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New in the House: Form&Seek Collective

Meet Form&Seek

Meet Golnar, Ruben and Bilge. They are 3 designers and good friends, and are initiators of Form&Seek. Form&Seek is a young collective of designers and right this moment they are presenting their work at the London Design Festival. We think Golnar, Ruben and Bilge have a very exciting story to share. Have a nice read!

FS_GroupPortrait_BWFLTR: Ruben, Bilge and Golnar

INTERVIEW

What is Form&Seek?

We are a dynamic collective of young designers. We gather designers who are interested in both the functional and poetic appeal of design and believe that objects have the power to communicate meaningful messages and new ways of looking at the world. By placing our work within the familiar framework of everyday life, we aim to innovate and provoke discussion.

 

 

Why did you start Form&Seek? 

We started Form&Seek in 2013 with a group of friends in London as a platform to show our work to the world and give creative talents the opportunity to do this. It is difficult for young designers to bare the cost of exhibiting and international design shows. We wanted to have this opportunity through sharing the costs and responsibilities in order to have our own shows. Through Form&Seek we are constantly creating an ever-evolving network of designers who are challenging design and looking at it from diverse perspectives. It allows us to have a place in the design through creating a context and environment of our own.

If you can define From&Seek in one word, what would it be?

FRESH – Form&Seek gathers the newest and freshest ideas together.

How many designers are part of Form&Seek?

It varies, we started with just 9 designers when we first showed in Istanbul Design Week in 2013. This year in London Design Festival we have 30 designers showing with us. Since 2013 we have created shows with 72 different talented designers.

How do you select designers to be part?

Form&Seek is by invitation only. We look at what sort of work the designers are doing and think about the process behind the work. If we find the process and material interesting and if the work fits the show theme we will invite them.

At this moment you are exhibiting at London Design Festival, what is the show all about?

We have two shows at London Design Festival. The show in Boxpark is based on the concept de-construct/re-construct. The work we have selected for the show play with this idea through the process involved in making the work. Here all the work on exhibition will be available to purchase as well, which is very exciting for anyone wanting new and unique design pieces. Our second show based on the same theme will be held at London Design Fair in the Truman Brewery. Both are within the Shoreditch Design Triangle.

What can we expect to see from Fom&Seek in the near future? 

Each year we are growing larger. We started with 9 designers and now we have tripled the amount of work and space needed. We have big plans for Milan Design Week now. We are now working on taking Form&Seek further from a collective of exhibitors making their own work to a brand which will hopefully be able to take on a collection of objects to produce under the F&S label. We would also like to have opportunities to curate other shows and spaces.

SHORT AND PERSONAL QUESTIONS

What is your best quality as a designer and what would you like to improve?  

  • Golnar: I feel I am open minded and don’t dismiss anything as impossible. I’d like to be able to turn more ideas into a reality.
  • Ruben: I am quite versatile and comfortable in different disciplines. I would like to improve my leadership skills as we are starting to grow as a studio.
  • Bilge: As designers we should be able to understand and create new human behaviors and habits. This all leads to stories that design objects tell and the user feel that they are part of the story. I believe in my work I am able to tell good stories. In the near future I would like to work with different mediums and scales to challenge myself.

What is the best part of being a designer in this decade?

  • Golnar: connection to the whole world. I love that we can travel the world doing what we do. Meet people from other cultures and influence and inspire one another.
  • Ruben: You have the freedom to build a company and do many things yourself that used to be very difficult to be done.
  • Bilge: I believe we live in an era that people understands and values design which i feel very lucky.

What are your biggest struggles as a designer?  

  • Golnar: keeping up
  • Ruben: To know when to stop and to know when to push something further.
  • Bilge: Designing process is always an emotional roller coaster, it actually doesn’t happen overnight. As a designer i need to play with the material understand the processes to be able to design. Since the craftsmanship slowly leaving the cities it is getting harder to be part of new craft techniques.

If the sky is the limit, where would you be in 10 years from now?

  • Golnar: Living a nomadic, creative life between continents.
  • Ruben: I would like to have a hub where design, art, music, food and theatre come together.
  • Bilge: In 10 year i would live in London and have a huge airy studio in a very green neighbourhood where i can make a big mess:).

