With materials you provoke emotions

On 15 February 2016

The role of contrast

Feeling an object is also done with your eyes. Structure plays a big role. Is something rough of fine, lived through or new. I very much believe in contrast. By combining extremes they strengthen each other. Next to the raw, the polished looks more shining making the raw look rawer. How material comes across is very important, this draws into emotions.

Perception by recognition

If I use an old part, this creates recognition. Even if you don't know exactly what it is. People see something familiar, 'something of an old plane' and this way they make the design feel their own, as if they were involved in the creation. They discover their own story inside which makes it something personal. Perception is essential if you want to lift a piece of furniture to a piece of art.

A design is communication

Reused cannot be called a trend anymore, as common as it is nowadays. But it is about what you reuse. Products are a form of communication, people have to be able to identify themselves in them. You can make a lamp from a roll of toilet paper for example, but what is the story there? I don't sympathise with objects which are just fun or decorative. There needs to be a soul inside and that's something you sense. That is how I developed my own style, by following my own feeling and staying true to it. 

Material with a story

I am always looking for material with a story. From old ramps from WOII I made room dividers. A hellish job to remove all the rusty mud residues. But all of that work was an ode. Those plates have experienced so much, tanks and jeeps drove over them in the heat of battle. The history is touchable. That's what is turning it almost into art.

The soul of an interior

Also when designing interiors I am looking for the story. I listen to the premise itself. Like in my own house, where I adapted the layout to the special construction of beams and not the other way around. A newly built house can be given spirit by the things you put inside. Furniture that moves you has a big impact.

Stef van der Bijl is furniture- and interior designer and co-host of the BNN show 'Oud en Nieuw' (old and new).

 

 

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