In 2000, Dutch designers Stefan Scholten and Carole Baijings set out to design functional products, exclusively collaborate with the world’s best brands and professionals and to find a balance between industrially produced series and experimental projects. Looking back on what the two have accomplished through their design studio Scholten & Baijings, it is evident they’ve succeeded in such a mission. The Amsterdam-based duo have established themselves as two of the most exciting designers currently working, and their first book, “Reproducing Scholten & Baijings,” captures this feeling in visual form. Looking back at the studio’s most impressive work over the last 14 years, the brightly colored hardcover documents the designers in their prime, focusing on their unique use of striking colors and uncanny ability to create pleasantly universal and useful designs. Through this, it specifically highlights projects with such clients as MINI, Georg Jensen, 1616/Arita Japan, Karimoku New Standard, Thomas Eyck and Maharam.
“The world certainly doesn’t need another coffee table tome or self-aggrandizing product catalogue thinly disguised as a monograph,” explains Michael Maharam in the foreword. “As the project evolved from the initial inevitable self-serving agenda to the broader and relevant question of what serves the reader, we retuned to the need to document design research.” Here we see that Maharam himself was in fact the catalyst for the creation of the comprehensive book. While collaborating with the two designers in 2014 on their first foray into textiles, he became interested in documenting the process—an idea that then evolved into showcasing their entire catalog of past products alongside a select number of client projects. And thus, “Reproducing Scholten & Baijings” is a direct reflection of this, offering a brilliant look behind the scenes through over 300 pages of never before published imagery, relevant sketches and supporting texts.
Seven sections are dedicated to seven different projects focused on different mediums, from designing wood furniture to fabric vegetables, concept cars and tea sets. Each section is as intriguing as the next, offering a unique view into the actual design process and therefore a view into who Scholten and Baijings actually are. The book concludes with a complete catalog of all projects produced in-house, sans clients.
Set to publish 26 January 2015, “Reproducing Scholten & Baijings” is now available for pre-order from Phaidon for $100. Whether you decide to pull the trigger on the monograph or not, keeping an eye on Scholten & Baijings studio is a must.
Lead images courtesy of Phaidon, all others courtesy of Maharam