Kiki van Eijk and Joost van Bleiswijk live and work near Eindhoven. Working as independent designers as well as collaboratively, they represent a new generation of Dutch designers. Together, and individually, using a mix of contemporary and traditional Dutch influences, they create playful designs and products that have gained them international recognition.
Joost van Bleiswijk is a prolific Eindhoven-based designer who works with brands like MOOOI, Bernhardt Design, ICE Carpets, Secondome and Ahrend. He attaches great value to his freedom as designer, whether that is the freedom to design without a specific audience in mind, or take his time with materials and processes.
With the aim of timelessness and armed with the motto "Design is no democracy", Joost focuses on making things with great care, lasting materials, and heritage process in a personal, recognizable and distinctive way. Joost's designs hark back to a long tradition of design archetypes, with iconic designs such as grandfather clocks, high-backed chairs, goblets, chess sets, and cupboards playing an important role. The way Joost's objects are made are central to his overall aesthetic. Whether he builds pieces with the now famous 'no screw no glue' method, sketches a carpet with a pencil, or creates punk style objects with a blowtorch, the way things are made are always strongly visible.
"You mustn't take usefulness as your point of departure," says Joost. "You should start from a fascination for shape, exploring how the object has looked throughout history. From this research, a new design can be created using a new interpretation of the object."
Bringing these designs into a contemporary setting has marked Joost's work throughout his career. From his early 'no glue no screw' collection, to the latest MECCHANIC series, Joost uses strong shapes and lines to create new designs. Along with his own collections he works for companies and institutions such as The Rijksmuseum, Design Academy Eindhoven, Venice Projects, Zuiderzee Museum, Noord Brabants Museum, and private collectors. His work is sold and exhibited worldwide through international galleries as well as international museums including in Basel, London, Paris, Milan, Venice, New York, Tokyo, Moscow and Holon.
Kiki van Eijk is a highly accomplished Eindhoven-based designer. She works with brands like Hermès, Saint-Louis, 1882 Ltd, MOOOI, Häagen-Dazs, Serax, Bernhardt Design and Nodus. By designing with a clear vision and personal touch, Kiki van Eijk strongly represents the new generation of Dutch designers. While Kiki's work is easily recognizable by her mild and playful surface aesthetic, underneath, the works can be complex and serious. With a focus on hand-crafted processes, this nostalgic approach combined with her poetic and personal style comes to life in a wide range of work, such as carpets, lighting, furniture, ceramics, glassware and luxurious textiles. By combining old and new techniques, applied on unexpected objects, Kiki aims to surprise and delight both manufactures and consumers alike.
Inspired by beautiful phenomena she comes across in the real world, Kiki hopes people fall as much in love with her designs as she did with her original inspiration. Her work has been presented in galleries, museums and fairs worldwide, including in Basel, London, Paris, Milan, Venice, New York, Tokyo, Rome, Moscow, and Holon. She also works on projects for companies and institutions such as Studio Edelkoort Paris, Design Academy Eindhoven, VeniceProjects, Audax Textile Museum, Zuiderzee Museum, Noord Brabants Museum, Rijksmuseum, and private collectors.
"In our current era of technology where everything is rapidly changing, I find it important to still stand by the everyday object that is made with love and to respect what is already there, such as what we find in nature",says Kiki van Eijk."Autonomy is very important in my work; it helps me to have the freedom to be as personal as I like without being distracted by customers' wishes. This freedom also allows me to spend an extensive amount of time on a series of products to get the most original result and quality as possible. I choose to work not only with sustainable materials, but also with products that have an everlasting and timeless aesthetic."