Tord Boontje – I first discovered multi award winning designer Tord Boontje during a visit to 100% Design in London. He won the Elle Decoration Designer of the Year award that year and his nature inspired garland lights were on prominent display. Its eye catching, intricate design left a lasting impression and I have followed this designer’s career with interest and intrigue ever since.
That Tord Boontje’s educational background is in industrial design, made me realize how narrow my own perception of that field really was! Boontje manages to utilize the most up to date design, materials and manufacturing processes together with more traditional hand crafts to bring to life a design collection that is both diverse and mesmerizing. Boontje’s design ethos is a reminder to all that minimalism is but a subset of contemporary design and is far from its totality.
While probably best known for his work in lighting, he has designed furniture, home accessories, jewelry and the complete Christmas product, advertising and instore décor range for Target (2006).
It is however, Tord Boontje’s work in collaboration with Artecnica as part of their design with conscience program that most recently caught my attention. The ethereal Come Rain Come Shine light (pictured above), which is manufactured by the Coopa Roca women’s co-op in Rocinha, the largest shantytown in Rio de Janeiro. Coopa Roca supports women in this poverty stricken area by providing them with an income for work they can do from home. The Come Rain Come Shine light initially reminds me of the beautiful (if often deadly) forms of giant jelly fish while it’s more land based design features of handmade flowers cover a crochet and ribbon base. This is a piece that many will consider expensive but I don’t think there is anyone who will not appreciate the complexity of this piece and the incredible craftsmanship involved. That it is produced with humanitarian and eco friendly principles firmly in mind is simply a welcome added bonus.
Tord Boontje – Exhibitions
Boontje’s designs are sought after by clients and curators across the globe. With permanent exhibits in such illustrious institutions as MoMU (New York), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, in September 2011 alone his pieces also featured in the following exhibitions (amongst others!):
Resonated Yamaha – Tokyo – new speaker surfaces
Creative Junctions – National Museum of China, Beijing – Witch Chair
EXD’11 Biennale – MUDE, Lisbon – Witches’ Kitchen
Habitare Collection – Design Museum, Finland – Shadowy Chair
Tord Boontje Awards
2011 Wallpaper* Design Awards
2008 Elle Décor Design Award
2007 Red Dot Design Award
2006 IF Product Design Award
2005 Dutch Designer of the Year
2005 Innovation Prize for Textile Collection, Cologne Fair
2004 Best Product, New York Gift Fair
2003 Designer of the Year, Elle Decoration
2003 Short-listed, Designer of the Year, Design Museum London
I have selected a small sample of Tord Boontje designed products for your visual enjoyment and hope that you experience just a little of the inspiration and awe that I feel when I have the pleasure in seeing his work!
Until Dawn Curtains