The person I admire most in the whole world is…

  • Golnar: my parents
  • Ruben: Nelson Mandela
  • Bilge: Vincent Van Gogh

My favorite music artist or band is…

  • Golnar: I really like Joan Armatrading
  • Ruben: Mos Def
  • Bilge:

The most important thing in my life is…

  • Golnar: Love
  • Ruben: Golnar
  • Bilge: Family

My guilty pleasure is…

  • Golnar: Catching up on sleep
  • Ruben: Red Wine and cheese
  • Bilge: Chocolate

If I could have a super power it would be…

  • Golnar: teleport from Europe to Australia and back
  • Ruben: Flying
  • Bilge: Flicking my finger and getting what I want

My favorite city in the world is…

  • Golnar: Amsterdam
  • Ruben: London
  • Bilge: London so far but I need to see much more in the world to answer this, so ask me in 10 years

 

DISCOVER THEIR PRODUCTS

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Studio Hamerhaai. Exclusive Interview with Niki & Boudewijn

Rijkswachters

Studio Hamerhaai, located in Haarlem, Netherlands, was created by couple Niki Schoondergang and Boudewijn Van Den Bosch. Their love for wood with a life drove them to create the now famous Rijkswachters, design robots made from wooden crates in which the works of art of the Dutch Rijksmuseum were kept during the decade the museum was under construction.

They’re smart, they’re fun and they’re great! Read our exclusive interview with Niki and Boudewijn, and find out more about them and the story behind the Rijkswachters.

(Make sure to visit their STORE on CROWDYHOUSE)

About Niki and Boudewijn

Boudewijn, 40, graduated from university with a degree on Chemistry. However, he pursued a career as a sound engineer and director in TV. He also had a passion for designing and making furniture, which started as a hobby, but then became his full-time profession.

Niki, 32, followed a career in the world of theatre and TV. She was a freelance producer and researcher, as well as organizing corporate events and teaching event management at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Utrecht.

They met in 2003, both working in TV, and fell in love. After Niki started helping Boudewijn with new designs, sales and finances, they soon decided to focus full-time on their design projects, which is when Studio Hamerhaai was born.

About their work 

hamerhaai3

 Tell us about the story behind the Rijkswachters, how did you come up with the idea?

In general, we use a lot of transportation crates for our designs. We love them because they have cool prints on them (text as “this side up,” “handle with care,” arrows, glasses of wine, umbrellas, etc.), and the wood is of good quality (because they ship across the world, so it has to protect the pieces). At one point we realized that we needed more crates to meet the demand for our designs. But who in the Netherlands had more of those transportation boxes?

Boudewijn had a brainwave. In that period the Rijksmuseum was under construction, and all those artworks should had been stored somewhere, which would have probably been boxes, right? Bingo! We were a bit too early (about 2 years) but the summer the Rijksmuseum opened, we were able to pick up the boxes with a truck (or 4 🙂 ).

Those boxes had been in the depot for more than 10 years and we discovered there was an accurate administration to manage which piece of art was in which box. It really made sense to have such an administration because ALL the art of the Rijksmuseum was stored. That’s 1 million pieces of art!

The people working at the depot had cared for them with so much love, it was really great to see. And they were very happy their waste could get a second life. So we combined the boxes (and their accurate administration) with our love for robots, and we designed the Rijkswachters. 

hamerhaai5

How has people reacted to the story behind the Rijkswachters?

We really loved the Rijkswachters, so we put it in the open. The response was (and still is) really great! People really like the robots and love the idea of retracing the origin of the material.

It first was a side project, but it has taken over our business :-)! It’s now the foundation of our studio and gives us room to design and prototype our other ideas. And yes, we still have many boxes left and yes, we still enjoy making robots!

 You are both life partners and business partners, how is that like? What are the good things and challenges of working and living together?

Our private and business lives are totally intertwined. We are our own bosses and we love what we do. We work hard, but try to have as much family-time together as possible. (So yes, we stop working at times, but when the children are asleep we’ll work again!) It has its perks, but also its downsides. For example, you can’t really complain to your spouse about the discussion you had with your colleague at work because it’s the same person! Ha! 😉

What is Niki’s strength? What is Boudewijn’s strength? Do you think you complement each other as a couple and working partners?

Boudewijn is full of ideas. He always sees the possibilities of a situation and manages to make something out of (almost) nothing. Niki is an organizer and loves telling stories, no matter which medium. She’s very precise and uses her helicopter view to keep the studio on track.

