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Piet Hein Eek


Piet Hein Eek (1967) is a Dutch Designer who graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 1990. He stood out with his graduation project scrap wood cupboard and is now renowned for his philosophy of sustainable design and sustainable usage of materials in an artistic yet functional manner.

Piet Hein Eek’s work always attains some sort of ecological focal point. The emphasis lies on innovative use of residual and waste materials and a sustainable design practice following the philosophy of a circular economy. Hans Lensvelt and Piet Hein Eek know each other for over twenty years. When Hans Lensvelt approached Piet Hein Eek to develop a product for the Lensvelt Collection, Piet Hein presented a diverse set of drawings. The ‘Made in The Workshop Chair’, was the prelude. The chair was then altered, adjusted and further developed.

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All products by Piet Hein Eek

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The Made in The Workshop Chair

 When Hans Lensvelt approached Piet Hein Eek to develop a product for the Lensvelt Collection in 2011, Piet presented a diverse set of drawings. His chair for the cultural center of Den Bosch at the Verkade factory, the ‘Made in The Workshop Chair’, was the prelude. 

The first seat was then altered and adjusted. From that moment on, the simple tubular steel frame with wooden seat and backrest needed to be stackable. Subsequently, drawings and designs for an office chair surely followed. Lensvelt successfully takes care of the production of the striking chair that looks like anyone can put it together themselves. 

Eek: “A chair that gave the impression that it was left behind after the dismantling of the factory. As if the factory maintenance department had curated and made it themselves purely out of ease. That is how the name Made in The Workshop Chair (MITW) originated.

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Hans Lensvelt and PHE during the launch of the MITW chair in 2011

MITW upholstered

Piet Hein Eek and Lensvelt, 2020

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Piet Hein Eek and Hans Lensvelt working on the MITW chair in 2011

The Made in The Workshop Office Chair

In addition to the Made in Workshop Chair Piet Hein Eek developed an office chair, which perfectly depicts the light and simple character of the Made in the Workshop-line. This chair also has the typical, simple and basic frame made from steel tubes, with a wooden seat and backrest. Both the seat and back of the chair is made of beech plywood. An upholstered version is also an option.

The steel tubes are welded together, the corners purposely left visible. The area where the wooden backrest is connected to the frame is made extra obvious by the use of a big screw with a round, flat head. It has a height adjustable handle mechanism to adjust to the desired height. The frame is made of epoxied steel and comes in a standard color: RAL 7035.

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The MITW Chair and Office chair during the launch in 2011

MITW Office chair, beech plywood

MITW Office chair early sketch

ABN AMRO, Nationaal Archief, architects: Van Eijk & Van der Lubbe

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Collaboration 2020

Piet Hein Eek is not distracted by setbacks. As he lives with the motto to "Never waste a good crisis", as he believes the optimist always sees innumerable opportunities and possibilities in problematic situations.

For example, while the Dutch Design Week 2020 was altered due to the global pandemic, the presentation of Lensvelt and Piet Hein Eek: Past Present Future, became part of PHE's large presentation at his own workshop/hub, called Design Open, which was open to the public.

Past Present Future is a special installation. Emerged from a discussion point between Hans Lensvelt and Piet Hein Eek during a summer BBQ.

The focus is placed on the relaunch of the Piet Hein Eek aluminum collection in combination with the "classic" stackable chair and the office chair from the MITW series. One giant aluminum table hovers over the monochromatic turquoise blue presentation. Moreover, high and low stools were present alongside a new office chair with armrests. 

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The aluminum Collection 3.0 and at MoMA, 1995

The Aluminum Collection 


For the presenation during DDW 2020 Piet Hein Eek proposes the idea to refresh the aluminum series and put it back into production, version 3.0. 

In the early nineties Eek’s aluminum chair and stool were created after experiments with computer-controlled machines for punching and folding sheet metal. When the New York Museum of Modern Art in New York was looking for a new chair for the museum’s café, Piet Hein Eek was selected back in 1995. 'They were looking for someone who produced his own work. I happened to be the only one to meet that requirement'.

The chairs have now been in MoMA for more than ten years. They gave Eek's career an international exposure. This was the beginning of an extensive aluminum collection.

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A new home office desk

One of Piet Hein Eek’s daughters moved to Amsterdam, where rooms and hallways are notoriously small. This inspired Eek to create an aluminum desk that is both lightweight and demountable and that can be easily implemented in small spaces. 

The desk, which is supplied with electricity sockets in an elegant manner and must be able to be multifunctional in character: a home office desk and a table in one. Piet Hein Eek thus presents a new extension of the aluminum collection, The Aluminum Desk. According to Hans Lensvelt, the idea fits in seamlessly with the current desires for a flexible home office space. Something that can be produced in any desired size, variable in width, depth and height and with optional functioning storage units. Very applicable with the current growing at home working trend. So, as to be continued… in aluminum. 

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The new Aluminum Collection consists of a chair, stool and desk

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