MARTIN VISSER

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Martin Visser (1922 - 2009) designed sofabed BR 02.7 in the late 1950s, easy chairs SZ 01 and SZ 02, dining chairs SE 05, SE 06 and SE 07 and dining table TE 06.7 in 1960 Martin Visser studied Civil Engineering at Technical School. Later he worked as an architectural draughtsman, designing his first furniture for a friend. He worked in the furniture department in De Bijenkorf, the famed department store in Amsterdam.

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Through his work for De Bijenkorf, Visser came into contact with De Ploeg Weavers and ‘t Spectrum, and was asked by Spectrum to work for them as designer and head of collection in 1954. Since the end of the ‘fifties, Martin Visser’s functional design approach has determined the look of the Spectrum collection. Developments in his furniture designs then ran parallel with the spirit of the collection (settee BR 02.7, armchairs SZ 01 and SZ 02, dining chairs SE 05, SE 06 and SE 07 and table TE 06.7). Visser has a strong preference for craft-built furniture. Many of his designs have an industrial style, but are usually craft made. He also stretches techniques to the limit; he loves to make what is almost impossible! An example of this is that he does not bend the tubing, but cuts and welds it. Honest use of materials, simple construction and absence of decoration give the impression that Visser has a great admiration for Berlage and pre-war functionalism. He loves to make simple furniture using as little material as possible but with the clearest possible shapes. In the ‘60s, his furniture became less austere and looked more solid, with greater volume and comfort. These designs have also become more dated. In the period 1978-1983, Visser was Head Curator of modern art at the Boymans-van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam. After this period, he returned to furniture design. In his latest designs, Visser expresses his conceptions about simplicity and clarity of form. This new work is more baroque than the austere designs with which he made his name. His inspiration now comes more from the art world than that of design. But the constructive aspect remains important; he experiments with new forms and materials, including cardboard and perforated sheet steel. And colour plays a more important role now, under the influence of his wife, Joke van der Heijden. She is responsible for the colour and decorative elements, which highlight the shape and construction. As well as all these activities, Visser is building an important private collection of modern art. Martin Visser’s career was crowned in December 1998 with the oeuvre prize for design.

 
 

Gerrit Rietveld

Gerrit Rietveld

Rietveld, Gerrit Thomas (Utrecht, 24 June 1888-25 June 1964), architect and furniture designer learned the skills of cabinetmaker in the workshop of his father and updated his skills in (drawing) architecture. Because of this he became aquainted with members of “De Stijl”, such as Robert van ’t Hoff, Bart van der Leck and Theo van Doesburg. In 1919 Rietveld established himself as an independant architect and joined “De Stijl”. Rietveld’s funriture designs from this period of time, in the characteristic primary colours (red, yellow, blue) are pure realisations of the point of view of “De Stijl”.

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In 1921 he met the interior architect Truus Schröder-Schräder, for whom he, in close consultation, designed the Schröderhaus in 1924 After the ending of “De Stijl”in 1931, Rietveld encountered difficult times. Because of crisis and war, less was built. In this periode however, Rietveld did make a huge number of furniture designs. In the fifties he got more and more prestigious assignments, such as the realisation of the Dutch Pavilion at the Worldexhibition in Brussels (1958), the Press Room of the Unesco in Paris and he constructed weaving mill “De Ploeg”. Very often he also designed the furniture for his buildings. A significant part of these furniture designs are now part of the collection of Rietveld Originals, which is offered by Spectrum since summer 2014.

 

Studio parade

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Eric Sloot and Paulien Berendsen, both graduated at the Design Academy in Eindhoven, started their designstudio in 1991 by the name of Studio Parade. Studio Parade, established in ’s Hertogenbosch, is a multi disciplinary designstudio and is operating in the way of product design and environmental design. The working area of Studio Parade extends from interiors and furniture to exhibitions, products for public areas, grafic and free projects.

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Since 4 years now, this designers-pair has also put their own furniture collection on the market, named Lente. The most important characteristics which Lente aims for are its own identity and renewal. Of course subjected to functionality, reproducabilaty and quality, which together leads to a strong base. This results into a collection which is not only able to stand on its own but also can be combined with other collections. Because of this the accessibility of the collection is strengthened for using it as well as in private as in public places. Lente furniture is characterized by “streamlined silhouettes” pure created out of the will to design, on one side. On the other side by “ leaving out”, reasons for esthetic, but also from the viewpoint of reproducabilaty. Lente stands for a not conventional and passionate study for the furniture and the search to an own identity. Other realized projects from Studio Parade are f.e.: Streetfurniture ’s Hertogenbosch, interior TBS clinique Wanssum, interior staff-restaurant Hospital Arnhem, interior furniture private individuals (’s Hertogenbosch), collection garden furniture for Valeur, exhibition SMS ’s Hertogenbosch  
www.studioparade.nl

 

Carolina Wilcke

Gerrit Rietveld

Carolina Wilcke’s (1980) interest for all things creative is life-long. Before her initial training as a goldsmith, she wanted to be a sculptor and quotes Brâncuși as one of her influences. In 2009 she graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven, specializing in interior products that are on the edge of art and design. Since then her work has been shown in musea and galleries around the world.

