: “That’s why the Awards and the Design Week are so important. They offer a unique platform to talk about Dutch Design from all the different disciplines and criteria, to come to a shared vision, and thus promote it internationally. Ultimately, my goal as a committee member is to be an ambassador for Dutch Design.”

Very thankful

These different disciplines make the work as a committee member challenging and, as a result, extra fun, says Van Schie: “You are forced to know more about other products and the thinking behind the products. Here at Spark, we’re a pretty level-headed bunch. So, it’s good to also hear about the, what you might call, less down to earth side of Dutch Design.

“Besides that, anyway, it’s really great work to do. In the past four years, I’ve been able to work with many fun and interesting people. Something I’m very thankful for.”