And a temporary swing on the tree opposite the building is from the ‘public space hacker’ Thor ter Kulve. Both designers exhibit at Lensvelt in the series: May I have your attention, please?
It is the fourth edition of -May I have your attention, please? – in which Jeroen Junte interviewed Floris Schoonderbeek of label Weltevree on Thursday 22 March in a room of the Architekten Cie. According to the set-up of this series, Schoonderbeek invited a promising talent : Thor ter Kulve.
Interview with Jeroen Junte, Floris Schoonderbeek and Thor ter Kuile at Architecten Cie.
Pictures: Jan Willem Kaldenbach.
Of the Dutchtub, a few thousand have been sold, says Schoonderbeek. The challenge is to continue to develop the product. In the meantime, the sober luxury that belongs to the tub has become commonplace, thinking about the way of firing: with good wood and minimal emissions, and about the material polyester. That material is junk, according to Junte, but also very good for this application, according to Schoonderbeek.
Characteristic for the designer is that he formulates what we miss. Whether he designs the Tablebench, Patio High Back or Guidelight for Weltevree, or the dancing electricity mast as an art commission, the Rijnhuisje, a legal mobile home, or the start-up: the Lolo charging station for electric driving. ‘I take people into how they could live sustainably, because they do not always want to know how,’ says the designer. ‘Weltevree products stimulate an adventurous and active lifestyle, radiate freedom and independence. They bring you comfortably close to nature and help you to see and use your surroundings again. In addition, there is always a clear functionality that gives extra value to use, “he says.
The recently introduced Tablebench, designed by Jain Straschnow, is actually a summary of a research by the designer into which settings people are. Tablebench is a workplace, but also terrace, garden, balcony table or bench where you can sit in different ways. The Groundfridge is an innovative variant of the traditional cooling cellar, for the new world citizen with its own vegetable garden and a modern self-sufficient existence. Hans Lensvelt was the first person to see the prototype of this durable ‘refrigerator’ buried in the garden before the product went to the Salone in Milan. ‘Four years later, five have been produced, the product is in full swing, we are looking for a way to develop the first 75 copies industrially and we are surprised by the huge number of applications’, says the designer. Schoonderbeek feels the spirit of the times well: he offers an answer to the modern houses that are often built without a cellar, while people need it again: they are more concerned with food, with their own cultivation. Groundfrigde can also serve as a mini-bar on a campsite, as a modern beach tent. “Or as a huricane shelter?” Junte suggests. ‘That too; you can store so much food that two people can eat for a year. ”
And then there are the projects as the temporary autarkic beach bar during the Into The Great Wide Open cultural festival on Vlieland. Instead of going to a trade fair, Weltevree allows a group of people who share the same values as food and music to serve as ‘guinea pigs’. The designer looks at how they respond to the autarkic beach garden and dare to be dependent on wind energy and water that they store in a water tower. The Dutchtub is filled with seawater and heated with jute wood from the island. Food is prepared on the Outdoor oven by designer Dick van Hoff.
Schoonderbeek is also an entrepreneur. He bought a former gymnasium in Arnhem to combine living and working and rent the rest to other entrepreneurs. They have a lot in common, Floris Schoonderbeek and Thor ter Kuile. Both graduated from ArtEZ in Arnhem as a product designer (Floris in 2002, Thor in 2012). Ter Kulve is also very special: on an autarkic boat with solar panels and a compost toilet in the heart of London. Unlike in the Netherlands with fixed places, he puts his home-built boat in a different place every two weeks. For example, the city nomad does not have to pay rent or berthing fees.
Why Schoonderbeek asked his former trainee, Junte asks. “Because I admire his way of dealing with public space,” he says. Ter Kulve likes to stretch the rules and hacks the room. That started with a mobile boom-spiral staircase, the Canopystair, developed during his master at the Royal College of Art in London, with which you can explore every tree. The Swing that you can attach to every post or tree (included in the Weltevree collection), the trash can as temporary barbecue, the Water Fountain to a fire hydrant and a Park Bench Bubble to sit in your own bubble, these are products that an idea of freedom, of playing radiate, he says. Even though Ter Kulve is a product designer, he feels like an artist, but also distinguishes himself from the artist because he thinks his works should be functional.
In any case, the Swing is functionally used at the door of Lensvelt. And inside there are Guidelights, there are two wood-fired Dutchtubs and the new Tablebenches. With the collection of Thor ter Kulve and Weltevree you go on an adventure in your own backyard, create your comfort in the middle of nowhere, but also in and in front of the Lensvelt gallery.
The exhibition is still at the end of April 2018 at Lensvelt gallery, Herengracht 178, Amsterdam.