The collection is the result of the long-term collaboration between Tineke Beunders and Nathan Wierink, the founders of Ontwerpduo who met while studying at Design Academy Eindhoven. Before they had even graduated, the pair had decided to work together with the aim of "translating fairy-tale ideas into functional designs and surprising the world with them".
Beunders delivers the fairy-tale part of their pact, letting her imagination run wild without the constraints of feasibility. Wierink has the task of turning her fantastical ideas into functional designs in a laboratory-like workshop.
Cageling is birdcage-like seat that hangs from a single point allowing it to swing freely in the air. "Not captured, yet safe – and as free as a bird possibly can be," said the designers. The metal-wire cage can be coated in any colour and is suitable for inside and outside use. It is lined with felt cushions, embroidered with a specially designed pattern.
Referencing forests and climbing plants, each Light Forest lamp is custom-made by Beunders and Wierink using aluminium, 3D-printed curves and copper shades. The Forest can be made to any colour and composition, "growing" up walls, across ceilings and around corners. "Light Forest crawls into places that other lighting cannot reach," said the designers.
Ontwerpduo conceived the Marbelous table as an improvement to the ones Beunders played marbles under as a child, providing grooves for the marbles to follow from the tabletop to the feet. "Marbelous sweeps table manners aside, to make way for fun," said the designers.
A box underneath provides somewhere to keep the marbles when not in use. Each table is handcrafted as part of a limited edition in the Ontwerpduo studio and is made from maple, with stainless steel marbles.
The name of the What It Is, It Isn't cabinet references a quote from Lewis Carroll's story Alice in Wonderland: "If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?," said Alice in the book.
The limited-edition wood, pewter and polyurethane cabinet is constructed to look like a traditional cabinet reflected in a distorted mirror, but in fact the cabinet itself is distorted.
Rockid combines a rocking chair and a cradle, providing a simple way to rock a child to sleep. It is made from milled birch plywood and felt cushions. Beunders' initial idea for the piece came from a children's story about a group of gnomes and their nanny.
The collection also includes Tallow, a merged candle and sconce all made from paraffin; Folia Lumina, a plant-like LED light; the coated steel and glass Split Mirror, which provides three different reflections of reality; Cottage town, tiny houses which "conjure your houseplants into forest giants"; and Unstationery, coloured paper printed with functional yet unexpected lines.
Ontwerpduo displayed the furniture during Milan Design Week last month.