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Carolina’s signature aesthetic was born with the release of her very first installation: the 3 dimensional still life ‘Tafelgenoten‘ which combines several materials and crafts. This photograph of a still-life, showing tableware that is part of the installation, refers to seventeenth century painters, who showed their versatility by painting diverse textures in still-lifes.

Carolina's background as a goldsmith leads to a refinement in her work. Her endless search for the perfect aesthetic proportion and fairness in the design make her designs pure and clear. Through her pieces, she leaves an identifiable signature. "My background as a goldsmith is also visual in the rest of my work, even when I design a big cabinet. Not only in the way I construct it, but also in the details."

 

Chris Slutter

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Chris Slutter (1972) finished his studies at the “Academie Beeldende Kunsten en Vormgeving AKI” (Academy of Plastic Arts and Design AKI) in Enschede in 1997. In the same year he won the “Dutch Furniture prijs”in the category Young Designers with his leaning lamp Lazy. Moreover he got the honourable mention in the category “Industrial Product Quality” 3 Years after graduating Chris Slutter moved to Amsterdam where he started his own Design Studio, where he still works as an independant designer.

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Slutter’s designs are the result of an intensive search for all possibilities of material and techniques of craft work. Because of this a functional, clear basis originates with a high quality and appearance that everyone understands. “People have to understand what I’m doing. My chair is recognized immediately as a chair on which one sits pleasantly”.

www.chrisslutter.nl

 

Constant Nieuwenhuis

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Constant Nieuwenhuys (Amsterdam 1920 – 2005 Utrecht) is one of the most important Dutch artists of the twentieth century. He was one of the founders of Cobra (1948-1951), the international group of artists that initiated a turn in the history of painting after WW II. Beginning of the fifties he started making spacious constructions, an indication of his later urban dvelopment New Babylon. That he also designed furniture in the mid fifties, at request of Spectrum, hardly no one knows.

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As an artist Constant was very much socially involved. Central in his work is the question whether the need to creative expression of individuals can lead to a social revolution. Art is his eyes wasn’t a matter of pure beauty, but an expression of a deep sense of life. To renew himself, Constant was looking for a new abstract imagery. In the fifties he made a large number of constructions that weren’t only meant as independant sculptures but also as architectural scale models. Therefor, besides his brush, also the soldering iron became an important tool. End of the fifties these constructions were incorporated in New Babylon, a design for an imaginary world city of the future. Here mankind wouldn’t have to work anymore and could develop his creativity to the max.

 

Arian Brekveld

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Arian Brekveld graduated in 1995 at the Design Academy Eindhoven. He’s a very “Dutch” designer; his work is both functional and practical, is produced in editions and the design is preferably without to much fuss.

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Material and concept is crucial in Brekvelds’ work, but he finds the reason for his design existance in detailling a product or a specific material. In this way he finds a solution for designing very attractive, functional objects, which at first glance look very simple, and often only after a second look appear to obtain another layer, an added value, which makes the final product extra fascinating. After the process of designing, Brekveld prefers to work with spatial models and prototypes in his own studio in the city of Rotterdam. In this way he finds out how to shape the materials exactly the way he wants them to be. Brekvelds specialty, a combination of ideas, innovative and professional production and a clear, almost sober design, results in a timeless product, the characteristic of most bestsellers. In the mean time there are numerous succesfull Brekveld designs available on the market. He works for principals such as Royal VKB, Royal Delft, Hella Jongerius, Imperfect Design and Droog Design. Brekvelds designs belong to collections of several musea such as the Moma New York, Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam, and the Stedelijk museum Amsterdam.

www.arianbrekveld.com

 

Ruud-Jan Kokke

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The designs of Ruud Jan Kokke (1965, Velp) are characterized by a personal style with eye for detail and functionality. The designs have a highly technical and visual quality with a sober and inventive, playfull character and look for the boundaries of possibilities of the used material. Kokke searches for these possibilities untill he has found a way to show a design that is extremely functional, but also surprises by its'elegance and the almost extreme simplicity. The design has only succeeded when there's a balance between this use of material, design and functionality.

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Ruud-Jan Kokke describes himself as a constructor, with great knowledge of and love for materials and construction techniques. He proves that a clever construction, good knowledge of material and simple geometric basics are a good bases for a new design. Kokke started his own design studio in 1986. He puts a lot of energy in finding solutions that raise the user friendlyness of his furniture designs. Some of his designs are displayed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Museum Boymans van Beuningen (Rotterdam), the City Museum "Stedelijk Museum" in Amsterdam and the "Museum für Angewandte Kunst" in Cologne. His work was rewarded several times, both nationally and internationally, and is published in the highly placed Yearbook 1998. Kokke also aims for architectural and interior projects in f.e. schools and community buildings, as well as projects in public space.

