Interview with designer Piet Hein Eek
When we ask him to show us an object that represents his philosophy as a designer, Piet has no doubts. “The material is the most important element of every project”, he explains as he shows us a small wooden box with a closing mechanism on the side. “If you treat it well in some way it will reciprocate your affection”.
“How?”, we ask. He simply answers “Look”. And as he does so he opens the box and extracts 5 identical models of different sizes that perfectly fit into one another like matryoshkas, until reaching the very heart: a small piece of wood.
“We obtained all this from a single log, wasting as little wood as possible. See how it’s made? It’s like observing the inside of a tree trunk and discovering how it grew with time”.
After this presentation-manifesto, there’s much more that could be said about this Dutch designer of 1967. But as we’ve just been taught, we’ll use as little space as possible. Having completed his studies at the Academi of Design in Eindhoven in 1990, Piet started self-producing his pieces. With his philosophy he founded a company that today counts 90 employees. How did he do it? With respect for materials, passion for technique, knowledge of the market and much, much pragmatism.