We are surrounded by an incredible mass of objects and environment pieces and everything take an influence on our behavior and mood. How important the interaction between the user and the objects of the everyday is, shows the work of the dutch design duo Studio PS. Based in Amersfort, the studio is run by Peter van de Merwe and Sanne Zeeman.
Both studied at the Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam and decide working together after their graduation. Their work is focussed on products and interiors, which communicated through materials and a bold use of beautiful colors. They launched the TAPED Series during the last times: A collection of handmade porcelain cups in various color palettes and with a very special haptic feeling. The designers where interested to add a “ceramic-strange” material as skin, to create a special user experience by touching the cup. They develop a lot of experiments and choose in the end a wrinkled paper-tape, to create the special skin of the cup. Every cup is unique and in a way imperfect and this only one fact which makes the collection so beautiful. The cups are a great example for the famous Dutch Design solutions: Take an everyday piece, rethink it, add a smart twist and make it special. Simple and great.
The studio works also on different interior solutions which are mostly based on a special use of color: For the headquarters of the dutch welfare organization WELZIJN VEENENDAAL they create a new interior concept for a better workspace. All rooms got new colors and old chairs which have been individually repainted and reupholstered, to give every room a special mood. Also a very simple solution which takes a big influence on the employers of the studio. Every project shows how important our environment is and which impression it has on our mood. In an short interview Peter van de Merwe and Sanne Zeeman explain the profile of their studio, their relationship to design and their incredible use of color.
Hi, please introduce yourself a little bit
The P and the S stand for the interior architects, Peter van de Merwe and Sanne Zeeman. Both are fascinated by the interaction between the users of our designs and the design itself. Our aim is to create things that enrich our users life by creating surprising experiences or just beauty that makes people smile. The users are the most important subject in our project. We love tactile experiences. Material texture, the way the look, feel and the way the attract attention.
Where/when did you decide to start your design studio?
Peter van de Merwe and Sanne Zeeman both studied interior architecture at the Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Both Peter and Sanne graduated Cum Laude in july 2011. The Willem de Kooning Academie is where they met each other as classmates. Directly after this 4 years of study, Peter and Sanne started their company in september 2011, Studio PS, a interior architecture and product design studio. We worked on several ceramic projects individually during our studies. And we always found each others work inspiring, so we talked about doing a project together after our graduation.
Then it grew to a collaboration that resulted in starting a studio together.
"Our aim is to create things that enrich our users life by creating surprising experiences or just beauty that makes people smile."
Why do you decide to create products and interior?
We don’t like to be doing the same kind of projects all day. The variation between multiple design disciplines keeps us sharp at all times. We find it really refreshing to have different challenges at all times. Even with this way of working it makes us as studio less fragile, by focussing on both interior and product design keeps us going, also when there isn’t work in one of two disciplines.
You work on products and also on interiors, both take a huge influence on the customer because he interacts with his environment. Do you think of the customer or a special audience when you start to design?
In our designs the users are always in the first place. We all experience that when something looks beautiful but isn’t functioning well then we simply don’t like the product. We think that in the end, it’s all about functionality. Off course other aspects as shape, size, aesthetics and colors are very important. But for us, this is just a way to make the design even more friendly and accepted by more users.
How do you develop an idea/concept, can you describe you creative process a
We start with the question of what should it do or where are you going to use it for. So that means that we first look at the function. Then the second part, in our ceramic products is mostly experimenting with materials and colors and with new material structures. We search for simple solutions to create something that will surprise our users. With our interior projects this research is mostly about how when can move people in the perfect way through a room or space. How we can guide the users from one room to the other by using materials and colors. Of course every concept for each project is different so there’s not a really strict approach in general.
Color seems to be a very important term in your work. Can you tell me a little bit about your use of color and your relationship with this element?
We like to bring color in front. If you look for example at our TAPED Collection, we use the color to enrich the collection, give it more visual appearance, but most important in this project is to involve the buyers and users in the design process. We chose to design the TAPED Collection in this shape and with this function, but we also wanted to leave the choice of color with the users. We can’t tell what will fit in their interiors or what colors
people love. So we wanted to let the users chose by them selves out of this quite large color pallet for ceramic products. By this we can create so kind of band or relation between the user and his self-chosen products.
What is your relationship to design in general?
Our relationship to design is quite simple. It’s our passion. Everything we see around us all day is somehow judged by our eye for detail and design. We always think of how things are designed perfectly or how something can be made better. It keeps us busy, and that’s why we love our jobs so much.
Are there other creative disciplines you would like to explore or people you
like to collaborate with?
We want to expand our field of work in the future. There might be designs for more variety in products, also furniture and lighting. Of course this is what we would like to see in the future, if it will be true, maybe future will tell.
Have a look on the website to check out the full portfolio of Studio PS and their blog to watch a video interview with super sympathetic Sanne and Peter.
© Studio PS