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Many young designers mainly rely on nature. They experiment uninhibitedly with unusual materials such as algae, cow stomachs and waste. And let nature do the work itself as much as possible. The result is a new aesthetic. 3 up-and-coming designers.Text: Peter van Kester
Online editing: Mical Joseph


“Although electricity has become an integral part of society, it is usually hidden away in interiors and appliances. While technology can be so beautiful!”, say Esther Jongsma (1990) and Sam van Gurp (1990) of Studio VANTOT. In their VVV lamps they do not hide the light source and electrical cables, but show their beauty. Because they use low-voltage LEDs, the cables are barely live and you can touch them. This gives them freedom of combination and thus their almost poetic 'light curtains' were created. This approach also returns in their hand-blown Limpid Lights. The user dims the lamp by pulling the light source behind the sandblasted part of the fixture. Manually, it could hardly be simpler. Inspired by sunlight that changes through passing clouds.

Limpid Light | © Ronald Smits

Tourist office, lamp | © Ronald Smits

Daan Brouwer

The silver by Daan Brouwer (1978) looks organic and flowing. Yet he usually works with geometric shapes.
In Pas de Deux, for example, these are stacked hexagons. The connecting ribs are twisted, which increases dynamics and reflection. An extra reason to make the design in silver. The candlesticks appear different, but are identical. The undulating surfaces create a dancing interaction, enhanced by the candlelight. In the Transition cup vases, polygons merge into each other: a pentagon turns into a five-pointed star, a hexagon becomes a triangle and an octagon transforms into a cross shape. Together they form a triptych. Brouwer edits his sketches on the computer. He forges his pieces using age-old techniques, supplemented with modern processes such as 3D printing and spot welding. It gives his work a contemporary richness of form that was previously impossible.Transition | © Daan Brouwer

Lilian van Daal

Nature is an inexhaustible source for Lilian van Daal (1988). She imitates the skeletal structure of single-celled organisms, for example, via 3D printing. This way she can adjust the structure of a material and realize different functions in it while printing. She printed her Radolaria #1 armchair exclusively in polyamide in collaboration with Oceanz 3D. It springs as comfortably as a traditional piece of furniture, but uses no wood, fabric, foam, screws or glue. This saves material and labor time. Shapes of Sweden is also inspired by nature. In this project, Van Daal investigated whether she could print pine resin in order to use the resilience and stability of this abundant material in Sweden in her car seat. She won the Volvo Design Challenge 2015 with it.

Shapes of Sweden | © Lisa Klappe

Radolaria #1 | © Lonneke van der Palen