During Dutch Design Week, E52 will be introducing you to the festival’s Hidden Gems. Ten special designers who we feel are the stand-outs of this edition. A different Hidden Gem will enjoy the limelight each day of DDW. Today: Lotte de Raadt

What The New Handwriters
By Lotte de Raadt
Where Kunst en Ko

Combine design with sheltered workshops and you get The New Handwriters. A collection of products inspired by the unique handwriting of the artists. In four social workshops, twenty clients(artists) of Lunet zorg worked on a new collection for the social design label Luuxx. This collection consists of different products that have to do with water, for example towels, swimming trunks, and shower curtains.

The handwriting of one of the artists

Britt Roelse

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    The products are made with the handwriting of the artists as inspiration. “When I came here for the second time, a client had a box full of small drawings. I thought that was really beautiful and in that I saw that everyone had their own handwriting, that everyone is unique and I wanted to do something with that. Here at Kunst and Ko we made a start on the collection. All the artists here have determined the style of the collection.”

    “I hope to be able to continue this for a while. It would be cool if we could create a new collection every year.”Lotte de Raadt, The New Handwriters

    In the atelier it is a nice kind of busy. The clients have a lot of fun, just like Ramon: “I think this is a great project. We have made nice drawings and after a lot of attempts we now have a result.” Ramon shows the pattern he designed. “I made a pattern from ice cubes.” De Raadt explains the project: “They drew patterns around the theme of water during the three workshops that I organized. We began with images and afterwards the clients made associations with those.”

    In order to bring about change in these kinds of products, which were made in the social workshops, Lunet zorg worked with De Raadt. “In four workshops, this has been worked on for six months. The intention is to involve more and more workplaces. I hope to be able to continue this for a while. It would be cool if we could create a new collection every year. The clients, in any case, are really enthusiastic, they want to work together, they have nice ideas and are very happy with this work.”

    A project in a social workspace is, of course, a different kettle of fish to making a collection in your own studio, but it pleases De Raadt: “It was a new experience for me. The workshops are low pressure, but they have worked hard to get everything finished on time. Products could take time here and that was a new insight for me. I have become very used to the fact that a product must be made as efficiently as possible. Day-to-day activities are about creating and not about time. That again offers new possibilities for the collection.”

    Ramon with his pattern

    Britt Roelse

    During Dutch Design Week, the first samples of the collection can already be seen at Kunst and Ko. The first orders can then already be placed. You can also visit the atelier on Hoogstraat and see the artists in action and enjoy a nice cup of coffee. Ramon: “We are going to give fantastic tours that week.”

    The ten gems of DDW were created in collaboration with Dutch Design Daily and curator Katja Lucas from DDW. Do you want to admire the gems yourself? Every day, Urban Exploring Tours and KOGA will organize a special bike trip and drop by the selected designers. You can find more info here.

    Photos: Britt Roelse

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    Author profile picture Frans van Beveren leads IO on a daily basis. He is fascinated by everything related to technical progress, innovation, sustainability, and industrial design.