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Den Haag aims to be European cultural capital

A new creative initiative 'Design Den Haag' puts the political capital of The Netherlands, Den Haag (The Hague) in the race to be crowned Cultural Capital of Europe in 2018.

By Editor Design.nl / 18-12-2008

Many don't associate The Hague with design but a new initiative aims to change that. Watch out Eindhoven and Amsterdam.

This week, a new event was launched which aims to put The Hague smack bang in the middle of the Dutch and European design map. 'Design Den Haag' sees the beginning of a cultural program that will take over the city in the realm of design, visual communication and architecture. Starting Spring 2010, a total of five public happenings, one every other year, will be organised featuring exhibitions, publications, lectures and debates, workshops and documentaries.

Each edition features a collaboration between The Hague and another European government city: Berlin, Rome, Paris, London and Stockholm. The results will be evaluated and discussed per edition, and presented in a report to the European Union at the end of 2018. The report will include recommendations about the expenditure of government funds towards developing the quality of design, visual communication and architecture.

The concept for 'Design Den Haag 2010-2018' was initiated and developed by designer Ed Annink (Ontwerpwerk) at the request of the Municipality of The Hague. Annink will also be the director for the first edition, a collaboration between Berlin and The Hague which will take place in Spring 2010. The Chairman of the Board of 'Design Den Haag 2010-2018' is Ms. Liesbeth in ‘t Hout, director of the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. The programme will be presented in mid 2009.

The competition from European and Dutch cities for the 2018 title is tough, with Utrecht, Maastricht and Hanzesteden/Brabantstad also in the running for the cultural capital title.

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