Contract - Designer Perspectives: Q&A with Patrick de Louwere and Bart Eijking, Studio Lawrence

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Designer Perspectives: Q&A with Patrick de Louwere and Bart Eijking, Studio Lawrence

13 August, 2010



Patrick de Louwere and Bart Eijking may be still in the green of their design career, but these up and coming designers have become quite the dynamic Dutch duo. After establishing their architectural practice eijkingdelouwere in 2004, with offices now in the Netherlands and London, the pair went on to launch Studio Lawrence, a contemporary furniture design studio. Most recently, Louwere and Eijking garned the prestigious 40 Under 40 Award, hosted by the European Centre for Architecture, Art Design, and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, for their Last Supper Table and Along These Lines products.

Here, Louwere and Eijking with Contract magazine share their thoughts on their success, design strategy, and the future of product design:

1.  You recently garnered a 40 Under 40 Award Congratulations! How do you feel? And what were you doing when you found out the news?
We received the news of the award via an e-mail from the European Centre for Architecture. We had just finished our espresso-fuelled, Friday morning meeting in our London office. What an unexpected but welcome surprise!
 
2. When it comes to product design, how do you approach a project and see it through to completion?
We’re slowly building up our collection. As Studio Lawrence is our own furniture brand, we’re not only involved in the design of the pieces, but in the production, marketing, and sales, as well. Doing everything yourself is not the quick way, but it’s something that we’re thoroughly enjoying at present. We believe in a combination of three elements: talent; a strong, aesthetic moral; and hard work. Hard work perhaps being the most important!

3. What is the most important thing you have learned about design or the design business in the last five to 10 years?
It’s an old lesson from Delft University: Never put too much in one design. Better to work and rework one idea as opposed to solving every question with new idea.
 
4. How do you expect product design to change in the next 10 years, if at all?
Product design will become more about creating honest pieces—products that can stand the test of time, instead of quick, easy, and quirky designs. We believe in lasting, aesthetic appeal, either based upon good design, environmental pursuits, or conscious-driven by supporting developing countries.

5. What has been, in your opinion, your most successful project to date?
Our most successful project to date is the interior for SRK Legal Assistance. It was our first project after establishing eijkingdelouwere. We never had done an interior before and thoroughly enjoyed the freedom of designing over bricks and mortar. The project inspired us to establish Studio Lawrence.
 
6. What has been your favorite project so far?
In the Netherlands, we’re busy with a 5,000-plus-sq.-ft. villa, House H. It’s the first, full-grown architectural representation of our artistic ideals. (We’re doing the architecture, the interior design, and most of the furniture.) The project is composed of juxtaposing poetic lines and rigid sequences. House H will be finished Christmas 2011. See it grow at www.eijkingdelouwere.nl
 
7. What design-related projects are you currently working on now that you can share with us?
We’re currently working on a new sofa system and a conference chair. Both are very architectural and sculptural pieces. The sofa system is modular and can take varying forms, which buyers can play with, and the chair holds slightly differing shapes but offers a strong, cohereing look. We’ve also been busy re-engineering our Raising Lanterns, enabling affordable and easy to assemble light-sculptures up to 10 feet. The new pieces together with the Last Supper Table, Along These Lines, and our new rug designs will be launched on 15 October 2010 at Interieur 2010, the 22nd International Design Biennale, Kortrijk Belgium.
 
8. When did you realize you wanted to become designers?
Our story is strange but true. We grew up in different parts of Holland and met studying Architecture at Delft Technical University; but we both had in our early childhood a neighboring architect who was a big stimulus to pursue a design career.

9. How would you define design and its importance to society, humanity, the world?
Beauty is a goal in itself, but, when compared to hunger and tragedy, the best thing beauty can provide is a comfort to the soul. We’re not trying to find something that’s not there for the sake of it or redefining pieces that successfully have been around for years. We’re after useful pieces that are full of beauty. The bottom line is that we’re very fortunate people to be able to pursue beauty day in day out.
 




