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5 Minutes With… Ineke Hans

Dutch designer Ineke Hans has collaborated with some of Europe’s most recognisable brands. Her projects centre around pictograms and archetypes, and are often clear and almost graphical. We got her to spill the beans on work and life during her recent visit to Singapore.

5 Minutes With… Ineke Hans


April 2nd, 2013

What projects are you busy with at the moment?

We’re working on a hotel project in Canada – it’s on an island. We’re working on a big exhibition – a fashion biennale – with Ragna and Edelkoort. We’re working on a project for furniture along the motorways in Holland – it’s for picnics. We’re working on a project for a school. We’re working on a project for Iittala. We’re working on furniture projects for some specific interiors. We’re working on new products for clients we already work with… it’s a lot!

Ineke Hans

Fracture for Cappellini

How many people are there in your studio?

There are five. We have to work very hard!

Ineke Hans

Neo Country for Cappellini

Name your top three influences.

Gerrit Reitveld.

I also had a tutor, Vico Magistretti. I liked his enthusiasm… he looked at the world as a child, in my opinion.

I also like what Konstantin Grcic is doing.

Ineke Hans

Smallroom for Offecct

Do you have a favourite landmark or building?

There’s a very famous building by Reitveld, the Reitveld Schröder House. It’s in Holland. What I do like about that building is that you can see the design on the drawing boards, but when you’re in it, you see that when it was built, there were also things that had to be solved on the spot. There are also little details where you think, ’Ah, they didn’t anticipate that on the drawing board’. And that’s what I like, because it also gives it a human touch. But there are also beautiful details… it’s full of fun things.

Ineke Hans

Black Gold, part of Ineke Han’s own collection

Is there a dream project that you’d like to do – real or imaginary?

I like to do bigger projects because I think I can take this kind of complexity better.

But what I would also like to work on… when I go for my holiday in Germany, we go in a little camper van – it’s actually a Volkswagen Bus that I had transformed. If you look at camper vans, they are about going on a holiday, but I also think it hasn’t got anything to do with it because it looks like a fridge on wheels. People want to have everything in it that they have at home – they want a television, a shower… and it has nothing to do with camping anymore. What I would like about working on a camper van is having to think of small areas where things can be folded away. I really like to think how it all comes about in a very practical way.

I don’t know if it’s a serious or good example of what I really want to do, but I’m just simply amazed that how they look has nothing to do with my idea of a holiday.

Ineke Hans

Bowl & Spoon for Royal VKB

Who is your dream person to collaborate with?

I think I have fantastic clients. When they phoned me up from Iittala, I was super happy, because I was working with Royal VKB, and I always thought working with Iittala would be nice but it’s a bit close to VKB so they would never be interested. It’s very difficult for me to go to companies and say, ’Hey, you should work with me’.

I would also like to work a bit more with architects.

Ineke Hans

My Storage for Magis

Name your number one concern for the design industry.

Innovate and don’t make the same as what you did two years ago. I think it’s happening a lot in design. We have so much stuff… you could question if we need another chair. So if you make another chair, you have to be damn sure that there is some kind of innovation inside. Otherwise, in my opinion, it’s totally pointless. Why would I make a sofa that could be done 20 years ago? Why would I do that? Tell me.

Ineke Hans

Fly for Arco

Do you have any pet projects that you’re particularly passionate about?

I like to make little toy cars! I have a children’s collection of my own. We made a limousine, we made a taxi, we made a camper van… They are made of recycled plastic.

And if I’m bored… you know, sometimes you get stuck… I’ll think, ’Ah, I’m going to make a car’. It’s a bit of a distraction.

Ineke Hans

Welland for SCP

Name one item in the workplace you can’t live without.

In reality, I think it’s my computer. But… we have plants in the office, and that’s what I really like.

Ineke Hans

Ahrend 380 for Ahrend

What is the most interesting thing about the way you work?

There’s a quote that I really like: The heart has its reasons, which reason doesn’t know.

I think you have to sometimes allow the heart to do something, without knowing why you do it.

Ineke Hans

Ordinary Furniture, part of Ineke Han’s own collection

Ineke Hans

Also check out the design conversation between Ineke Hans, Jorre van Ast and Outofstock, held recently in Singapore at Foundry.

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