(jiří macek) The front-page heroes Dresser, Light, and Jars are the first items on the list of joint projects by the renowned British brand of Established and Sons in tandem with the Dutch duo of Stefan Sholten and Carole Baijings. Both new products from the tuned-up catalogue were presented, of course, at Design Week in Milan, where they and the entire presentation won the hearts of the visitors.
Stefan Sholten and Caroline Baijings prove that a smooth collaboration between a man and a woman in a designer duo is possible. Natural, logical, and frequent – primarily in Holland – the connection has brought designer glory to many duos regardless of whether they are couples or not. Such studios as Droog design, Studio Job, Raw Edges, Makkink & Bey, Van Eijk & Van der Lubbe, and Doshi Levien speak to this fact. Stefan Sholten and Carole Baijings have collaborated since 2000, when they founded the studio of Sholten & Baijings. So far, they have focused primarily on their own independent projects and on work for galleries for which they prepared both exhibition projects and original products, which they have subsequently sold in museum shops all over the world. Thus, their portfolio includes such clients as The National Historical Museum, the Amsterdam Historical Museum, and the progressive Zuiderzee Museum. For the brand of Established and Sons, they have designed The Amsterdam Armoire, lights, and a collection of wooden boxes entitled Butte Tuna, Butte Tree, and Butte Turtle. Let us start at the end.
Butte is the name of a traditional Dutch wooden box. We are speaking about the past, of course, because Dutch people currently use suitcases as well. However, the charm of wooden boxes compelled Stefan and Caroline to reach into the past in order to give these boxes a new shape and redefine their use. Even though the boxes are manufactured by contemporary technologies, the past is preserved within them, in the craft, in the wood, in the annual rings of veneer, plus the details and drawings. On the outside one can gradually follow the life of tuna fish, turtles, and trees depending on the size of the box. One goes back to a time that he/she never abandoned.
The Yellow Light, the Pink Light, and the White Light serve as a homage to handicraft and workmanship. The simple shape of hand-blown shades combines the function of a decorative lamp and a reading lamp by means of a gradually intensified tonality. The color seems to vanish in light and, thus, loses its outlines. The lamp is very delicate indeed.
The Amsterdam Armoire probably represents the most significant piece from the collection. Sholten & Beijings pushed the traditional idea of an armoire (with a double door, two drawers on the front side, and drawings inside) towards the present not only by means of a simpler shape, minimalist decoration, and the High Pressure Laminate (HPL) used instead of conventional wood. The wardrobe also contains stylish photos of Maurice Sheltens and Liesbeth Abbenes that depict the creative method of the designer duo. Front ball-shaped legs made from hand-blown glass serve as a wonderful detail. Paradoxically enough, they do not disrupt the modest concept of the armoire. The collection is a threefold beauty. The Cottage Baroque style has minimalist followers.
Products by Established and sons can be found in the Czech Republic in the Konsepti showroom.
Butte Turtle, Established and sons / Konsepti, design: Sholten & Beijings