Illustration by Wesley de Boer – Photography by Ronald Smits
From varnishing wooden furniture to integrating scratch-proof coatings into metallic finishes, we essentially freeze our objects in time to prevent them from aging. Adrianus Kundert believes richness comes with age and is a natural process which cultivates a design’s true value. Kundert chooses to let gradual erosion become a part of a product’s lifespan, considering wear and tear as a means rather than a misfortune. As an object becomes ‘damaged’ from usage over time, vibrant colours are revealed to create unique patterns. His work patiently waits to change its appearance after repeated contact with people, leaving traces of activity like a trail of fingerprints. To attain his intention, Kundert layers and weaves materials of various fragilities and densities, deliberately leaving edges and surfaces open and vulnerable to deteriorate with dignity.
Aukje Fleur Janssen
Drawing upon a building’s rhythmic patterns – such as the gridded joints within a masonry wall – Aukje Fleur Janssen seeks for the interaction between a form and its residual form. In her multi-material surfaces, a seam acts not only as a binding agent but becomes a defining part of its presence. By using a geometric language, her inlaid surfaces feature seemingly randomized motifs which take on a mosaic-like quality. The composite slabs can be used for a myriad of applications – from decorating floors and walls to working surfaces and countertops – to bring a scaled-down version of architectural building blocks indoors.
Cold, grey, raw and rigid: concrete may be one of the most widely used man-made materials but its implementation often falls short of being inspirational. Concrete can take any shape or form, so why not aim for a softer look and feel? In an attempt to spice-up the mundane image of the stone-like mass that dominates our urban environment, Pol hacks the pouring process by intervening at different stages of building. Through various experiments with pigments, texture and casting, he gives the construction material an aesthetic uplift, envisioning it as a tactile skin for the exterior of buildings or an amiable addition to floors and interior walls. By warming the monumental material for atmospheric purposes, the designer – both literally and figuratively – gives colour to concrete.
Jeroen van de Gruiter
Can shade and shape reinforce each other’s presence? That’s the question Jeroen van de Gruiter sets out to answer with a series of cast objects which marry the two factors in their own way. The triptych’s individual characters emphasize distinctive surface treatments which play with density, proportion and structure. Resin – achromatic and transparent without external input – is used as a carrier for colour, letting the hue and form appear as one. The material’s qualities allow Van de Gruiter to seemingly set colour free in space, giving it a more fluid and unbound appearance.
Robin Pleun Maas
In an attempt to elevate two dimensional surfaces, Robin Pleun utilizes the natural behaviour of materials to create dynamic structures. Multiple textile components are built up and merged using diverse weaving and printing techniques. Her tactile works play with the tension between contrasting materials and colours. The construction methods add depth to the once-flat textiles. When viewers change their position or manipulate the designs with their hands, the interwoven patterns are revealed to encourage continued interaction. Besides its visual appeal, Maas’s Structured Textiles can offer a functional role. With their highly acoustic qualities, they can serve interiors in more than one way.
The experience-driven works of Roel Deden are immersed in the virtual realm. The in-process prototypes of Envisions are Deden’s latest targets, acquiring a digital alter ego in a parallel universe. Wearing a pair of HTC Vive glasses, viewers see the unfinished objects spring to life in unexpected states and applications. Tactile layers of texture envelop the elements as they sway and distort with changing perspectives. Objects can be picked up, viewed and manipulated, offering visitors a glimpse of the possibilities of virtual reality to aid in envisioning a design in real life before it is actually complete.
Structure and construction are equally important in the works of Sanne Schuurman, who’s interests lie in the possibilities of industrial materials beyond their usual applications. In her latest experiments, foam tubing – commonly used to insulate pipes or cushion cribs – is her material of choice. The polyester sleeves are given form with colourful connecting parts for a combination which emanates a presence of playfulness. Schuurman’s graphic compositions can easily transition into a multitude of interior solutions such as room dividers and sound-absorbing wallcoverings. With a lightweight appearance and jovial character, the outcome is a testament to the designer’s intention of challenging known applications of materials, crafts and techniques in order to find new ways of improving our everyday surroundings.
While taking a moment to review her earlier completed projects – which included carpets made from recycled Vlisco fabrics and a knitted plaid for the Textielmuseum – Simone Post noticed a recurring element: a vast ‘melange’ of mismatched colours. The continuity demonstrated a consistent difficulty in previous experiments in determining how colours will mix together and respond to one another, especially when composing woven and knitted fabrics. Proving to be a prominent aspect of her work, she decided to dive in and analyze the subject for her next venture. To take back control of the unpredictable process, she tried innumerable combinations of dyed yarns. The research draws upon the colouration of pointillist paintings by Seurat and Klimmt. By closely monitoring the shades that appear when combining the tinctured strands, she started to compile a personal database for quality control in her future textile designs.
Tactility isn’t usually the first association that jumps to mind when seeing a 3D printed object. Although the printing technology has already infiltrated fashion and design scenes, the outcomes of the process generally pursue a futuristic aesthetic which does not align with daily life. In response, Rudi Boiten and Mireille Burger of Studio Plott set out to add a human touch to the technology’s creations. The duo brings traditional textile-forming techniques – such as stitching, weaving and knitting – into the present-day process by translating them into patterns that can be read by a specially developed printing device. Treating the machine’s thin plastic excrements as yarn, the designers employ 3D printers to craft tactile home textiles with graphic flair. Due to the fabric’s open mesh arrangement, the products dialogue with underlying surfaces, such as floors. The overlapping of different patterns, colours and surfaces lets the innovative textiles become multi-dimensional.
My Grandmother’s Wallpaper
Wesley de Boer
In an age of 3D printing, flat sheets of paper are so passé. So when Wesley de Boer had sections of stripped wallpaper from his grandma’s house, he gave them their second life in the third dimension. Aptly named My Grandmother’s Wallpaper, the project explores another use for the material as a myriad of flower-like creations. Small pieces of paper are criss-crossed to build the intricate objects. The gridded network of light paper leaves behind a matrix of darkened shadows, accentuating their internal depth with optical flair.