Milan 08: Dutch designer Pieke Bergmans presented Melted, a collection of shelves and chairs designed with Peter van der Jagt.
The pieces are made of baked blue polystyrene.
See our story on Bergmans' Light Blubs, which she also presented in Milan last month.
More info from Bergmans:
Designed by Peter van der Jagt and Pieke Bergmans
Series of polystyrene furniture
This completely blue collection is as extraordinary at first sight as it is after close inspection. From afar, the forms look strong, fluid and natural. Even though their bright blue skin is deeply contrasting, the objects are by form connected to whichever surface they rest on. This makes the alienating Blue Baked collection adapt and become part of their environment. From up close, we notice that the edges of these objects are deformed and melted. The slight gradient of colour that follows the natural curves of the material indicates that these objects were in fact baked to achieve their final forms.
“Design can be a tedious activity. It also can be fun. In this project we wanted to design products and build them on the spot. The process had to be fast, spontaneous and have instant result, so it was imperative to use materials that are very easy to work with. There is however a contradiction in such materials: the easier to work with, the less suitable they are to create end products. Like the polystyrene foam that we use. It is extremely easy to work with -in fact the material is widely used in model and prototyping industry- but completely unsuitable as material for furniture. We discovered however, that by treating it with heat, the soft skin turns into a rigid, durable surface.
This ignited the project. Heating the foam is a tricky process; a few seconds too long and all that remains is a puddle of blue goo. But with careful timing, each object finds its own way in the oven and comes out slightly different from all the others. That is exactly what we were looking for: It is much more interesting to design the making-process of a product then just to design its final form. It allows us to invent ways in which unique pieces with an individual character can be mass-produced.”
Both Dutch designers, Pieke Bergmans and Peter van der Jagt are connected in a sense of simplicity, in the insatiable need to disrupt the ordinary, and in taking fun very seriously. By slightly changing common objects that we are very familiar with, such as furniture, kitchen tiles, vases, lights et cetera, users are suddenly put off balance.
Creating such moments of surprise and re-interpretation into the daily habits can be seen as art, rather than common product design. No wonder that these products are noticed around the globe and are having great impact on the culture and the definition of design.
With the Melted Collection, Bergmans and van der Jagt have once again managed to add new dimensions to art and design: Dimensions in which material is put to new use and new form. In which furniture is baked like bread, and in which mass products are created equally, but the outcome is ever different.
Material: Polystyrene foam
Editions: 3 chairs, 30 ledges, 1 bookcase
Dimensions of chair: 80 x 50 x 60 cm
Dimensions of ledges: L 10 - 60 cm
Dimensions of bookcase: 110 x 50 x 50 cm
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