Dirk Vander Kooij

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Eindhoven

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At Studio Dirk Vander Kooij, developing new techniques for new designs is an ongoing job. We consider ways of developing a new design just as interesting as the new design itself. It requires constant readjustment of techniques until the form we have in mind appears. We work on the interface of design, craft and production.

An old 3D printer inspired Dirk's graduation assignment at the Design Academy in Eindhoven, where he studied between 2005 and 2010. The main drawback those printers had, was that they couldn't produce large objects like pieces of furniture. Dirk, the very first person ever, did succeed in printing larger objects. Dirk found the state of the art, latest generation printers tedious; on the contrary, it was an old technique that caught his imagination. "This principle has been around for thirty odd years. The older machines were less accurate. That's why one could carefully examine that process, one could identify how the shape was being formed with a very thin thread that was meticulously moved to and fro, building up the shape very efficiently and without waste. If you accept the low resolution structure and you try not to hide it but rather treasure it, it becomes a beautiful and fair ornament", explains Dirk.

After his graduation, the design immediately found its way across the world. The chair drew a lot of attention as part of the Design Academy exposition in 2010. Especially at the "design-mekka" of the world - the annual Salone del Mobile which took place in April in Milan - he received a lot of recognition straight away. When he returned to Milan a year later as an independent designer, he had refined the technique so he could produce many more forms.

With the Satellite-Lamp as an eye-catcher in Milan, Dirk introduced a complete furniture collection: a chair, a table and a rocking chair. The robot arm was now not only capable of producing rounded forms, it could also "lay down" a very much smoother synthetic thread. That presentation drew a lot of attention from various museums. The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Vitra Design Museum in Germany as well as the Museum of Modern Art in New York acquired Dirk's work. In the mean time he also managed to scoop a few other awards, two of which were the prestigious Dutch Design Award and the YNG TLNT Pin of the Woonbeurs.

Due to all the media attention, Dirk Vander Kooij's workshop quickly expanded into a proper business where four people now have jobs: Studio Dirk Vander Kooij. Even though it was the Endless-collection that brought about the breakthrough, Studio Vander Kooij is multifaceted. True to her own philosophy that process is just as important as the ultimate product, Studio Dirk Vander Kooij designed the Elephant Skin series, the All-Material Table and the Triangulate Lamp. The Triangulate Lamp was a success at the Beijing Design Week.

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