Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek’s work spans a wide range; since graduating from Eindhoven’s Academy for Industrial Design in 1990, he has designed everything from furniture, desk lamps and eyewear to custom-made interiors and even holiday homes. Eek’s distinct scrapwood-driven design approach was first seen in his famous graduate collection, and is still evident in the work by Eek en Ruijgrok, the studio he runs with Nob Rujigrok—it produces, distributes and sells its own products, and the designers take care not to create unnecessary waste. His designs strike a rare mix of functionality and beauty, where both aspects are perfectly balanced, and the element of sustainability always plays a large part.
The Tube Series is Eek’s latest work—a small collection for Leff Amsterdam, whose designer collaborations we recently admired at Home London. Eek, who hadn’t worked with Leff before, says, “Until now I didn’t work a lot for other companies. A few years ago I started to collaborate with NLXL on the wallpaper. This became a huge success and a very nice collaboration. Arno, one of the owners of Leff, and Rick from NLXL know each other well. Rick more or less talked Arno into working with me.”
The resulting Tube collection contains clocks and speakers in brass, copper and steel, as well as a tube wood: beams of black ash, natural hevea and brown oak can be combined with the tube clock to create a table clock. The collection reflects Eek’s way of working: he tries to make everything “completely designed,” from the product’s exterior to the construction and eventual use of it.
“The challenge of the commission for Leff (like any commission) was to have a strong idea and concept—not only making a beautiful object but also having a good story. For the clocks, I had the idea of making a technical object, which people were able to create their own design around. Added to this idea was the extruded ring signing the hours and minutes, which finished the concept,” he says.
Eek reveals that what he liked most about the project was “the fact that I thought the tube was nice but not good enough, and Arno proceeded with the idea without me knowing—it has been a wonderful experience. Working with such enthusiastic and professional people is exactly what’s nice about collaborating with others.”
The Tube collection, which sells for around $200, is available now at Leff Amsterdam online.
Images courtesy of Piet Hein Eek