False Flat: Why Dutch Design is so Good

False Flat: Why Dutch Design is so Good

False Flat documents the vitality of the current design scene in The Netherlands, one of today’s most important centres of innovation and experimentation in architecture, urban planning, industrial design, and graphic design.

Contemporary Dutch designers artfully recast and reinterpret known forms and modernist archetypes through technological know-how, creativity, and wit. The authors compare this transformation to the “false flat” of the subtly sloping Dutch landscape – the product of centuries of reclaiming territory from the waters of the North Sea and the Rhine.

Written by Aaron Betsky with Adam Eeuwens and designed by acclaimed Dutch graphic artist Irma Boom, False Flat brings to life the dynamism, diversity, and underlying structures of unique and prolific design culture.




  • ‘Provides a long-awaited map for why Dutch design is once again so good.’ (Blueprint)
  • ‘Saturated with eloquent enthusiasm…reflects the author’s intimate knowledge of Dutch society and culture.’ (Christophe Grafe, Building Design)
  • ‘Sets out to explain our love affair with all things Dutch and design-related…with a great deal of panache…There’s plenty to get your teeth into…thorough, well-researched and it looks good.’ (Grafik (formerly Graphics International))
  • ‘Cleverly put together by Irma Boom…dominated by outlandish ideas and witty creations.’ (Creative Review)
  • ‘The main text , by Aaron Betsky…is one of the most perceptive and enjoyable pieces of longer writing about design I have read for some time.’ (Rick Poyner, Icon)
  • ‘Artfully wrought…Dynamic and vital it all undoubtedly is, served up on modish pages designed by Irma Boom…stunning examples of top-drawer contextual architecture.’ (Architect’s Journal)
  • ‘An excellent guide to one of the design world’s hottest countries.’ (V&A magazine)