So yeah, you could say we complement each other!

 How is it like being a mother/father and a designer? What are the perks and challenges?

Our eldest was so proud her father came to her school to make some market stalls for the school. The whole class helped, using real screwdrivers and hammers. Talk of the day! I think we face all of the challenges balancing work and a family as any parent. We’re so lucky to have their grandparents nearby, and they understand the challenges (being freelancers in the arts themselves).

What is the most fulfilling aspect of being a designer for you?

It’s still so cool to make stuff you love, and other people like it so much they want to give you their hard earned money. It makes us proud.

What is your favourite part of your job?

Creating every day.

What is your least favourite part?

The noise in our workshop!


Quick Q&A  with Niki and Boudewijn

If I could choose one thing to take to a desert Island I would take…

The Avalanches with “Since I Left You”

I can’t start my day without…

COFFEE!

If money and time were not a problem I would go to…

Buy land close to the city, where we could live, have a spacious garden with a kitchen garden (moestuin) and have a workshop, workspaces for other makers and a gallery (yeah, even more entwined business and private lives!)

When I am not working I love to… 

Boudewijn: listen to music and go to concerts

Niki: sew my own clothes

If I could have a super power, it would be… 

Boudewijn: No more needing to sleep (you have twice as much time!)

Niki: I would love to fly. (but first I should overcome my fear of heights ;-))

DISCOVER STUDIO HAMERHAII ON CROWDYHOUSEStudio Hamerhaai

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Exclusive Interview with Dora Kloppenburg

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Exclusive interview with Dora Kloppenburg

Dora Kloppenburg is a Dutch designer located in Utrecht. Following her childhood dream of becoming a designer, she launched her own brand Dora in 2013 specializing in shoes and accessories.

Dora Kloppenburg is mostly inspired by the Russian constructivism in art and architecture. She cares deeply about the quality of her designs, as well as knowing her raw materials are produced in the right working conditions, in the most sustainable way possible. Her work is simple and clean, with special details that make it unique.

CROWDYHOUSE had the opportunity to sit with Dora Kloppenburg and talk about her story, the meaning behind her work, and the unique way in which she designs her products.

Make sure to visit her store on CROWDYHOUSE

 

­­About Dora Kloppenburg

Dora Kloppenburg

 
Where did you study?

I started at the Technical School for Pattern and Fashion Design, and after that I studied fashion and textile at the KABK (Royal Academy of Art) in The Hague. Later on I switched to product design at the HKU (Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht), where I specialized in designing and making shoes.

 

What does a typical working day involve for you?

 
Every day is different. My day usually depends on the orders, the events or the trademarks I have. Some days are mostly about emailing and ordering materials. Other days I produce new stock, and others I work on research for new products.

Dora Kloppenburg working in her studio
Dora Kloppenburg working in her studio

 

How did you get to where you are today?

I always wanted to be a fashion designer as a kid, that is why I started studying fashion. But later on I wanted to learn to work with different materials, so switched to product design. Now I mostly design fashion accessories. I think this is a great combination of both: drawing patterns, stitch the leather, and sew and sandpaper all the wooden parts.

 

Where are you based and why? What do you love about it?

I am living in Utrecht for one year now. I lived in The Hague for eight years, but I wanted a change so I moved to Utrecht. I love that it is a really young city with a lot of creativity.

 

Dora’s creation process

Dora, the brand
Dora, the brand

 

Can you tell us a little bit about how you started Dora?

After my graduation I worked at a textile design studio called Tas-ka, as a designer and product developer, and learned a lot about having your own business. I was really curious about that, so I started my own brand.

I think it took me half a year to create a saleable collection, which was a big step for me, because I mostly created conceptual designs. The BLOCKS collection (see 4 Block Necklace Zebrano) was my first wearable set of designs. I presented the BLOCKS (see Block Hairband Beech) collection on the Dutch Design Week and from then on I got different selling points for my products.

 

What has been the most exciting thing that has happened so far?

All the adventures it brings me. My exhibitions on the Dutch Design Week, my show on the Amsterdam Fashion Week, and one of the most special things was a big exhibition in a huge museum in Leipzig where my work was the opening of the exhibition.

