The creative process is just as important as the end result. That is the message of the exhibition The Age Of Makers during the Dutch Design Week in the Microlab at Strijp-S. Several entrepreneurs, all working as traditional craftsmen, present their work here.
Between the workshops on the ground floor of Microlab, young entrepreneurs and artists exhibit their work. Almost everything is focused on interior design, but everyone looks at it from different angles. The space is filled by a large cabinet made of Plokko’s. These are different elements that can be slid into each other, such as plastic connectors, sticks, and planks. It has something K’nex-like. Plokko mainly uses the various elements to make cupboards and lamps. “People can buy a number of Plokko’s via the site and turn it into a lamp themselves”, explains owner Jessie Evertse. The company focuses on sustainable production. “The blocks are made of sustainable, bio-based plastic. The wooden parts are still made from MDF, but we are not entirely satisfied with it. We are looking for a more sustainable alternative.”
“Thinking conversely always creates great new ideas”Iris Boshoven, LenteLabel
Plokko is part of Green PAC iLab. Through iLab, various entrepreneurs are supported in setting up their businesses. There is a lot of scope for development and cooperation. Olivier Gossink is also a member of this group. He designs several multitools. His first product is a ruby hook that is simultaneously a screwdriver, pliers, and wrench. “It originated from my own need. I’m a technician and therefore often involved in building robots”, says Gossink, founder of the company. “The multitool is also made in a unique way: without hinges and springs, but connected by means of magnets. The product is on sale, but is not yet sold so much. It is used by a very small group of people, therefore I don’t sell so many of them. But they are very enthusiastic about it.”
In addition to the young start-ups, Microlab also has companies that have existed for a long time. LenteLabel is one of them. Louise Kruf and Iris Boshoven make home accessories in a special way. “We start thinking of a certain material and only then look for a product that suits this”, says Boshoven. The two young women sell their products through a webshop and in shops. “Our first collection, TUBE, we made of steel tube profiles. All products are based on this.” In addition to making its own collection, the company is also active in other areas. Since 2016, they have also provided the interior of the Microlab shared rooms. “It is a challenge to do that together, but the cooperation is always very good. That’s why it’s always successful and fun to do.”
Besides OliviersFunctionals, Plokko, and LenteLabel, many more designers exhibit their work at the Microlab. The designs range from functional to exclusive and from small accessories to large furniture. All made with their own view of the world and the old craft. The designers have at least one thing in common; they all strive to work as sustainably as possible.