2017 is the year that De Stijl celebrates its 100 birthday and therefore we opened this morning the year of Mondriaan to Dutch Design.
De Stijl is an art movement which gained fame far beyond Dutch borders and that still inspires artists and designers today. Brabant left its mark on De Stijl, and in turn De Stijl left its mark on Brabant. One the eve of drawing up his De Stijl manifest, Van Doesburg stayed in Tilburg and there he found supporters for his ideas about how labour and industrial production needed new forms. An exhibition in Helmond looks back on those ideals and focuses on the work by Bart van der Leck. The impressive De Ploeg factory and former weaving mill in Bergeijk is an permanent example of how De Stijl converted their ideals into concrete results. Rietveld's design from 1958 has since gained the status of a national monument and more than have a century later is still a model of pleasurable, quality work environment.
Today, we celebrate the start of a yea full of inspiring exhibitions and events all over our Province and the rest of the country in our own visitor center of De Ploeg. This meeting about 'Design, the power of Brabant' starts with an inspiring session led by Frans van Dooremalen (Brabant C). The rest of the meeting is about the Brabant wide design programme for this theme year. It shows the enormous potential of our region, with Eindhoven as Capital of Dutch Design. Unique design labs, events and museums in the cities of Brabant make this region to a District of Dutch Design. With opportunities for our regional economy, culture and international appeal and how we can further strengthen and redeem this. All in all, an inspiring morning in an inspiring environment.