"The red dot design museum stands for the future": The Dutch Royal Family visits red dot
On 15 April 2011, Her Majesty Queen Beatrix visited the red dot design museum as part of her state visit to Germany. The sun was shining brightly as the Queen arrived at the red dot museum, accompanied by Their Royal Highnesses Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange, and Princess Máxima as well as by Hannelore Kraft, the Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia. The high-profile guests were greeted by the Design Zentrum Executive Board member Vito Orazhem, who guided them through the world’s largest exhibition of contemporary design.
During her visit to the red dot design museum, the Queen of the Netherlands had the opportunity to soak up the stimulating atmosphere in the building, which was once the boiler house of the Zeche Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex and now presents winners of the largest international product design competition. The Queen was particularly impressed by the contrast of old-school industrial architecture and modern design in the “Schürerstand” (stoker’s position), which used to generate the energy to power what is now a UNESCO world heritage site.
The Royal Family then attended the “Bauen am Wasser” (building near water) seminar organized by the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in cooperation with NRW.International. The seminar, which served as an opportunity for German and Dutch experts in architecture and the construction industry to exchange experiences, focused on two questions in particular: What can the Dutch and the Germans learn from each other, and what are the areas in which the two countries can step up their cooperation?
In his lecture, presented in fluent German, on the challenges and opportunities when dealing with water, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander provided an excellent explanation. According to the Crown Prince, the architectural topic of building near water offers many starting points for cooperation across national boundaries and across industries – in particular with the creative industry, which is shaping the structural change in an authoritative and innovative manner. “The red dot design museum here around us, where everything is about applied design, stands for the future.”
Later in the visit to the red dot design museum, Her Majesty Queen Beatrix as well as the Crown Prince, the Princess and the Minister-President were able to see for themselves the excellent economic cooperation between the Netherlands and North Rhine-Westphalia at the special exhibition “Design region NL-NRW”, designed especially for the royal visit. Vito Orazhem guided the guests of honour through the foundation hall of the red dot design museum, where selected pieces from the Netherlands and North-Rhine Westphalia that have won the red dot design award are on show.
Before Their Royal Highnesses bade farewell to Mr. Orazhem and the red dot design museum, they signed the museum’s guestbook, which was placed on a glass table designed by the Dutch manufacturer Ahrend. The special exhibition so well received by the Royal Family will remain on show even after their visit – as a lasting symbol of the excellent cooperation between the Netherlands and North-Rhine Westphalia.