 

What is the worst thing that has happened?

All the financial things that come with having your own business.

 

Could you tell us a little bit about the process involved in designing Dora products?

I do a lot of research in the library. I like to be there and find beautiful books about new artists.  After collecting new inspiration I start to translate this into form and colour studies. I almost never sketch; I like to make 3D models. I have boxes full of old models in my studio.

 

Do you have a favourite part of the design process?

Yes! Making the models and translating all the ideas in my head to a 3D model.

 

What is the most painstaking part of the process?

If it is a product that should be for sale in stores, you have to think about what is realistic. How much can the material cost, how much time do I spend on it… I like that challenge; but sometimes it is also great to make free, autonomous work, where you don’t have to think about what is realistic.

 

How long does the process of hand-making a wallet take?

I think a wallet takes me an hour. From cutting the leather to sewing the model.

 

Who, where & what inspires you?

For my graduation shoe-collection ‘REMOTION,’ I used the Russian constructivism in art and architecture as a starting point.  I researched constructions that are driven by mankind, just as Oskar Schlemmer did in his ‘Triadisch Ballet.’ The shoe-collection is a series of constructions that show the movement of the feet and use man as a machine to drive the construction.

From this collection on, my biggest fascinations are construction and structures that can be changed by the user, but in a smaller, simpler way. You can also see that in the jewellery and leather goods that I make.

The series BLOCKS is a jewellery collection inspired by wooden play blocks. The user can explore the different possibilities of the jewellery and play with the blocks. The jewellery is handmade in the Netherlands, made out of residual wood from the shipbuilding. Different woods are used such as walnut, mahogany and beech.

The series FOLD is a leather goods collection. This collection plays with the in and outside of the products. What happens on the inside becomes visible on the outside in colour and form. The wallets, cardholders, key chains and bags are all handmade in the Netherlands.

 

Do you use sustainable or recycled materials?

Yes, I do! Every product is handmade in the Netherlands from residual wood and eco-leather from a small tannery in Germany.

 

Why is this important to you?

I think it is really important to know where the products you buy come from; if it is made in a good working condition, if the materials that are used are as environmentally friendly as possible, etc. I also think that you will get a better quality product if you do this, and it is really worth spending your money on.

 

Do you make all the products by hand? If so, why is this important?

Yes, I do. It is important because I like to know if every product is made the right way and if the quality is good enough to be sold.

Dora Kloppenburg making the squares for the BLOCKS collection
Dora Kloppenburg making the squares for the BLOCKS collection


Where do you source the raw materials?

The leather is from a small tannery in Germany, and for the wood I work together with a woodworker to use his residual wood for the jewellery.

 

What are your plans going forward; do you have any exciting new products or ideas in the pipeline?

I would like to work on an affordable shoe collection. Also, I would like to produce some of my products in a nice factory, with good circumstances.

 

Quick Q&A with Dora Kloppenburg

If I could choose one thing to take to a desert island I would take…. My notebook. Then I would have all the time in the world to think about new ideas

I can’t start my day without… a good breakfast. I love eating!!

If money and time were not a problem I would go to…. a year trip with our new camper driving to Morocco and further.    

When I am not working I love to… sleep, eat, chat.      

If I could have a super power it would be… to never be tired.

Dora Kloppenburg working in her studio
Dora Kloppenburg working in her studio

 

Visit Dora store on CROWDYHOUSE

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Studio Oddness. Exclusive Interview on Bubblegraphy

Studio Oddness is a design label recently founded by Adrianus Kundert and Thomas van der Sman at the Design Academy in Eindhoven.

Their original series of vases, called Bubblegraphy, gained international recognition after it was presented at the Dutch Design Week in 2015.

CROWDYHOUSE met with the designers and talked about the concept behind their mesmerizing designs and bold ideas for the upcoming projects.

 

Adrianus and Thomas literally had their hands in the clay when they first met.

The two young and ambitious designers met randomly while working on their own projects and decided to collaborate.

With their passion for original designs and fascination for the odd, Studio Oddness was born. Powered by unpredictability and disorder, the studio created their first series of vases, the Bubblegraphy.

 

The production way of the vases is inspired by the random odd.

After the vases are shaped into 6 different forms, a soap layer is applied, using the special designer’s technique. Air is then blown into the glaze, creating an extraordinary pattern of playful bubbles on the exterior of the vase.

