Face-to-face: a designer's profile with Tineke Beunders from Ontwerpduo
Tineke lives with Nathan Wierink and their daughter Jasmijn in a small village in the Netherlands called Veldhoven. It is a rented link house. They both graduted - cum laude - from the design academy in Eindhoven and now work toegther as: Ontwerpduo.
When you look out your window you see...
... a supermarket. I never realized that it would be so handy to have a supermarket this close. Nowadays, we always have fresh flowers and cookies in the house, which we didn’t used to have before. And when you look out the back window you can see our own backyard, which is also special as this is quite new for us. We used to rent from an ‘anti-squatting’ organization, where we had an enormous yard, but we didn’t really do anything with it, as we never knew how long we would be living there still. I like gardening, but it also shouldn’t take too much time. We love our greenhouse, which we found via the Internet after a long search. We also plan to put in a wooden stove. We spend a lot of time there.
I can’t do nothing - it’s impossible. I’m always busy doing something. Since our studio is not at the house anymore, I have my sewing machine at home, and my favourite activity is making clothing for Jasmijn and myself. I watch very little TV. If I do, I use Apple TV to watch shows that I’ve missed: interesting documentaries and such. I hardly ever watch live TV, as I think it is a waste of my time. And if I am, I’m usually multi-tasking, like cleaning the house or something, ha, ha..
Do you take your work home with you?
Not really. Since we have our daughter Jasmijn, we work during the day. In the old days, we used to work from 9 in the morning till three o’clock in the morning. It is not my goal to become a famous designer. I want to do work that I enjoy, live in a nice place and have a comfortable live, which is not achieved by working every night. I do always feel like going to work. I don’t really understand people who count the days until the weekend.
Do you use your designs in your own house?
YES. It is cheap to put your own designs (dummies) in your own house. We try out a lot of stuff so our living room is pretty full. We also own some work from designer colleagues: rENs, Fraser Ross and Melissa Peen. We made a design for Mosa (a well-known Dutch tile manufacturer), and so ended up tiling our bathroom floor with little green tiles.
What would you take with from your house if you were only allowed to take one thing?
Despite my house being full with nice things, I don’t really get attached that easily. If there would ever be a fire, I would first think about my hard disk with all our files, very pragmatic in other words. If we were to move, then I would take the map with biking routes that is on the wall in our living room. It is our family biking route map, which we drew ourselves and each time we did a new route, we added another part. I don’t really put up photographs in our house that quickly, rather things like this personal map. It is very dear to me, as it brings back memories but it also determines our future biking routes.
Was there ever a moment while growing up where you thought: yes, I’m going to be a designer?
I never really thought about it like that. I am simply doing what I was doing as a child already. I was quite introvert as a child. I liked playing in my room, doing arts and crafts. They did think I was a little weird back then. When I finally realized I could actually also make it my profession, it was a relief. All of a sudden everyone liked to do arts and crafts. I worked really hard but it is less difficult than doing something you do not enjoy.
What would you like to change in your home?
I would like to make it more special in the basics of it. Put in a tile floor with pink joints in the kitchen for example. But seeing that it’s a rental house, it is not such a smart thing to do. So we have instead incorporated it in the tables in our sunroom. What I miss the most is one big space. This rental house basically consists of little rooms and cubicles. It is very structured. Everyone in our block has everything organized in the same way because of it.
Oh.. and what I also really, really want is a fire place in the living room.
Where do you want to live 10 years from now? What does your dream house look like?
I’d like to live in an old farm that we can structure completely to our own liking, with an enormous barn to house our studio, including our greenhouse as we have now. Preferably located in the center of the Netherlands, a bit closer to our family. Since we have Jasmijn, we have come to realize we want to spend more time with family. From where we live now, we really have to make appointments in order to see each other.
Who is your example/hero/favourite designer?
I take on board a little bit of all the people who I find interesting. Jurianne Matter for example; I admire her enthusiasm, her drive, and she is very open (spontaneous). My mother and grandmother taught me to always be busy…and that this is fun. I also admire the working approaches of Jurgen Bey and Rianne Makkink. We visited their studio once and it had a really nice atmosphere. They see designing as a way of life, which is what I also hope to achieve for myself.
Name a negative trait of yours that is causing you the most problems
Well, I am a perfectionist, which is very annoying. I have to learn to let go, as it takes a lot of time. I can really be very stressed, while Nathan doesn’t feel it at all. For example, I can get very annoyed when a presentation has not been printed properly. No one else who notices, but it bugs me. It also gets you somewhere, this perfectionism, so I guess it is also positive in a way.
What inspires you? Do you perhaps have a favourite blog or website that you like to visit?
Nathan visits blogs a lot. I don’t really know the names (I believe it is called DEZEEN). I am most at home in a library, and I go to second-hand shops to poke around, see images. Museums for old household appliances are also great, but the museum I like the best is the dollhouse museum, which I already used to visit as a small child. I was particularly impressed by the mini world.
I can also get really inspired by mixing things and colours by coincidence. And by my own childhood, especially now that Jasmijn is getting bigger and I look at things through her eyes. Where my own designs are concerned, I always start with a certain atmosphere. Take the ‘marbles table’ for example. It very much hinged around the atmosphere, with the table as a playful element. I never start from a practical viewpoint. E.g., I never start out thinking: “now I’m going to design a chair”. For example, ‘Cottage town’ came about because I was already in the habit of placing lego dolls in plants. I was already fascinated by the differences in scale since then.
..all images by Vorstin
Photographer Marjon Hoogervorst has made many more beautiful images for this series if you would like to use some for a publication please drop her an email.