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.
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.
I worked with Hugo van der Kallen and his intern Jeanne van Straten to produce a professional prototype of the three person bench.
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
Collectie Veenhuizen @ Nieuwjaarsreceptie Drenthe
Westerbrink 1, 9405 BJ, Assen
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