Richard Hutten Creates a New Dutch Design Movement with his Freedom Collection at Milan Design Week

10.04.2019 | By ELENA LONGARI

Creativity means at times being able to convey creativity itself in new ways. A little bit what happened with the case of Virgil Abloh’s musical flair, one that he channels into Louis Vuitton’s new and renovated aesthetic, or some of that Rihanna’s innate sense of style and badass personality that she, too has turned into a makeup line and a sportswear label. Design veteran Richard Hutten with his FREEDOM collection, in collaboration with Carpet Sign is able, for this Milan Design Week 2019, to gather the mindsets and the creativity of nine talents from various and different fields to push the boundaries of production. The collection comprises of 9 rugs and is exhibited at Ventura Centrale.

We spoke to the man behind it, one of the most influential personalities of Dutch Design and founder of design movement Droog Design, Richard Hutten himself and what this project stands for in today and the future’s world of design.

“The briefing to the designers was as simple as it is complex: design a rug within the boundaries of the production, but try at the same time to push the limits of the possibilities. The aim was to create a collection which shows the personal interest and fascination of the designer. In a time where walls are being built, and around the globe people end up in prison for their opinion, it is important to give the designers a platform for their outspoken ideas”.

D360: Can you tell us more about your ‘Rainbow Mountains’ and why you chose the symbol of diversity as the subject for your rug?

Richard Hutten: In a world where things are polarising more and more, and opinions seem only black and white, I want to celebrate diversity trhough my design. I like different flavours, I like people who give color to the world, and I don’t have to be the same as you to like you. In a way the rainbow carpet is a symbol for the whole collection, which is also expressing the very different and very personal view points of their creators

D360: For this project at Carpet Sign you have involved creatives from different fields; is this a format you would like to use in the future, and so, what are your plans?

Richard Hutten: Yes, in line with the diversity I would like to go in this direction more. But the next time I want to involve also creatives from the rest of the world, not only Holland. 


For FREEDOM Hutten has not only involved different Dutch talents, but also different disciplines. Irma Boom is in fact a graphic designer and her Vitruvius is the multi-layered pattern she created to translate the spreads of the books on the Roman architect Vitruvius.

Or the exploration of the use of raw materials in Christien Meindertsma – Flax Fields; she designed herself the flax yarns that later constructed the rug, which becomes a flax field where the material was grown.


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D360: As your name is amongst the founder of Dutch design, what do you think will be next in the movement?

Richard Hutten: The Dutch Design movement, which started with our Droog Design presentation in 1993 is, I believe, the last movement in Design. 1993 was the year the first internet browser was invented. Nobody had a mobile phone. There was no Instagram.  Now things are changed. ideas are posted before they are made. Movements become mainstream before they are movements.

So in my opinion Droog Design – Dutch Design was the last movement in Design. 

Sabine Marcelis – Donuts expresses the geometric and minimal aesthetic of one of the fastest rising young Dutch designers.


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Whilst Atelier van Lieshout – Rats are us is the work of artist and sculptorJoep van Lieshout, a self-portrait expressing in a provocative tone the message of the whole collection of freedom without any boundaries.


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Wim Bos, the in-house designer of Carpet Sign, created the Pagoda, portraying as well as the artistic flair, the production skills of an expert colourist and yarn specialist that he is.


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The QR code is the interpretation of Studio Makkink & Bey – QR of Freedom; Rianne Makkink and Jurgen Bey’s visual language of pixelated furniture is vividly present.

Jolan van der Wiel, who is famous for his works using magnets, signed for Carpet Sign his Tropical Tapestry, talks about global warming and the rise of sea level: as a consequence of climate change Holland will be characterised by tropical temperatures and buildings will leave space to an overgrown vegetation.

Jacop van Rijs for MVRDV with The Puzzle focused on sustainability and in particular on the production process by using leftover yarns from other productions.


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D360: Trying to predict, which one do you think will be the main keyword for this 2019 Milan Design Week? Which direction is design headed to?

Richard Hutten: A key word implies a trend and I’m not interested in trends. But I really hope the key word will be Sustainable. As every human being, designers have the responsibility for the planet, and they can only do so by creating sustainable products. I only design according the principles of the Circular Economy, and in my opinion every designer should be obliged to do so. 

The collection is exhibited at Alcova, Via Popoli Uniti 11, 20125 Milano