 

Studio Oddness: “We can’t fully control the design, but we also let it be random. It’s important for us to be connected to the vases. We need to be the ones who make the final pattern on the shape.”

 

How did you start to design and what is your personal background to become a designer?

Adrianus: We both started at the Design Academy Eindhoven. I just graduated, what I mainly do now is material development in combination with shape studies. So I combine shape and material together, but the material is always the selling point.

Thomas: I can agree with that, the material is the base of my work. I’m always interested in pushing the boundaries of the material and finding the quality of one material and then, if possible, finding a connection to a production technique. Sometimes I also find out that this specific material quality is not able to be translated towards production technique but then another quality emerges…

 

How did it come that you work together?

Thomas: The original story is quite funny. Adrianus was working on his vases. Correct me if I’m wrong Adrianus.

Adrianus: I was working on this project which I didn’t really finish. I made ceramics when I met Thomas, we basically had our hands in the clay when we met.

Thomas: Yes, we were doing our thing. He was working on his vases when I approached him. We met each other before, I recognized his face from somewhere. We started talking about his vases and then something was missing and he pointed at a cabinet we have in our school, where we have some student works exhibited. Adrianus said that he really liked the bubble structure from one piece which was on display there and then I said that it was mine. The next week he had some samples and I came with my ingredients and we developed this whole series of vases together.

 

So you had the idea with the bubbles and you the shapes?

Thomas: It started out of us both having our part.

Adrianus: I think when we developed later on I was mainly in charge of the aesthetic side like shaping, visuals and photography. Thomas is much better in the processing side of it, like the process of ceramics and others… Thomas is much more experienced.

Thomas: In a way we are really different, but that actually helped us to become a good team. We also didn’t know each other very well. So maybe just because of that it was really just about our subject, this made us a really focused team.

 

What other projects did you work on your own before?

Adrianus: What we are both interested in is the nature, when you have a very random and natural appearance. We are both fascinated with amorph structures that is a bit random but that’s not expected in the design world. It is always my experience that it is not expected to do random stuff. It’s not designed, what you do here is bringing these two components together and making a random structure with the bubbles and bring them into a clear shape.

Thomas: It actually amplifies the random by bringing it in a frame, that was our aim. Getting this random into a more acceptable frame.

 

What makes you a good design team? The differences?

Thomas: It can not only be the differences. A lot of people have differences but they still can’t work together. We also have to appreciate something from the other, we have to look up to the other certain, in both ways.

Adrianus: Respect, you can trust someone doing something.

Thomas: I also remember from the more critical times, the more tense periods, we could really easily choose something. We didn’t hold on too hard on our own ideas. We were open to the other’s ideas. If there was a fifty­fifty situation, we just hit it. Very intuitive at some moments and this intuitive feeling is also something that connects.

 

How do you produce the vases?

Thomas: At the moment we are producing them on ourselves, everything actually. Because it’s important for us to be connected to the vases. We need to be the ones who make the final pattern on the shape. We also don’t allow anyone else to know how to do it. In Rotterdam we are looking for ways to make it easier for ourselves to partially produce our vases in a factory, and the last steps are still done by us. We want to have this last touch.

Adrianus: Basically we already designed the shape of the vases so it can be made by someone else. There is no creativity in the production. We’re the last step of the process, we can’t give it out of our hands because we like to influence and experiment with new styles. What we are trying to do now is to look if we can produce it, that we get something like a blank which would save us a lot of time. So we can then focus on a new product which we would like to do.

 

Due to the bubbles every vase has a unique design?

Thomas: Yes. Random design. We can’t control it but we also let it be the random. We found our ways to apply it and actually write with the bubbles, but they have their own ways.

Adrianus: We don’t just put it on, we still look for how to write with them.

 

How did you get the name for your collaboration?

Thomas: The combined fascination for the odd. I think the vases are the frame and the bubbles are the odd.

Adrianus: I think it’s a bit odd. Because we applied randomness to it and that is not really used in the design world.

 

Do you have any future product or how do you want to continue with the vases?

Adrianus: The vases are going to stand for themselves. We’re not going to continue with the same technique. We are going to find a new material with a new technique and with similar

qualities. This all very unclear, we have some stuff floating around. We have not started working yet. If we do something new, it could very likely be out of wood.

