At Studio Dirk Vander Kooij developing new techniques for new designs is an ongoing job. Dirk (1983) considers ways of developing a new design just as interesting as the new design itself. It requires constant readjustment of techniques until the form Dirk has in mind appears. Dirk works 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. “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.
Dirk’s design skills early emerged. While still in college, during an internship at Ingo Maurer’s studio, he presented the Elephant Skin Table and Stools in Milan. The Elephant Skin is created through a process of baking 100% recycled plastics. By doing so a matte, wrinkly texture appears resembling elephant skin.
With the Satellite Lamp as an eye-catcher in Milan 2011, Dirk introduced a complete furniture collection: a dining chair, a coffee table and a rocking chair. Dirk showed his craftsmanship with the All Material Table with the sole use of honest materials and ingots as copper, stone and wood.
This presentation drew a lot of attention from various museums. Among others the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Vitra Design Museum in Germany and 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 Best New Designer Award during the ICFF 2013.
The Chubby Chair (2012) has extremely fat lines (hence the name) with primary colors as if they were pure paint. With the transition of colors Dirk creates a uniquely gradient colored Chubby Coat Hanger.
Even though it was the Endless and Elephant Skin 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 and produced the the All Material Table, Triangulate Lamp and the Diffuser Cabinet (2013).