Richard Hutten X BZ 53
“Martin Visser’s furniture pieces are examples of Dutch Design before the term even existed. Brilliant designs that I have nothing but admiration for. The fact that they are still in production says it all, really. Modern, simple, and crafted with attention to detail. My own approach to design is different. For me, details don’t exist – to paraphrase Charles Eames – everything is equally important.
My version of the BZ 53 is a tribute not only to Martin Visser but also to his wife, designer Joke van der Heyden. Joke designed fabrics and furniture – also in collaboration with Martin – and was my favourite teacher at the Design Academy. She stimulated my creativity and pushed me to experiment, giving me the courage to take a step further every time. Nothing was off-limits.
The colour and materials in my design reflect this. I replaced the conventional fabric with tufted carpet in rainbow colours, a technique I have used before in designs for CSrugs. The material is soft, fuzzy – some 2.5 centimetres thick – and an unusual choice for upholstery. This creates a contrast with the sleek form of Visser’s original.
Honestly, this design is also a bit of an ode to Visser’s art collection. Art is hugely important to me. I view my furniture as objects in which the line between art and design is sometimes just irrelevant.”
BZ 53 (1964)
Visser’s BZ 53 is a simpler version of the BR 02. The BZ 53 is smaller (160 instead of 192 cm) and the seat is not only thicker but also non-adjustable, which reduced the amount of steel used in its construction. As a result, the webbed wooden framework could be assembled in-house and then attached to the square tube frame with a few bolts. The BZ 53 remained in production until 1971.
Richard Hutten (1967) graduated from Design Academy Eindhoven in 1991 and opened his own design studio in that same year. Hutten has been involved with design promoter Droog Design since its inception in 1993, making him one of the godfathers of the so-called Dutch Design movement.
He developed into one of the most influential Dutch designers internationally. Hutten has served as the art director of the furniture brand Gispen since 2008.
He is known for his conceptual and playful designs, with an often cheerful feel to them. Hutten’s works have been included in the collections of museums around the world, including MoMA, the Victoria & Albert Museum and Centraal Museum.
More designers of Tribute to Visser
Jan des Bouvrie
& Reinier Bosch
Piet Hein Eek
Kiki van Eijk