 

The designers agree that applying a personal touch to their products is a necessity, putting an emphasis on the unique design and quality of their vases. In the future Studio Oddness aspires to experiment with different extraordinary production techniques and unpredictable materials, creating random structures with unusual components.

 

Check out Studio Oddness shop here.

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TWO-O. Exclusive Interview with Bob and Rodny

Amsterdam Wooden Map

Studio TWO-O, a Dutch design label launched in 2011 by Rodny Heemskerk and Bob Koning combines creativity with best craftsmanship, creating the world of modern and natural designs. CROWDYHOUSE met with the designers and talked about the core concept behind their work, their commitment to craftsmanship and going against the grain.

With their hands-on mentality and a critical eye for detail, TWO-O aims to raise consumer awareness through the development of sustainable products. Choosing Mother Nature as their starting point, TWO-O inspires with their green choices, constantly exploring the abilities of wood and searching for new inspirations, shapes and sustainable designs.

Read our exclusive interview with TWO-O and discover the story behind their eco-conscious designs.

 

(Visit TWO-O’s shop on CROWDYHOUSE)

 

Exclusive interview with Bob and Rodny from TWO-O

 

Where did you study? What did you study?

Bob: I studied Business Studies in Amsterdam Rodny graduated in Industrial & Product Design at The Hague University.

TWO-O design wooden accessories
Bob in his Design Studio in Amsterdam

 

How did you guys meet?

Bob: We met each other because we joined the same fraternity during our study and we did the same side jobs, bartending and a sales job for a real estate project developer. We became friends and we shared a passion for entrepreneurship and design.                                                               

 

Do you think the friendship between you two is key to your success?

Friendship was the basis to start the company and at the end also the success.

However, the key to our success was to get the right amount of people behind our brand. It’s not only our co-workers but also our investors and friends who made TWO-O successful.

 

Why are you based in Amsterdam? Why NDSM specifically?      

We started at our own house. When we had the chance to move to a bigger workshop and office we moved to the NDSM because we found a good spot. The NDSM is an inspirational and creative place to work.

 

Ij-Hallen
Ij-Hallen

 

Quoting Bob: “An idea is worthless until it is successful “. Have you ever abandoned a great idea? If so, are you thinking of going back to develop it and make a success of it? What is your dream project?

Yes, we did. We designed a really great foldable table last year, presented it but did not had the time to put it into the market properly. We dream everyday about new projects but right now we don’t have one dream project.

 

Have you always been creative? When did you discover your passion for crafting/product designing?       

We were both interested in craftsmanship and we always were curious for new design and new products. Rodny had the technical skills and I had the ideas. This combination made it to creative thinking. The bike crate, our first project, is a good example.

 

What were you up to before you started TWO-O?

We where both ending our study and working as salesmen for the same company. During the short breaks we both looked at different blogs to see what was the new on the market. We saw that wood was used more and more in new gadgets and accessories. Rodny told me that he could make the same sort of gadgets and accessories with his background as designer and furniture maker. With that in our mind we started TWO-O. TWO-O officially started in July 2011.

 

Where does the idea for the name TWO-O come from?     

The circles around the brand name stand for the two worlds we combine. One is the world of the grey mass technology we live in and the other is the world of mother nature. The circles come together since we combine these two worlds.  Next to that, we started TWO-O with the two of us and the second letter in our name is an “O” and it’s in a creative way linked to wood. Also, wood has also a double “O” in the name.

 

How did you get to where you are today? What was the first collaboration between you two? What was your first idea? Can you tell us a little about how you started TWO-O?

Our first project started at our balcony of our apartment in Amsterdam. We wanted to create a cool new wooden bicycle crate and that had a great look and perfect design touch that no other crate would had. This turned into “The Stormchaser – Wooden Bike Crate“, a crate with a cup holder for you coffee. Everyone is driving around on bicycles in Amsterdam and everyone in holding a coffee, their telephone and even an umbrella at the same time during rush-hours! This causes many accidents and is not safe of course. So that’s why we came with the perfect solution. A crate which holds your coffee and even an umbrella. Since last year it’s the best selling product of TWO-O.

 

Since starting TWO-O, what is the most exciting thing that has happened? What is the worst thing that happened?

