Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken

Dutch Diplo Talk

Dutch Design & Music

21 May 2015

The opening of the exhibition captured by @edvanderschaft

Zahid Sardar, guest curator of the Museum for Crafts and Design of San Francisco, and already known to us for his books “100 Best Bikes” and “The Dutch Bike,” has established an exhibition called “Hands Off: New Dutch Design at the Confluence of Technology & Craft.” Most of the twenty designers who are part of the exhibit traveled from the Netherlands to San Francisco for the pre-opening, the official opening, and the public opening. The exhibit will stay until September 13. Dutch Design is promoted by companies like KLM and Grolsch beers, as well as our Consulate General representing the Creative Industries Fund of the Netherlands.

The exhibition includes architecture, e-culture and fashion. As I walked around the exhibit, I was touched by the Dutch cross-pollinated  functionality and technology, as well as the humor and sustainable reuse of old materials into innovative new ones. I won’t list all the designers, except one: Marcel Wanders, whose designs have been used in the Consulate General and residence for five years. He recently decided leave the Netherlands to work and live in San Francisco.


Prinses Christina Concert
Another event this week was the performance in the Legion of Honor of Princess Christina Concours Laureates: Sander de Jong (tenor), Svenja Staats (violin) and Florian Verweij (piano), all of whom are between 17 and 21 years old. Their study and career are still ahead of them, but when I hear them play and sing Bach, Schubert, Quilter, Bartok, Gershwin and Kapustin, I can hardly believe my ears. And as always, it is big fun to host them in my house for a couple of days. NAF organized the event, supported by KLM, Rabobank and the Consulate General. After San Francisco, they will perform in Portland and Los Angeles as well.

Sometimes people don’t immediately understand why the Consulate General is active in these fields. The reason is economic diplomacy, our core business. Our job is to bring parties together through events and networks. Business conferences and pitch nights are often the way to achieve our goal. Nevertheless, as long as our business contacts make up more than half of the attendees at Dutch Design and Princess Christina Concours events, I’m convinced this is part of the job, and a pleasant one at that.


This blog was posted earlier in Hugo’s Weekly

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  • 21 May 2015, 10:02
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About the author

Hugo Von Meijenfeldt
Written by Hugo Von Meijenfeldt

Consul-General in San Francisco

Hugo von Meijenfeldt was appointed as representative for the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the 13 westernmost United States in August 2013.

Prior to his current position, Hugo was Deputy Director General at the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. He also served as Special Envoy for Climate Change at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2009 until 2013. In this capacity, he led Dutch participation in global diplomatic activities to reach a climate agreement.

Previously, Hugo was Director for Soil, Water and Rural Environment. For several years he held the position of Deputy Director for International Affairs, Chairman of the Committee on Environmental Policy of UN-ECE Geneva, and Head of the European Policy Division (including the EU Presidency in 1997). From 1982 until 1991, he was Legal Counsel to the soil clean-up division.

Hugo earned his Masters in Public Law and Policy at the Free University in Amsterdam in 1981. He is member of the WorldConnectors and the Sustainability Challenge Foundation.