A flat-pack seating system inspired by the prison workshops in Veenhuizen, NL.

Veenhuizen is a small village in the north of the Netherlands with a unique history, currently in search of it’s identity. It was set up in 1823 as a utopic experiment to house and re-educate vagrants. The high ideals eventually 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.

The whole project is rooted in a image taken on a short tour of the prison workshop, of a small table nailed together out of scrap wood. This small creative impulse from an inmate was transformed into a fully designed seating system. By focusing on one small, seemingly insignificant, part of Veenhuizen, this project aims to give new attention to a historic village.

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.

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Developed for production as part of Collectie Veenhuizen.

Prototype made in the workshop of Hugo van der Kallen, with the help of Jeanne van Straten.

Model: Mila Chorbadzhieva

© Sarah Hutchinson 2014