The Hague - Design and Government

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Chair Penaat-II, by Willem Penaat in 1929 designed for the PTT

Logo PTT, designed in 1957 by Harry Disberg

Liesbeth in 't Hout

Liesbeth in 't Hout, Chairman of the board Design The Hague.

Interview Liesbeth in 't Hout

Foundation Design The Hague

Interview with Liesbeth in 't Hout

You worked at the service Aesthetic Design at PTT, what is your experience on the subject of Design and Government?
'The Netherlands always was a forerunner at design with commissioners like PTT. I worked there from '78 up to '88 and found it a great learning school. A revelation to see how much attention and impact the PTT had on the quality of our environment and consumer goods. From a beautifully designed mailbox or phone booth to the clothing of the postmen, they contributed to the street picture.'

Why is it important that the subject of Design and Government is put in the spotlight?
'People do not realize how important design is for there daily environment. The street picture is greatly defined by the corporation between clients and good designers. From my office I look upon beautiful lampposts from Piet Zwart for instance. Nowadays everything is about money and speed. That is killing for the value and quality. This manifestation therefore is good to realize that the government can and should use good designers. We need to keep on investing in that.'

Where should everybody go during The Hague Design and Government?
'To the exhibition Norm=Form at the Gemeentemuseum because it shows what effects regulations and standardisation have on our products. How far does the regulating of the government go? Sustainability is an example: it is interesting to see what standard settings cause and how this can add extra quality to a product.
A very accessible exhibition is the one concerning election posters of political parties from the Netherlands and Germany; The voter seduced? At the Museum voor Communicatie. Also special to see, it clarifies a lot.'