What is the working or living environment like for you? Are there certain objects that you can’t live without?
I am positively not interested in objects. Even, I don’t like to buy things. So I would never be my own client (laughs).
How do you reconcile design with consumerism?
I don’t think it is useful to buy things. What I do think is important, and in the end relates very much to what we do, is that my working environment, as well as where I live, my personal environment – I really like to be in an environment that makes me happy. I doesn’t mean it has to be designed, it doesn’t mean anything, for me, I like very much when it is chaotic. When there is a huge amount of processes going on, so you can’t see in one glance what is happening, and there is a lot of visual complication. So I like it when it is chaos, which is the opposite to most people, but actually that is what I have created here, a sort of chaos, but also with a huge amount of possibilities, processes, skills and opportunities. This variety always gives inspiration, so for me that is an important part. Then I like very much the team and the people that I work with, it is extremely important to have a stimulating environment in terms of the people you work with, friends and family. All the people you are with, it is important that they are a positive part of your life. For me, those are much more important aspects. In the end, furniture or design, what I try to do, is part of this environment, and if it is well done, it makes you feel happy.
This is not always what people see as the most characteristic thing of design. Often it is newness, or if it is minimalistic, or very baroque – you look at it, the visual aspect of it, because you could say minimalism could also be just the way it is produced. If somebody calls something minimalistic design, it means that it appears as if it is a really simple product, it doesn’t mean that it is simply made. It can be very complicated to make, and still be minimalistic design. So, it’s all visual. And for me, the feeling behind the product, and the way you relate to it, in terms of what you know, and what you enjoyed in the past, and which objects, colours, materials you actually felt as being nice and rewarding and warm, or cold – for me this aspect of feeling in furniture is much more important. I want to make objects which feel natural, like they are the outcome of a natural process, which is not like thought of. Like it is meant to be like that – wood should be used as wood, fabric as fabric, and they come together in a natural way. Which very much relates to our historical feeling about them. If you have seen thousands of products, you have a memory in it, and I would like to refer to what people feel comfortable with in terms of visual aspects. That is very much to do with technique also, you use the materials, you implement all the different parts into one design. So new for me is not interesting. As soon as you think about something, it becomes new, whether you like it or not, but it doesn’t have to be new, I don’t mind. A lot of principles which are normal in the design scene, I don’t value for myself. I don’t say it is wrong or bad, but just not of value for me.
A lot of people share your feeling for that. I think a lot of people are turned off by many aspects of contemporary design.