Movie: in our second video interview with Job Smeets of Studio Job, the artist discusses the recent economic crisis but claims that, unlike many in the "design art" world, his studio's work has not been negatively affected by it.
"I sometimes talk with young designers who are starting their careers; I would not like to be in their shoes,"says Smeets, who was speaking at Moooi's Unexpected Welcome exhibition in Milan.
"Having said that, when I started Studio Job, I didn't care a thing about the economy. I was involved in trying to make a statement in design or art."
He continues: "But being in a crisis when you're already ten years old is quite exciting. We had the big advantage of not having to slow down our business. There is still a lot of interest in our pieces."
Studio Job has been at the forefront of the "design art" world, where limited edition and one-off design pieces are sold to collectors as pieces of art, for over ten years. Smeets says that the marketplace has become much less crowded since the crisis.
"A lot of our colleagues in the art or design business have disappeared," he explains. "They came up very quickly because they saw there was a market and they went away very quickly because they saw there wasn't a market anymore. But Studio Job already had a body of work by then."
Being a small company with a worldwide reputation helped Studio Job steer through the crisis and take advantage of emerging markets in the east, Smeets claims.
"The market changed because, all of a sudden, the USA wasn't the biggest market anymore. But we are a very small ship; we are lean and mean. A completely new market appeared in the Middle East, in Asian countries and in Russia."
He concludes: "I don't think our work changed [because of the economy], so that's good."
All the designs featured in the movie are by Studio Job. Photography by R. Kot, D. Stier, L. Blonk, A. Blommers / N. Schumm, A. Meewis, Moooi, Lensvelt.