As design and creative services are part of the creative industry, most is regulated by the specific top sector policy for the Dutch creative industry (see chapter 3.5.1). The national platform for the creative industry, Het Nieuwe Instituut (The New Institute), also functions as a museum for the design sector. In the Netherlands, the design sector encompasses architecture, design and digital culture. Het Nieuwe Instituut also organises exhibitions, lectures, fellowships and carries out research and development programmes.
In March 2019, Minister Van Engelshoven commissioned Het Nieuwe Instituut to explore important and endangered archives within the design sector. Direct cause for this research is a letter from the Association of Dutch Designers in which they express their concern regarding the current state of design heritage, especially archives. The research by Het Nieuwe Instituut must offer a policy perspective on the government’s task regarding these problems and will be used in formulating the cultural policy objectives for 2021-2024.
To promote Dutch design and fashion, there are several recurring events: for example, the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven (which includes the ceremony of the Dutch Design Awards and is subsidised by the Creative Industries Fund NL), the Amsterdam Fashion Week and the Fashion + Design Festival Arnhem.
In October 2018, the Dutch Council for Culture presented their advisory report Design for the Future (Ontwerp voor de toekomst). The six overarching recommendations for the central government and the design sector itself are:
- Strengthen the existing infrastructure of the design sector.
- Facilitate and fund research related to design.
- Stimulate the flow of new talent.
- Use the potential of the design sector in tackling social issues.
- Ensure better management and preservation of the design heritage (for which the first step has been taken with the commissioned research of Het Nieuwe Instituut).
- Create more opportunities for the internationalisation of designers.
The Council states that a solid foundation for the design sector in cultural policy is desperately needed. The sector should also be given space to experiment, to develop artistically and to strengthen its critical capacity through research and reflection.