It’s in the process
At the beginning there is always a question: What does a carpet need for a new lease of life? Can porcelain color itself? How do different types of wood react to a coating of paint? With RENS, their design studio in Eindhoven, Renee Mennen and Stefanie van Keijsteren investigate questions such as these. The result is never pre-decided – the end product only takes shape in the research process. “We want to demonstrate what is possible by adopting new perspectives and acting intuitively,” Renee Mennen says. For the duo, playing with color is essential, as this way new approaches keep on emerging. The two product designers are essentially reversing the production path because instead of working towards a specific result they explore how color and material react to each other. The research becomes the product.
The studies from which the ceramic “Table Top” side table has now emerged began back in 2013 with the “Reddish Collection”. Working with Cor Unum Ceramics, Studio Rens developed an innovative technique for coloring ceramic: Placed on a surface as liquid pigments, the color penetrates the slightly porous material, gradually slowly permeates the object and in the process creates a pattern that makes it unique. Depending on the porosity and the length of the permeation process, the color differs in terms of intensity. Whereas for the “Reddish Collection” and the following collection “Colour Traces” the test objects were vases and bowls, with “Table Tops” Studio RENS ventured into furniture. A circular panel with a hole cut in the middle and which can easily be replaced rests on a conical base – in the way they are combined, the color, glaze and shape enable numerous versions. This way they produce new results with existing materials and techniques. At the forthcoming Dutch Design Week from October 19 through 27 in Eindhoven, right on time for their anniversary, Studio RENS will provide an overview of the research and collaborations over the past ten years. "We believe in the connecting between industry and creativity", says Stefanie van Keijsteren.