Piet Hein Eek is the designer who turned everything upside down, when making his entrance to the world`s design scene. He is well known for his furniture made of scrap wood. His whole production reflects his idea of making exclusive furniture out of what else would have been considered as waste. The idea is not unique, anybody who was ever involved in a production process has probably felt the despair of throwing away too much materials. But his creative and “cheeky” attitude made it special. Not least did he manage to exploit the fact that he was in the right place at the right time.

He gets creative energy from the materials he at any given moment obtain. By using various craft techniques to get the most out of what he has on hand. With such an approach it goes without saying that it is not easy to entrust the production to others. Yet he now has employed a crew that will do the job. His goal is still to create sustainable objects that are aesthetically beautiful,  and usable – even after ten years of use.

Along with Heidi Bjornsdotter Thorvik I was in Eindhoven and visited his studio. In a large old factory building he has furnished a huge creative center with both workshop, shop and showroom, outdoor stage and restaurant in addition to a gallery.

The place reflects the rough and fearless style we recognize from his furniture. First and foremost, we are overwhelmed by the site’s scope! In an interview with Deze Design Magazine he suggests that everything he has ever planned, ended up being huge. “When we needed a lunchrom it became a restaurant. The art we wanted to hang over our sofas, ended as a gallery, and the little things we would sell over the counter ended up being a store.” *

Piet Hein Eek’s success has served as a catalyst for many peoples awareness towards waste, and in seeing both the value and the beauty of what is unique and imperfect. When he had his breakthrough, the design industry had for a long time been concerned about perfectionism. Mass production, high precision and a requirement that all products were sold under a design brand should be equal and 100% faithful to the original.

For Piet Hein Eek this is not possible, nor interesting. He creates unique products where not one product is quite similar to another.

For many he is still a rebel.


*Kilde: Dezeen Design Magazine