How We Work. A book on the avant-garde of Dutch design.

I was excited to come across a new book covering some of the best of the current wave of avant-garde Dutch designers. How We Work by photographer Inga Powilleit and style director Tatjana Quax, is a book that explores the process and work spaces of 15 of the most interesting Dutch design practices including  Formafantasma, Pepe Heykoop, Dirk van der Kooij, Lex Pott, rENs and Scholten & Baijings. With design by studio aandacht the book is as evocative as it is informative.

 A page from the book showing process and finished product of Formfantasma's 'Fin' stool for Moustache.

A page from the book showing process and finished product of Formfantasma's 'Fin' stool for Moustache.

While many of the designers featured in the book have come to my attention over the years - particularly through seeing their work presented at Ventura Lambrate in Milan, several of the fifteen names were new to me. New talent to discover is always a treat but it is the way in which the designer's creative process is revealed that is particularly rewarding as the book takes the reader beyond what is visible through their products to their working environment, design methods and day to day inspirations.

 One of the pages from the Scholten & Baijings chapter showing Carole Baijings with ceramics for Arita1616.

One of the pages from the Scholten & Baijings chapter showing Carole Baijings with ceramics for Arita1616.

Dutch design has been well known for it's originality since the early 90's when Droog presented a new way of looking at design. Since then many names have risen to international acclaim: Marcel Wanders, Bertjan Pot and Maarten Baas, just to name a few. Moooi, founded by Marcel Wanders and business partner, Casper Vissers has also become a well known global brand introducing many people to the joys of Dutch design. Design Academy Eindhoven has also rapidly become regarded as one of the most influential design schools in the world over the last decade or more.

 A page from the chapter on Dirk van der Kooij showing his studio and one of his extruded chairs.

A page from the chapter on Dirk van der Kooij showing his studio and one of his extruded chairs.

The designers presented in How We Work are of a newer generation. These incredibly talented designers and studios are pushing the boundaries of technology, materials and construction methods as well as questioning the accepted aesthetic judgments of the companies that have developed into mega brands that push a company look over a genuine design philosophy. If you are interested in design as an ever evolving art form rather than just a marketable commodity, this book is a wonderful opportunity to discover some of the best practitioners in the world today - it just so happens that they are all Dutch.

 From the chapter on Pepe Heykoop. HIs attic bath and one of his scrap leather clad found object pieces.

From the chapter on Pepe Heykoop. HIs attic bath and one of his scrap leather clad found object pieces.

The 224 page hard back book can be purchased online from the publisher Lecturis for 39.50 euros. While your there you might like to browse through the incredibly inspiring range of books offered by Lecturis covering art, design, photographer and more.

 A page from the chapter on rENs, showing them working on colour tests for their favourite colour: Red.

A page from the chapter on rENs, showing them working on colour tests for their favourite colour: Red.

The book will also be accompanied by an exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum's Hertogenbosch from January 24 to the 26th of May 2015. The exhibition focuses on the various phases of designing, from  research and work process right through to the finished product. Tatjana Quax as guest curator has selected one object from each designer and followed its process and story from beginning to end. 

Fifteen very different products were selected so that visitors are given a wide insight into how each of the designers work and process their creativity into finished products. 

 The cover of the How We Work book by Inga Powilleit and Tatjana Quax, published by Lecturis.

The cover of the How We Work book by Inga Powilleit and Tatjana Quax, published by Lecturis.

Here is a full list of the 15 designers included in How We Work: 

Atelier NL, Pieke Bergmans, Mae Engelgeer, Formafantasma,Pepe Heykoop, Chris Kabel, Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters, Dirk van der Kooij, Joris Laarman, Valentin Loellmann, Christien Meindertsma, Lex Pott, rENs, Daan Roosegaarde, Scholten & Baijings.

 

All photography by Inga Powilleit.