Designer Perspectives: Q&A with Patrick de Louwere and Bart Eijking, Studio Lawrence

13 August, 2010


Patrick de Louwere and Bart Eijking may be still in the green of their design career, but these up and coming designers have become quite the dynamic Dutch duo. After establishing their architectural practice eijkingdelouwere in 2004, with offices now in the Netherlands and London, the pair went on to launch Studio Lawrence, a contemporary furniture design studio. Most recently, Louwere and Eijking garned the prestigious 40 Under 40 Award, hosted by the European Centre for Architecture, Art Design, and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, for their Last Supper Table and Along These Lines products.

Here, Louwere and Eijking with Contract magazine share their thoughts on their success, design strategy, and the future of product design:

1.  You recently garnered a 40 Under 40 Award Congratulations! How do you feel? And what were you doing when you found out the news?
We received the news of the award via an e-mail from the European Centre for Architecture. We had just finished our espresso-fuelled, Friday morning meeting in our London office. What an unexpected but welcome surprise!
 
2. When it comes to product design, how do you approach a project and see it through to completion?
We’re slowly building up our collection. As Studio Lawrence is our own furniture brand, we’re not only involved in the design of the pieces, but in the production, marketing, and sales, as well. Doing everything yourself is not the quick way, but it’s something that we’re thoroughly enjoying at present. We believe in a combination of three elements: talent; a strong, aesthetic moral; and hard work. Hard work perhaps being the most important!

3. What is the most important thing you have learned about design or the design business in the last five to 10 years?
It’s an old lesson from Delft University: Never put too much in one design. Better to work and rework one idea as opposed to solving every question with new idea.
 
4. How do you expect product design to change in the next 10 years, if at all?
Product design will become more about creating honest pieces—products that can stand the test of time, instead of quick, easy, and quirky designs. We believe in lasting, aesthetic appeal, either based upon good design, environmental pursuits, or conscious-driven by supporting developing countries.

5. What has been, in your opinion, your most successful project to date?
Our most successful project to date is the interior for SRK Legal Assistance. It was our first project after establishing eijkingdelouwere. We never had done an interior before and thoroughly enjoyed the freedom of designing over bricks and mortar. The project inspired us to establish Studio Lawrence.
 
6. What has been your favorite project so far?
In the Netherlands, we’re busy with a 5,000-plus-sq.-ft. villa, House H. It’s the first, full-grown architectural representation of our artistic ideals. (We’re doing the architecture, the interior design, and most of the furniture.) The project is composed of juxtaposing poetic lines and rigid sequences. House H will be finished Christmas 2011. See it grow at www.eijkingdelouwere.nl
 
7. What design-related projects are you currently working on now that you can share with us?
We’re currently working on a new sofa system and a conference chair. Both are very architectural and sculptural pieces. The sofa system is modular and can take varying forms, which buyers can play with, and the chair holds slightly differing shapes but offers a strong, cohereing look. We’ve also been busy re-engineering our Raising Lanterns, enabling affordable and easy to assemble light-sculptures up to 10 feet. The new pieces together with the Last Supper Table, Along These Lines, and our new rug designs will be launched on 15 October 2010 at Interieur 2010, the 22nd International Design Biennale, Kortrijk Belgium.
 
8. When did you realize you wanted to become designers?
Our story is strange but true. We grew up in different parts of Holland and met studying Architecture at Delft Technical University; but we both had in our early childhood a neighboring architect who was a big stimulus to pursue a design career.

9. How would you define design and its importance to society, humanity, the world?
Beauty is a goal in itself, but, when compared to hunger and tragedy, the best thing beauty can provide is a comfort to the soul. We’re not trying to find something that’s not there for the sake of it or redefining pieces that successfully have been around for years. We’re after useful pieces that are full of beauty. The bottom line is that we’re very fortunate people to be able to pursue beauty day in day out.
 

 


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