#759 When Dutch Creativity Gone Wild

What comes to mind when I hear Dutch creativity? Well, except for their inventions of the clogs and wind mills (and their colonization of Indonesia, but I’m pretty sure that doesn’t count as creativity) I have zero knowledge of the Netherlands and of its people. So, the first thing I did was to go to Google and searched everything I knew about the Netherlands and low and behold found many interesting facts about Dutch creativity.

Firstly, I found out that the Netherlands has a prosperous culture that include Van Gough (Starry Night over the Rhone), Piet Mondrian (Composition with Yellow, Blue, and Red), M.C. Escher (Relativity), Johannes Vermeer (Girl with a Pearl Earring), and of the likes. As I looked through the list of famous artists and their famous artworks, I started to reminisce of my high school days when my French teacher was in her artistic period and made her students (including myself) to write an essay on these famous paintings (in French!). Flashback to today and I am in awe that so many painters were born in the Netherlands. Who knew, right?

Secondly, when I typed “Dutch creativity” into Google the first thing that popped up was a website that is dedicated to the creative industries of the Netherlands. It claims that, “the Dutch creative industry is currently gaining considerable international acclaim and has particularly strong profiles in interior design, gaming, fashion, and architecture.” So I just had to know what does the Dutch have to offer to the world, and surprisingly, a lot.

For one thing, the Dutch eat, sleep, and breathe creativity and innovation. Believe it or not, the Netherlands is a country of designers and for that; most of the country is a man-made design. Because of its lack of living space (its total area is only 41,543 km2) the Dutch people have to find innovative and clever ways to solve this problem. And as a result, the Dutch architecture industry is one of the most innovative in the world and is renowned for its total approach to urban planning and complex restructuring. Take for example, Rem Koolhaas, who is a famous architect that is well respected in the architecture world. He is the founder of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and has contributed to many projects around the world, such as designing the new building for the Chinese state broadcaster CCTV in Beijing.

Not only is the Netherlands known for its innovating buildings but it is a world leader in the development of new technologies and materials for use in communication system of the future, the most economical and safest aircraft, hybrid and electric cars, generation and storage of solar energy, AND advanced medical devices that can detect and treat diseases earlier and more effectively (wow!).

So what is the secret to all this success? It’s simple. The Netherlands has a high level of education and training. For someone who was born in Indonesia but grew up in America, I know a thing or two about high level of education. Like in America, the Dutch encourage the next generation to become more creative and think outside of the box. They urge their young ones to become whoever and whatever they want to be. Whereas in Indonesia, children, from a young age, were told to only dream about becoming a doctor, an engineer, a businessman, a lawyer, or any career other than the arts. Just think, if only Indonesian parents encourage their children to invest in the arts, Indonesia would become a more flourished country than it is now!

– ditulis oleh Anindayu Rizna Pradetha

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