say hi to_ Jeroen van de Gruiter
Anyone who is in the design world knows that The Netherlands is revered across the globe as THE go to place to find some of the most talented up and coming experimental designers each year. With that being said, I know that my taste leans towards the sometimes impractical and overly experimental - but what about pieces that can still fit seamlessly into the modern chic urban home?
Young Rotterdam based product designer, Jeroen van de Gruiter, seems to find a very fine balance between innovation and beautiful pieces well suited to a gallery or to a home. His thoughtful approach to solid forms and the perfect hue to compliment that, really caught my attention.
One of the things I love about Jeroen's playful yet sophisticated pieces are that they always invite the user to interact with them in some way. At first glance, a lot of the pieces are quite sculptural and the function is sometimes not always evident. There is something about this initial mystery and curiosity which provokes one to touch and discover the objects. Something that is not translated in the photos as well as in person are that the equisite feeling of texture and substantial weight of some of the pieces. The pieces are luxurious and open to various functions depending on your imagination - something I love in object design.
We had our first say hi to_ exhibition in Paris this past May, where we featured a few of Jeroen's stunning pieces and where Jeroen came down to Paris to give a presentation on his work. We had a little chat with him about his work and creative process, see what he had to say...
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Q + A
| Kristen | Can you introduce yourself and what you do?
| Jeroen | My name is Jeroen van de Gruiter I’m a product designer based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. My interest lies in creating products, mainly for the interior space, that have a certain relation to their user and context.
| Kristen | How do you choose which materials you want to work with? Or do you have an idea and then explore materials?
| Jeroen | I often look at the influence light has on how we perceive things around us, and through this appreciation I choose my materials.
It can be that a material intrinsically connects to the underlying principle or function of the object or because a material can be manipulated or treated in such a way that translates the idea best.
| Kristen | What is the hardest part about owning your own creative studio?
| Jeroen | The hardest part is not be mentally occupied with what I do all the time. On the other hand, the freedom it gives me to work on ideas that get me excited is worth a lot.
| Kristen | Can you tell us a little bit about this series?
| Jeroen | There are a couple of products that I’ve explored over the past year, the products all have a certain relation to the human body and aim to express this in their characteristics.
The brass door handle (Line, 2016) has a bump in the middle that can be seen as a literal gesture towards the user; saying use me, touch me. The necklace holder (Lay II) is a more soft, companion-like, object that can be used to rest and display your favourite necklace. All objects have some characteristics that should feel familiair or invite you to explore them, even though their function may not always be apparent.
| Kristen | Can you tell us about your creative process and how you start connecting for new projects?
| Jeroen | I tend to get captured by a certain image in mind that can be of a gesture, of how to use a shape, then in sketching and looking for references I explore this.
Next to that I look around a lot and try to see things for what they really are or could be, that helps me to make sense of things, to see things clear and be more critical. I’m often quite aware of my surroundings and the influence it can have on your emotional state, so in the design process I try to be aware of the layers of meaning you can put into an object. This is an interest that is growing more and more.