DESIGN - was it Your dream since an early age, what captivates You the most about it?
I only really found out about design and what it meant to be a designer when I was a teenager. But from an early age I was very hands on, making the things I wanted or dreamed of, experimenting or inventing things. Originally I wanted to be an illustrator or cartoonist,
but when I discovered design I felt that perhaps I could use that interest differently. At the age of 18 I embarked on a journey in the UK
to study design, graduating in 2003 from the MA Design products course at the Royal College of Art of London.
Over the years of Your experience, You have created Your own style...how would You name it...
pointing out the most important things?
I would call it a ligne Claire. This is a term used in Belgian comic strips; basically a clear line, defining simple and graphic characters
and contours. TORCH light was the first product to clearly apply this idea; a lamp defined by its archetypal form, like a shadow.
BRACKETS INCLUDED was also a style setter; an idea reduced to its absolute essential, defined by refined and gentle details.
I like the idea to design friendly, approachable objects with a classic and elegant touch. I don’t like sharp angles and corners
which I find more agressive and I would not want to live with. I like to play with archetypes, and turn these into gentle and welcoming shapes. I like to give my furniture a sort of dejà-vu feeling, a sort of familiarity combined with elements of newness, which I believe makes
a long-lasting and mass appealing design. Other typical and recent products that carry this approach are the BODY, UPON and BAANI chairs amongst others. HOMERUN literally refers to cartoonish details. And CEPE is a reinterpretation of the typical mushroom.
TOTEM barstool’s sculptural form is surprising and its graphic silhouette reveals my passion for illustration, transcending the function of
a seat to become a decorative object.
Product, furniture, lighting, and many more...are the result of the process... could You tell Us how You achieve the approach between Your clients, the market need, and the final touch of Your work?
As a designer I am naturally curious about many things; materials, production, how things are made. But working as a designer also means listening to your client, the market needs, or the audience. Therefor it is very important for me to have a good relationship
and communication with my clients. We should share the same values, same objectives and also contribute towards each other in a positive
and friendly way. Each collaboration and every process is different of course… but there needs to be some kind of good synergy to start with. If there is a clear need to start from, we can find a clear answer. It is all about identifying where we want to go, what we want to achieve. Then it becomes an equation, and we try to resolve it. The goals is to design a functional and beautiful object; with my style yet which fits the client’s portfolio as well; with a certain intelligence and story, about for instance its material, its process or its reference.
If we manage to put all these things together, then generally we have a good design that is there to last.
As the head of Your design studio based in Brussels, what is the most important about teamwork?
My office is very small; it’s my assistant and myself, and sometimes an extra person. I want to keep it small because I believe
that if you are well focused and have good energy you can be very effective. Clearly I cannot do everything on my own, so I need
people to help. Being a designer is about multi-tasking and multi-thinking. You need to be able to have ideas, find solutions,
communicate, have administrative skills, react to unexpected situations, take decisions and much more.
All that whilst keeping a life… and in my case, running an online shop and orders as well. So, it’s important to have a clear mind.