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Interview with Ontwerpduo!

Yesterday was a big day here at Craven Maven. Not only did I make my 100th post, but this site had more visitors in one day than ever before! A nice precursor to today’s ‘first’. Two weeks ago I debuted a new blog posting here at CravenMaven about Practical Conceptualism. Concept designs that maybe, just maybe if we changed our perspective could have a very useable application in the ‘real world’. That first post was about the Marbelous Table from the studio of Ontwerpduo in The Netherlands. I am pleased to say that Ontwerpduo was kind enough to answer a few questions for CravenMaven! As this is a special treat this post will stay atop the blog til the end of this week.

A self confessed ‘dreamer and mathematician’ Ontwerpduo graduated but two years ago cum laude from the Design Academy and are now a part of one of my favourite collectives Atelierdorp. Their work is rife with child like whimsy and fantasy, coupled with a sense of order and strong pragmatism.

Ontwerpduo Team
Nathan Wierink and Tineke Beunders

CravenMaven: Can you tell us a little bit about your background? What led you to become designers?

Ontwerpduo: When we were kids, we both liked to make things, to repair things and to draw. Later, around the age of 15 it became a very big hobby, untill we found out that we could also do it as a profession. We still work the way we did, when we were younger. We like to sketch and talk about new ideas, we make scale models, and we avoid computerwork!

CM: What is a typical day for Ontwerpduo?

O: Going crazy in the workshop, which is full of materials, machines and ideas. we experiment a lot. but also in the same day we answer our mail, talk to clients, make furniture.

Studio Space at Atelierdorp

CM: In some of your designs (eg. L-Loop Lamp), you mention ‘The function becomes decoration’. This is an aspect I see in many of your designs, how important is it that your work is functional as well as visually and intellectually stimulating?

O: This is a very important ‘rule’ in our designs. We both like to tell stories and create atmospheres with our work, but we always want the object or piece of furniture to be usable and practical. We are designers, not artists.


CM: There is a keen interest in your pieces for children and adult to interact on the same level – pieces that are playful for kids and aesthetic enough for adults not to want to ‘put them away’. Why is this important to you?

O: For me it is just strange that the world of children and the world of adults are so different, in the way of products, furniture and interior. Because the both worlds often live together. It is more obvious to have a sheared world.

Raster- enables child adult interaction

CM: Do you approach commercial projects with a vastly different mindset than those which are conceptual?

O: No, at least, not in the beginning. In the beginning we have the same process. But mostly, after a while, we have to make a change in the concept, we have to think about for example the transportation of the pieces, the efficiency of using material in mass production, the production costs etc etc.

High Loft Project

CM: How would you describe or classify your style of work? How would you like to see it develop in the future?

O: Functional playful, this is what you will find in most of our objects. We don’t know how it will develop in the future, for us it is most important to keep the level of fun we have in our job every day.

CM: I love love love the Marbelous table! It is such a wonderful and realistic harmony of function and fantasy, will this ever be a commercial product?

O: No, we don’t think this table will be a commercial product in this design. The production costs are to high. But it is possible that a table in a more simple version, but with the same idea will be a commercial product…


CM: This is a foodie blog, so I have to ask – what is your favourite Dutch meal?!

O: The favourite dutch meal of all times: stamppot, in the way my mother makes it!

CM: Thanks so much! I truly appreciate it and look forward to your new work to come!

Check out some more of Ontwerpduo’s work at their site. Special treats are PickNick an especially polite tablecloth and Window Herbs a useful kitchen tool for small spaces.

all images from ontwerpduo


3 Responses

  1. Functional playful-I really like the sound of that and I love their work and designs. Congratulations on your 100th post and getting to share this interview with your readers. It’s a real treat to get into the minds of creative people like Ontwerpduo.

  2. […] and Profiteroles.. Posted on February 26, 2010 by cravenmaven ..I hope you enjoyed the Ontwerpduo interview that has been posted the past couple of days. As for today, its F-F-F-Friday!! While that is […]

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