 

Wim Quist

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Wim Quist (1930) designed bench BQ 01 in 1970 Wim Quist completed his studies at the Architectural Academy in Amsterdam in 1960. He then started his own architecture office. From 1968 to 1975 he was Professor of Architecture and City Planning at the Technical High School in Eindhoven.

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For the next five years he was government-appointed architect. He became Professor Emeritus for Architectonic Design at the University of Amsterdam in 1987. Wim Quist first designed furniture for himself while he was still a student. Real affinity with the design of interiors and furniture developed during his work on the extension of the Kroller-Moller Museum. After this, he designed more interiors and furniture, usually in combination with architecture. Some of his best-known furniture was designed between 1982-1984 for the Queen’s office rooms at the Palais Noordeinde in The Hague. Quist considers furniture to be like a small building; both should be useful, efficient and durable, while expressing a neutral character. His designs start with the requirements laid down for the furniture by the client. Quist’s admiration of functionalism, particularly in its Finnish expression, is shown in his designs; the furniture has clear, geometric shapes and straight lines. But Quist has greater freedom than the functionalists, by designing the legs as angled surfaces, for example. He also makes great use of glass and metal. He gives his furniture no decoration , but takes great care with the details, such as the slit in the BQ 01 settee for Spectrum. Quist has mainly designed houses, offices, factories and public buildings, such as libraries and museums. The Kroller-Moller Museum extension (1970-1977) is one of his best-known works. Quist is also a member of various juries for architectural prizes.

 

Paul Linse

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In 2003/2004 Paul Linse (1962) designed the Spock range (armchair, 2-seater, 3-seater and footstool) and the Kit table range. In 1987 Paul Linse graduated with honours from the Design Academy in Eindhoven with a degree in Industrial Design. He has returned there as a lecturer on a regular basis since 1992. After his study Paul Linse started his own company called Linse Interior. Until 1995 he focused on designing interiors, accessories for the Interni Range and furniture.

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His works included interior designs for “de Wereld” in Amsterdam and the Frans Hals Museum. For the latter he received the “Frans Hals Award for Display Design”. Between 1996 and 1999 he was partner and creative director spatial design for design agency Keja Donia. In this position he focused on retail concepts and corporate identities and devised communication concepts for clients including Sarah Lee, Canon, Praxis, Nike Europe and KPN Telecom. His CV also includes exhibition mounting, productions for living and lifestyle magazines, and trend watching for Nederlands Interieur instituut (NII). Working from Studio Linse he now designs interior concepts including the café/restaurant/lounge Vak Zuid at the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium and various projects at Schiphol, including new lounges, as well as Internet areas. From furniture design to spatial design. It is all characteristic of Paul Linse’s broad scope of interest. He sees himself as a generalist. “I believe that interiors require the broadest approach possible. There are no true individual items in space. Everything is related, furniture, shapes, colours and materials – nothing exists just by itself.” He describes his own style as “humanely minimalist”: using monumental shapes to create a sense of intimacy. “Where minimalism is often explained as cold and distant, it can in fact be really warm. Minimalism is based on purity, and in the right balance every item shines.” Paul Linse and Spectrum decided to join efforts at the end of 2002. Linse was appointed external Art Director. In 2003/2004 he designed “Spock”, a series of seating elements, with a matching table range called “Kit”.

 

Benno Premsela

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Designer and interior architect Benno Premsela was a versatile and libertine inventor. Premsela (Amsterdam, 1920-1997) became famous as a stylist with his spectacular window displays fort he Amsterdam warehouse “De Bijenkorf”, and lateron ran a renowned design buro with Jan Vonk which also aimed at textile design. As interior architect and (exhibition-)designer a lot of his work had a temporary character. Luckily he also made a few designs for production on a larger scale. The mirror that he designed for ‘t Spectrum in 1956 is one of them.

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“Interior architecture is a serving profession”, Premsela said about his job. “You have to help people with solving their problems by formulating them clearly” This clearly formulating is also relevant for the consumer articles he made: the by now famous Lotek-lamp, ánd except for the mirror, also a plant-container he made at request of ’t Spectrum. Each of them transparant, no nonsens designs that exceed in sobreness. Designs in which human size is central and which illustrate his ideas about “less is more”.

That Premsela designed some pieces for ’t Spectrum is no surprise after all. He knew Martin Visser, head of design at ’t Spectrum, from his work at the Bijenkorf, where they both worked. And Visser had a nose for attracting talent for ’t Spectrum!