Different yet similar, they have in common originality, intelligence, and the pleasure of making. Most of all, they share a love for materials and research to develop new production processes as well as concern for environmental and social impact. Each designer has their own individual character and unique ability to turn the imagined into reality. Seven Dutch designers have been selected by an eminent jury to present their ideas in the special section Rising Talents at the next Maison&Objet, from September 8 to 12, 2022 in Paris. All the designers come from top design schools in the Netherlands.
Tradition tells the story of where we come from
A graduate of ArtEZ University of the Arts in Arnhem and nominated by Kiki Van Eijk, Hanna Kooistra starts with typical Dutch objects, offering a response to widespread globalization. For instance, she gives a new interpretation of the classic Dutch “knopstoel” chair, deconstructing it and undoing the cords that hold its parts together to the point of making it foldable so it can be hung on a wall. Her Plakkenpot coffeepots, made of abachi wood, were inspired by a silver model in the Rijksmuseum, but with a redesigned highly stylized shape. Another design she is working on is a folding stool in wood and fabric that draws from traditional Flemish garments (www.hannakooistra.com).
It freezes, melts, breaks into pieces…
They met at ArtEZ University of the Arts in Arnhem and share their attraction to materials that change over time. Chosen by Kiki Van Eijk, Ruben Hoogvliet & Gijs Wouters make their collection of porcelain bowls and candle holders, Gravity, without using molds. They immerse foam structures in liquid clay and hang them to dry before firing them. The two designers are also considering options to replace synthetic foam with a more sustainable alternative. The results are uncommon creations that come out of in-depth experimental investigation that led Wouters to explore the potential of porcelain, such as by mixing it with fabric (www.rubenhoogvliet.nl, www.gijswouters.com).
Where function and art meet
“We can reconsider how we think of plastic. Like ivory, some day it will be banned. We should re-evaluate it as something precious.” Driven by this idea, Théophile Blandet, a graduate from the Design Academy Eindhoven, chosen by Hella Jongerius, has created the PS series, which stands for post-scriptum as well as polystyrene, made entirely with recycled plastic cutouts. His work has been shown at Frieze London, Art Basel, and Fiac Paris and he was awarded a solo exhibition at the Galerie Fons Welters in Amsterdam in 2020 (www.theophileblandet.com).
Shaking things up to get results
“We try to design a different type of product that stands out, but with a minimalist design,” say Steven Visser and Vera Meijwaard, who work for brands such as Pulpo, Moooi, Linteloo and Hermès (for which they have designed a series of display windows). From the ArtEZ University of the Arts in Arnhem, chosen by Ineke Hans, at Maison&Objet they are presenting Gray on Grey, a storage unit made of HIMACS, solid surface material, and inspired by industrial plastic crates (www.vissermeijwaard.nl).
Sustainability and aesthetics
The resin of a particular Asian tree replaces traditional ceramic enamels. Seok-Hyeon Yoon, born in Korea and Dutch by adoption, uses this natural material called “ott” from his country of origin, which has been used to lacquer wood for over 2,000 years. Chosen by Wieki Somers, his Ott/Another Paradigmatic Ceramic project speaks to his industrial design studies at Kookmin University in Seoul before graduating from the Design Academy Eindhoven and the influences of Korean-inspired forms (www.yoonseokhyeon.com).
The potential of waste
“My design always starts with a material that is thrown away or destroyed, something in which I always see a lot of potential,” explains Simone Post. This was the start of Wood Weavings, a series of containers and bowls made of wood and fabric, a reference to the woven baskets she saw in The Gambia. A graduate from the Design Academy Eindhoven, selected by Ineke Hans, Post has already designed many wax prints for the Dutch fabric manufacturer Vlisco and worked with companies such as Adidas and Kvadrat (www.simonepost.nl).
The power of color
Winner of the Rising Talents Awards Craft, Sanne Terweij is also a scuba diving fan and draws inspiration from the colors seen underwater to create wall sculptures made up of hundreds of small rusty, corroded metal rectangles that create fascinating finishes, textures, and hues. Les Ateliers d’Art de France and Crafts Council Nederland selected her and have given her international visibility to expand into global markets (www.sanneterweij.com).