The most exiting thing that happened was the moment we where both working fulltime for TWO-O and after one year we had 4 employees working. That is just a great feeling. However bad things happened as well. I think the worst thing that happened is that we produced a project but afterwards we came to the conclusion that the wrong wood was used. So we had to do the project again. So disappointing but quality and perfections are among our core values.    

 

Tell us a little bit about the process involved in designing TWO-O products? What is your starting point? Do you have a favourite part of the design process?

We always start with a brainstorm about a specific product. We usually try to create new designs, which people have never seen before. For example, we are the first registered company in Europe who makes caps with a wooden brim. After the brainstorm with our team of designers we make a few digital sketches. When the sketching fase is done we start making the first samples of the new product. When we are happy with the end result of the sample, we start producing and then test it on the market.

 

Rodney and Bob
Rodney and Bob

 

How long does the process of making a product take?         

The duration of the process for a product depends on the product itself. For some designs and artworks like the iPhone cases (you can find it here) does not take that long. For innovative products that have never been produced before – like the caps with a wooden brim – it takes a lot longer because we have to start from scratch.

 

The making of TWO-O's hat
The making of TWO-O’s hat

What is the main inspiration for your designs?

We always try to create our new products inspired by the current trends. TWO-O is a brand that goes against the grain. We are always excited to create new and modern designs which are not the same as every other brand. With a creative group of co-workers we strive to make the best and most durable designs.

 

You use sustainable or recycled materials. Why is this important to you? Where do you source the wood? What else do I need to know about the wood you use?

We try to reuse wood as much as we can. But wood is a very sustainable product so that makes it even greener. The wood comes from a local Wood shop in Amsterdam. We always select only the best wood and if we can’t find the right wood at this place we try to get our wood from other National wood shops.

 

Is there anything else you think is important to know about TWO-O?       

Most people know TWO-O only for its accessory collection in which we combine wood with other materials. But TWO-O also works a lot together with companies as Nike, Jameson Whisky and Decathlon for example. For those companies, TWO-O realizes different custom made projects, from design to production. So basically you can come to us for all your design and custom made requests.

 

What are your plans going forward; do you have any exciting new products or ideas in the pipeline?         

In a few weeks we will be moving to a bigger and even better workshop. The projects for clients get bigger and bigger. We don’t have the space at NDSM to produce and storage everything in the workshop anymore. So, we are very excited to move to our new workshop. We are working on several new sunglasses and home accessories!

 

A pair of TWO-O sunglasses and a TWO-O neckless
A pair of TWO-O sunglasses and a TWO-O neckless

 

The wooden watches are another bold idea! Could you tell me a little bit about the idea and the process of making it?

The xxxx is the first combination of Milanese (mesh) wristband and a wooden case. I came with this idea because I really love the style of mesh wristbands. It’s fancy and timeless. So I thought, why not combining it with wood? Next to that, we love our city and I noticed that no Dutch watch brand ever uses the name of city ‘Amsterdam’ in the watch. Also, we named our first two watches –Prinsengracht wooden watch and Keizersgracht wooden watch – after our famous canals Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht. The watches give a really good impression of where we want to go with our future collection. We will continue to select the best materials and we will turn them into beautiful accessories.

This is what TWO-O stands for, craftsmanship and design.

 

Quick Q&A with Bob and Rodny

 

If I could choose one thing to take to a desert island I….

Bob: … would take my girlfriend!

Rodny: … would take a cap with a wooden brim and a pair of TWO-O glasses to save me from the sun 😉

 

I can’t start my day without…

Bob: … good coffee of course! 

Rodny: … a good cup of coffee!

 

If money and time were not a problem I would go to…. 

Bob: … New Mexico! I have a lot of friends from my studies there. I would really like to see them again. 

Rodny: … Caribbean because there is wind and water to sail.

 

When I am not working I love to…

Bob: … work on my Vespa scooters from 1984 and 1974.

Rodny: … go sailing (racing) and to be with friends on festivals

 

If I could have a super power it would be…      

Bob: … flying!

Rodny: … time travelling. So that I could see what kind of great Earth we have/had

 

Rodney and Bob - TWO-O
Rodney and Bob – TWO-O

 

TWO-O Studio in Ij-Hallen
TWO-O Studio in Ij-Hallen

 

View TWO-O’s shop on CROWDYHOUSE.