La Divina Commedia by Niels Van Eijk
& Miriam van der Lubbe



Milan 08: Dutch designers Niels van Eijk and Miriam van der Lubbe presented a chiase longue and lamp made of hand-carved blocks of polypropylene.


The carvings, which are first cut with lasers and then finished by hand, are taken from illustrations of Dante's epic poem La Divina Commedia drawn by Gustav Doré in 1860.


The project aims to juxtapose old imagery, ideas and crafts with new technology and materials.


Photographs are by Studio vier/a Peer van de Krui.

Here's some more information from van Eijk & van der Lubbe:


La Divina Commedia - Old images on contemporary material, made with high tech production techniques and ancient crafts.

In continuation of the project Godogan, designed for Friedman Gallery New York and Droog Design, Van Eijk & van der Lubbe designed a new series of products where old images meet high tech production techniques and in which ancient crafts are combined with contemporary materials.


At the beginning of the 14th century, Dante Alighieri wrote the well known epic poem La Divina Commedia which is considered to be one of the greatest works of world literature. In this epic poem, Dante describes the Christian life after death, and this story can be seen as the medieval worldview of the western church. Although this might seem only a Christian story, Dante integrated the political struggles of that time. Still, the story of La Divina Commedia can be read as a nowadays critic on politics and translated into problems of society nowadays.


In the project La Divina Commedia of Van Eijk & van der Lubbe, different worlds meet as well. The Old illustrations of Gustav Doré, drawn in 1860 are known as the visuals of La Divina commedia of Dante. They have been reproduced in a high tech way by laser engraving on a contemporary material, polypropylene, and after that partially carved by craftsmen. It’s an estranged combination to have this story cut 3 dimensionally in plastics. In this way, it comes to live and at the same time it is brought into the 21st century.


Materials: polypropylene
Sizes: Chaise Longue LDC: 90 x 50 x 70, Hotspot LDC: 60 x 60 x 235
Techniques: Laser engraving, hand carving
Images (adapted): Gustave Doré

Posted on Tuesday May 6th 2008 at 5:36 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • K. Rimane

    is it art or design… more art than design i’d say.
    nice crafted work!

    • emine

      I don't know what it is but design and art are differeft thinks according to you??? You are so confuse ha?

  • just! Dante Alighieri is poetry, and this is art!


  • bioz segundo


  • Theo


  • Tyler

    mmm, definitely wow!

  • mkk


  • Honggo

    human’s creativity is dying!!!

  • cp

    unfortunately nothing really new here but they do look nice.
    also polyprop is a nightmare to work with so great carving and finish!!

  • Wonderful work.. Nice to see the hand as a process to produce something. Quite a simple beautiful design, given another renaissance/rebirth using contemporary materials. Very nice piece!

  • yulisri


  • boti


  • Bonzo

    This is extraordinarily tacky. Is no one sick to death of more unecessary plastic crap hitting the world? It isn’t clever – the reason why no one has done it before is because it’s stupid. Divine Comedy indeed – it is a restoration of diposable and nauseous aesthetics reminiscent of 150 years ago.

  • p


  • tiffany

    This is not art, it’s craft design. Nothing new. This is not the 21st century, this is the 19th century, nothing added. I understand some people will appreciate the effort put into the piece, like my granny.

  • mauro paparo filomarino