Walter Antonis

From an upholsterer to a versatile designer

There is a special story behind designer Walter Antonis. Walter was born in 1943 and, after finishing secondary school, started an administrative job at De Ploeg. This soon turned out not to be for him. Why? He discovered his creative gift. He started studying at the Design Academy and also found a job at ‘t Spectrum as an upholsterer. Once there, he got the chance to work closely with head designer Martin Visser, who eventually became his tutor. Martin Visser encouraged Walter in his awareness of the principles of product design. In addition, he often thought along with Visser and drew designs for him.

‘Product design is part of a process in which function and purpose are central.’

Walter Antonis

After Walter completed his studies at the Design Academy in 1971, he was offered a job as a designer at ‘t Spectrum. Soon he was asked to design an armchair and the SZ 14, a slender yet comfortable armchair upholstered in saddle leather, became a reality.

Besides his work as a designer, he also continued to assist Martin Visser. Visser brought many artists and designers to Bergeijk, which ensured that Walter also connected with art and artists. This not only broadened his knowledge of how to use materials and shapes but also reinforced his vision of timeless and distinctive design.

The SZ 14 armchair by Walter Antonis.

After a reorganisation at Spectrum in 1974, Antonis took over the rights to publish his designs under his management. He started working as a freelancer for several well-known Dutch brands and put his broad experience to use in various creative fields: he was asked to teach at the Art Academy, worked as a graphic designer and designed and built exhibitions, among other things.

To this day, he utilises his expertise as a model maker, illustrator and upholsterer, bringing his models to the aficionado almost entirely in person.

In January 2023, Spectrum relaunched the beautiful SZ 14 armchair into its collection after almost 50 years.

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