Talking to Ontwerpduo
I have loved the designs by Ontwerpduo for a while now. This is why I was especially excited to meet the creative mind behind the brand, Tineke Beunders, at the Blickfang Messe in Basel. After meeting Tineke, it made me love the brand even more. Right from the beginning, Tineke was open, interested and kind. She took the time to tell me more about her designs, her creative process, the story behind her products and a bit about herself and her family life. It was a conversation that made me leave happy and inspired; I just had to have an interview. Luckily she said yes!
Get ready to learn more about Ontwerpduo! You will quickly see why there is so much more to love about this brand than just the beautiful objects they design!
Hallo Tineke, thanks for taking the time, telling us a little bit more about yourself and Ontwerpduo. Could you give me a Quick introduction about yourself?
Sure, my name is Tineke Beunders and I live in Eindhoven (Netherlands). I graduated in 2008 from the Design Academy Eindhoven, with compliments. I am the Founder and Art- Director of Ontwerpduo
What did you want to become as a Child?
What inspired you to become a designer?
Grandma’s interior: I like my grandma’s interior. Not because she has the best taste, but because everytime I visited her house, I saw the same products. When I was 5 years old, or 30. The same products were there. This became the idea behind the products I make: I want to make products that my customers fall in love with. Products that they like, use, keep, and last longer than a lifetime. Products that people are proud of.
…obsessively organized: My head is a chaos. So the rest needs to be organized. I like my tools arranged, I like to fold my clothes, I like to prepare repeating processes in normal daily life.
…daily sketches: Sketching is very important to me. I still do this with pen and paper, which I take with me everywhere.
What is your favorite object or design you own, which is not one of your own designs?
My bed. Every night when I step into my own bed, I feel glad that the bed is functioning so well. It is just a simple mattress and plain white bedsheets. But isn’t that all you need during the night?
Where do you find your inspirations?
My childhood, daily processes, the news, nature…. everywhere all day long.
What’s your philosophy?
The Nomadic spaces: I like to go on holiday with as less stuff as possible. Preferrabely by bike. Everything you need is with you, a small tent, cooking gear, one spoon, one knife. It works for me to live a simple life for a while and then comes back to ‘reality’. It helps to not take life so seriously.
What is your favorite material to work with?
I like to work with a new material all the time!
What do you enjoy most while designing and creating?
The first part: Sketching, brainstorming: The quiet space around me, a cup of tea during sketching. Sunlight at the desk, or rain against the window. A good chair to sit in. Music sometimes.
Second part: Seeing your ideas in real. Making photos of the products.
What is your most meaningful/favorite design?
The whole image of our company.
When do you know your design is finished?
It is never finished.
Whom are your objects made for?
For everybody who loves them. We don’t have a so-called target group. We just design products that we like, and we hope others like them too.
Is there an object you would like to create but haven’t?
A treehouse/fairytale houses: I have this obsession with little wooden houses. They are friendly, cozy, in a way also unreal. One day I will design one.
What do you find most challenging about being a designer?
Being good for the world, making not to much waste. Not the next product…
Good design always is/has/should be…
A good product should be something that one loves. Not only in color, shape, material or size, but also in story. One really needs to love to care for the product, do maintenance instead of buying a new one. Like a good coffee machine: You wake up and think about coffee. You turn on the machine, it makes a little noise, you love the noise because you know you will get good coffee from it. It also takes a little time and effort to get the coffee, it is not done with one press on a button. But you love doing that. And besides all this, you love to take care of the machine, clean it well every now and then. And this machine you buy for life. You have thought about it before buying it quite a while because it was not cheap. It is made from good materials, in a good factory, with normally paid people. And last but not least: it might not be the quickest way to get coffee, but it is your way and the best.
And in contrast to this is the following:
You buy something you don’t need, but what you saw, and was really cheap. On your way home you already think: I don’t really need this. At home you put it down, use it twice and three years later, when cleaning up, you find it again, and throw it away, because it was cheap, and you don’t use it anyway.
Products like this I absolutely despise.
Form and function. What do these two words mean to you as a designer and how do you bring them together in your designs?
A combination of words which one can absolutely not break apart during designs. If only the form is nice, but when it won’t function. I don’t want to have it. When only the function is good, but the shape is not nice, I don’t want to have it either. The combination of form and function should be in balance. And one time the function can be a bigger part of the design, the other time the form, but always: form and function need both to work.
Thank you so much fot taking the time and aswearing me some questions.