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Buro Jet

Monday, 29 April 2013 by Irene Hoofs


{Photography: Marjon Hoogervorst ~ Words: Sandra Jacobs ~ Translation: Nanette Watson}

Jorine Oosterhoff and Egbert-Jan Lam are Buro Jet. Together with their daughter Fiep and 3 cats (Bras, Branie and Banjer) they live in Arnhem, in what is called a Janitor house from 1939 (national monument in the ‘Delft School’ style)

How would you describe your neighbourhood?

We have a lot of space here and lots of green. Sometimes there’s a woodpecker or a porcupine in our garden. It feels as if you’re in the middle of nature, whereas we are actually living in the centre of town. The light here is superb! And we are only 5 minutes biking away from the Veluwe national park. Our studio is located in the school building next door so we have everything nearby. Our home is our sanctuary. A place to play with Fiep. With the studio next door, we do enjoy closing the door at night and then not work anymore, which is possible. So we can just enjoy each other’s company. Egbert-Jan: I love to cook, mostly Italian and Asian. I even started a cooking battle with a few very good friends. Then we battle who can make the best risotto for example. I will take days to prepare THE best risotto with homemade chicken stock and so on. Jorine already gets stressed if there is more than one pot on the stove.




Our products all came about because of our own fascination with nature. Our designs are also in our own house. Especially the Paper Laser Lights. Funny enough we never used the snout cups ourselves. We do give them away as presents at lot. An architect friend we know has a house with a very clean design, very ‘iPhone’ if you know what I mean. He has put two of those snout cups in the bathroom for his two boys. Every night after brushing their teeth they can have a snout cup moment in the mirror. Isn’t that great?


Egbert-Jan: We really love collecting. We collect a lot via the internet, such as Marktplaats (Dutch online store for second hand stuff), we really love that store!;-) You could say I’m totally addicted to it at times. We also own a lot of stuff from other designers. A cupboard from Joost van Bleiswijk (his graduation project), a table from InekeHans (where I used to work) and ceramics from Lenneke Wispelwey. But also things we inherited, such as the table we got from Jorine’s mom that she owned during her student days. It is now in our house.


Garden chair

The chair in the hallway used to be in the garden. It is one of the old discarded school chairs. This is a janitor house and next door used to be a school. When we were cleaning up the garden, we found in the bushes. It had become so beautiful that we took it inside and gave it a special place in our house.

We always ask our interns to make their own project in ceramics and then we keep one of those ourselves. We now own a whole collection of intern’s work. I’m sure we’ll doing something with that one day. 

Egbert-Jan: We are gigantic collectors and therefore also quite materialistic. I want to have it all, more, more, more. But I could also just leave here. I love nice stuff, that is my profession, but I care more about human values and respect. Jorine: I do get attached to things though, there are some things I simply won’t be able to do without.




Was there ever a moment as a child where you thought: yes, I’m going to be a designer!

Jorine: probably more a princess or something, I think. But I definitely wanted to do something with my hands. I knew early on that I that wanted to join the art academy. My father is an architect, who always made nice drawings. I went to study at Artez in Arnhem. What I liked about product design is that you can use all kinds of different materials and a real product can come out of it. Quite funny that now I only tend to work with porcelain still.

Egbert-Jan: I was always creative with my hands. When I was 10, I was already making renderings and models (villa’s for my cars). I could easily keep doing that until four in the morning. I went to visit the Design Academy in Eindhoven and I thought THIS IS WHAT I WANT. What was a bit foolish that I only applied there, and then I didn’t get accepted. But then they phoned me later at home that I was accepted after all. Brilliant!



What would you like to change in your home?

We would first do the kitchen. We are not changing it now as we are still living here under an anti-squatting arrangement. We would like a nice kitchen such as D-Tile. We would also like to do something about the flooring. The laminate flooring we have now is not very attractive. We would like to have concrete flooring.

Where do you want to live 10 years from now? What does your dream house look like?

Downtown Manhattan. It isn’t really where we would want to live permanently but having an appartment there would be nice. New York is brilliant. We would love to be there for a month. And we would also like to have a summer house in Sicily. Then we will be completely content ;-)

Secret admirers of:

Jorine: Lewis Carroll of Alice in Wonderland has done really brilliant work. Children are also good designers. Egbert-Jan: I used to be a big fan of Ingo Mauer  but that is fading a bit now. I do notice other artists more now. I am a fan of Arte Povera.

Penone is possibly my hero, a real artist. Egbert-Jan: and also Charels and Ray Eames. They have done so much work, that is really impressive. And Ontwerpduo. It’s great to see how they made a simple idea such as the Tallow into such a success and manage the whole production for example.



Name a negative trait of yours that is causing you the most problems

Jorine: Egbert-Jan is dominant and impatient. He has gotten more patient through his work with ceramics. You can’t rush ceramics. Egbert-Jan: Jorine is even more stubborn than me. You wouldn’t think so but she is. But other than that she is a very nice girl  ;-) 

What inspires you? Do you perhaps have a favourite blog or website that you like to visit?

Jorine: Stories! I read a lot of fantasy stories and children’s books.

Egbert-Jan: Nature and museums. I really love the Victoria and Albert Museum. It is impossible to see that in one week. Just the ceramics department alone consists of  several halls…


The Buro Jet collection is available at BijzonderMooi ~ in Dutch ~ in German

.. Buro Jet

..all images by Vorstin 

.. translation by xPattyCake

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