Rebuilding a village identity through design

Role: Self led project

Veenhuizen is a small village in the north of the Netherlands with a unique history. It was set up in 1823 as a utopic experiment to house and re-educate vagrants. The high ideals soon collapsed but it remained a closed village until 1984, and still has two operational prisons and the national Prison Museum. It is up for UNESCO World Heritage accreditation in 2018.

I designed a flat-pack seating system inspired by the prison workshops in Veenhuizen. By focusing on one small, seemingly insignificant, part of Veenhuizen, this project aims to give new attention to a historic village. I was developed during gradation at the Design Academy Eindhoven and then further in collaboration with Collectie Veenhuizen.



While touring the prison workshops in Veenhuizen I took this photo of a small table nailed together out of scrap wood. It was clearly made by a prisoner for their own use. What really excited me was taking this small creative implies, which everyone shares weather inside or outside of prison, and turning it into a fully designed seating system which can stand the test of time.

Village Seat Original.jpg
first prototype village seat.JPG

Product Design

The seating system is constructed with tusked mortise and tenon joints, which enable this all wood system to be dismantled and reassembled multiple times. You buy it flat-packed, it can be easily shipped, and when you need to move house you can pack it up in the original packaging and move on.

It becomes a travelling piece of Veenhuizen, a piece of a village, that can spread the name and feeling of the place.

CNC milling.jpg

Professional prototype

I worked with Hugo van der Kallen and his intern Jeanne van Straten to produce a professional prototype of the three person bench.

Slight Side On Second Develop.jpg

Collectie Veenhuizen

Village Seat was developed for production in collaboration with Collectie Veenhuizen. It toured the country and was commercially produced by CNC milling the part and then hand finishing them.




It’s your world @ Klokgebouw

Klokgebouw 50, 5617 AB, Eindhoven

17th - 25th October

The Design Circle

Kunstkapel, Prinses Irenestraat 19, Amsterdam

29th September - 4th October

Jaarbeurs van het Noorden

Hondsdraf, 69302 AJ, Roden

17th - 22nd September

Boeiend Bouwen Convention

De Gevangeniskapel, Rotterdam

25th March

Collectie Veenhuizen @ Nieuwjaarsreceptie Drenthe

Westerbrink 1, 9405 BJ, Assen

6th January



Posthorrnkerk, Haarlemmerstraat 124, Amsterdam

26th January - 9th February


Expositie Bouw & Bind

Veenhuizen Bench part of Collectie Veenhuizen

De Kazerne Bouw & Bind, Hospitaallaan 1, Veenhuizen

8th - 10th November

Design Academy Graduation Show 2013, Self Unself

Veenhuizen Bench part of ‘Friends of the Academy’ exhibition

deWitteDame, Emmasingel 14, Eindhoven

19th - 22nd October

collectie veenhuizen village seat.jpg