Wednesday, 25 July 2018 09:13

Explore Dutch Designer Dirk Vander Kooij’s range of recycled products

    Dutch Designer Dirk Vander Kooij is best known for his playful extrusions of reclaimed synthetics. Holding the attitude of craftsman/inventor, Dirk marries machine and hand in the fostering of honest material expression.

    His time spent at the Design Academy Eindhoven fruited an ambitious endeavour – to apply low-resolution 3D printing in furniture production. The texture of this self-developed process has since become synonymous with his work. In 2011, the Endless Chair won acclaim in the form of the Dutch Design Award. The chair set a precedent for the work that would follow – many of Dirk’s designs can be considered vessels intending material showcase and reclamation. As a craftsman, he is attracted to the irrevocable histories and textures possessed by found content. As an inventor, he favours the simplicity of self-evident production.

    Meltingpot Table

    The Meltingpot Table plays a keystone role in Dirk Vander Kooij’s approach to circular and sustainable design. A relentless prototype, the meltingpot process fuses Dirk’s many experiments into a single, ever-changing landscape. By way of a house-developed press, discarded chairs, vases, cabinets and more are affectionately remoulded into indestructible tables.

    The process has come to envelop a range of synthetic sources – CDs, lawn furniture and agricultural tubing (to name a few). Stoic in design, a single slab atop a conical base serves to plainly showcase the unlikely ubermaterials. By exposing their texture, unmanipulated, Dirk reintroduces the plastics as truthful and autonomous.

    Chubby Chair

    The Chubby Chair exaggerates functional ornamentation as imparted by low-resolution 3D printing. In doing so, the chair evidences the inimitable durability, singularity and texture associated with the printed medium.

    Dirk’s house-developed extrusion process expands the capabilities of unlikely sourced materials. In the case of the Chubby Chair, discarded refrigerator interiors are reintroduced as autonomous, indestructible. And, as molten synthetics are squeezed like toothpaste, perhaps even a little humorous. The chair’s final form is achieved by bending strata of printed material inward. This simple deviation makes it possible to construct a chair with relatively few strokes of the machine.

    The Chubby Chair can be found in the permanent collections of the Vitra Design Museum and the Design Museum in London.

    Endless Chair

    The Endless Chair shows Dirk Vander Kooij’s practical outlook, as design follows process.

    Developed in conjunction with his graduation from the Design Academy Eindhoven, the Endless Chair is the product of robotically-guided, low-resolution 3D printing. Hard-fought, the Endless Chair represents Dirk’s very first successful collaboration with the beloved, self-made robot.

    The endless process sees a single, molten thread of reclaimed synthetics gradually draw furniture from the ground up. Sources include refrigerator lining, CDs and rooftop windows – all of which are employed for their inimitable textural properties. Discolouration, fragmentation and wear lend a tone of familiarity to a material often considered sterile, disposable.

    The pulses of low-resolution printing invite comparisons to textiles or cut glass (to deceptive effect). The final, rigid form is indestructible. Dirk Vander Kooij won the Dutch Design Award in 2011 for his Endless Chair.

    Menhir Bench

    The revised Menhir Bench is the most recent addition to Dirk’s portfolio of synthetic ubermaterials. In a stone-like evolution, agricultural tubing and fittings are slowly melted before realigning into solid slabs of raw material.

    Once processed, the stones expose gentle tonal variation. The melting process encourages the mono-material to fold onto itself, forming unpredictable grains, veins and strata. Velvety to the touch, the bench sees plastic expressed as tactile and deceptively organic. Arranged in a calculated balance, the final Menhir Bench conjures images of standing stones.

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