How would you describe your neighbourhood?
All houses around us here are old working class houses. Close to the city centre. We live close to the station, the large supermarket and the ‘TextielMuseum’ (Museum of Textiles). The city is redeveloping the area around the railways. In the old days, the railway area was also where the workshops of the railways were located. There is a lot of industrial heritage that is now getting rezoned. It will be an up and coming neighbourhood ;-)
What do you like to do most when you are at home?
When we are at home we do very little. Since our son was born, we have a strict regimen of getting up, taking Joris to daycare, work, get home (late) at night, cook and taking Joris to bed. So at the end of the day we are pretty much ‘done’. Certainly because, until recently, Marijke was getting home late as she was working in Amsterdam as a graphic designer for ELLE Decoration. We love to cook (Asian and Italian), eat nice food, and have a glass of wine with friends.
Marijke: sometimes we watch a movie or a nice documentary at home, or a tv-show such as ‘De Grote Verbouwing’ (the big renovation) or ‘24kitchen’. It wouldn’t surprise me if Joris becomes a cook or an architect later in life ;-). I breastfed him for 10 months and have often watched these kinds of shows during breastfeeding.
Sander has been working as an independent product designer for at least 10 years already, and has marketed several different designs under his name. We intend to expand the collection in the future. It could very well be that the products will have a bit more graphic design to them ;-). We can also take on larger projects now and offer a total package of 2D and 3D design. A good example of that was when we did our first project together earlier this year: redesign the interior of the Solidd store in Tilburg; a concept store with clothing, sandwich shop and a hairdresser. Sander concentrated mostly on the the design and building of the new display items in the store, and Marijke added the graphic design elements and did the styling.
Sander: it was getting too much for me to do everything on my own, so I am very happy that Marijke is now there to support me and supplement where needed. There are a couple of designs that are still in the works. These need to be worked out further or need to be produced still.
We will also continue to do projects independent of one another: I teach one day a week at the faculty of Industrial Design at the Technical University Eindhoven and set up exhibitions (i.e. for the Design Academy Eindhoven and TU Eindhoven) in collaboration with Mark van der Gronden. Marijke remains available as a freelance Art Director/Graphic Designer.
Do you use your designs in your own house?
The ‘Cup light’ (a lamp made from a coffee cup) and the ‘Table chandelier’. We also have work of other designers in our house. A cupboard of Ahrend that use to belong to my grandmother. A Jielde lamp in the living room that we bought for only 6.25 Euro at a second-hand store with an additional discount of 50% ;-), a cupboard of Mark van der Gronden (shown in second image) and a second-hand dining room table by Martin Visser. Joris has a night stand in his room that Maarten Baas burned in exchange for a distilling machine from Sander. Oh, and a red couch by Maarten Baptist! A bit large for this house but we had already bought it, so luckily it fits in our front room.
What would you take with from your house if you were only allowed to take one thing?
Difficult to say, but for sure the Jielde lamp! (in the kitchen) Because we managed to get it for very little money. Everything in the house has a story behind it. Marijke: the cupboards by Kiki van Eijk above the red couch for example: Sander and I both bought one when we didn’t know eachother yet. We both loved them. That is so special!
Marijke: I wanted to become a photographer. After I finished high school I went to the design school St. Lucas because I thought I was too young to go to the art academy. We mostly did technical photography, which wasn’t really my thing. Next, I went to the Design Academy in Eindhoven to study‘Man and Communication’. Sander: I always wanted to be a designer. When I was 11 years old, I already designed chairs from straws. My parents still have the little designs in their living room. It took a wile before I settled into to the Design Academy. I started out studying ‘Man and Well-Being’, but the way of working didn’t suit me. So I switched to ‘Man and Leisure’, which was much more open. I could do exactly what I wanted there, which was good. Sander: I graduated with a DIY distilling machine: a brochure that describes what you need to make one yourself. You can buy all the materials at any DIY store.
How do you get from a distilling machine to coffee cups?
Sander: I love to combine materials and objects that do not match at first glance. This way, you create something new, something unusual. For the Candle holder (the Chandelier with a fork) I was looking for a solid saucer. I couldn’t seem to buy the saucer without getting the cups that go with them. So the cups were ‘left overs’. This is how ‘Cup light’ came about. Marijke: Sander just doesn’t like throwing things away.
What would you like to change in your home?
We would like to redo the kitchen and the attic.
Where do you want to live 10 years from now?
Marijke and Sander together: in Berlin! Marijke did an internship there in 1999. The first time she was there she felt right at home. We love this lively and vibrant city. The people there are very open-minded and there is a lot of creativity.
What does your dream house look like?
A nice building with a studio downstairs, we would live on the first and second floors and then on the third floor we would have guest rooms. That would be nice, but we don’t think that dream will ever come true. Actually we are perfectly fine living here. With a small child it is nice to live close to family. We would miss them, and also our friends. But we would really enjoy living and working in Berlin for a short while!
Who are your examples/heroes/favourite designers?
We aren’t really focused on examples or heroes. Sander: I can get very happy from a nicely designed switch. The Jielde lamp for example has a beautiful mechanism. When we are on holiday we often go to DIY stores and supermarkets to find quirky things. Our glass cabinet in the hallway is full with it. Marijke: it is mostly about having fun in our work. I could name Charles and Ray Eames, but recently I watched a documentary and found out that these people were not happy at all. Then I think: is that an example? We do love beautiful things. Marijke: I am really into vintage kitchenware such as Pyrex, Finel/Arabia and Figgjo Flint. Because of the beautiful graphic and folkore designs.
Sander: The cleaning and tidying obsession of Marijke. Marijke: Sander is the ‘leave your socks where you take them off’ type, there is always lots of stuff at the bottom of the stairs. We do balance eachother out though, without Sander I would probably be cleaning all day.
What inspires you? Do you perhaps have a favourite blog or website that you like to visit?
Sander: Something that I see on the street or in the second-hand store. I do visit blogs every now and then, but that is often already too beautiful, already finished. When we go on holiday, I like to go to the supermarket or DIY store looking for quirky objects or materials. Actually it is full of useless stuff, but for us it is a source of inspiration because it is simply quirky. Marijke: and as a graphic designer, I take photos of letters and things that I see. So not design books or typographical posters but actually things I see around me while I’m walking down the street.