What was the inspiration behind your RCA Show work?
I was – and still am – interested in the psychology of furniture and how it communicates to users. My RCA work centred around pictograms and archetypes. I came to the RCA to learn more about industrial furniture production, but ended (again) up with mostly one-offs. I caught up on that later, though.
What are your memories of being a student?
For me it was most inspiring to be in a place with so many different opinions and opportunities. Coming from the Netherlands it was strange to realise that the world is completely different when you are 400km further over the canal. That sounds perhaps obvious, but I came from a certain way of design education in the Netherlands and somehow had not realised that, apart from speaking another language, there would also be a completely different design language. During my time in London, Droog design came up in the Netherlands. To me that felt completely natural, but I realised that for many in the UK that seemed like a complete new design language.
What was the best part about being a student here and living in London?
London is, of course, a fantastic city for culture and innovation, but I also met a lot of interesting and new friends from all over the world that ended up all over the world that I am still in touch with.
What do you do now?
I run a design studio with a small team and we work for inspiring international clients.
What’s been your favourite project so far?
That is an impossible question to answer. I think it is similar to asking parents about their favourite child. Not too long ago we worked on furniture for an inn in Canada that was great to do, but we have different phases in the studio. Last year we worked on many big projects in public spaces. At the moment I really enjoy that we work on products and furniture again. I really love the mix.
Who inspires you?
There are quite a few, but let’s stick to Dutchmen. I really like the work of Gerrit Rietveld and the moves he made in his work. He did some very experimental work in his early days and worked closely with a workshop next to his studio. Later on, Rietveld worked more on architectural and industrial projects, but his intentions were still the same: clarity, essence, efficiency – all super interesting to me. And, don't forget what is seen as a fantastic body of innovative work now was for him just a very natural thing.
What would be your ultimate career achievement?
The projects we get involved in are always inspiring and an opportunity to make a move forward. My interest is mainly in making interesting work. I like the complexity of projects in space. I am interested in working more in the public and architectural realm but I would also like to do more high-tech industrial projects.
What was the best piece of advice you have received during your time at the RCA?
My best advice ever came before I studied at the RCA: 'it doesn't make a difference if you walk or run, the road always stays as long'.
What do you most value about being a graduate of the RCA?
When graduating at the RCA I did not go to my convocation ceremony in the Royal Albert Hall; it didn't mean much to me. The RCA is valued for high quality, critical students with visions taught by top quality tutors with visions. Being part of this community could be flattering, but what counts is that the RCA can ensure a critical environment with professional support for its students now and in the future.
Enjoyed this story? Discover more alumni stories here.
"London is of course a fantastic city for culture and innovation, but I also met a lot of interesting and new friends from all over the world that ended up all over the world that I am still in touch with."Ineke Hans
MA Furniture, 1995