Light cascades down porcelain ridges, distortions ebb and flow, intense hues emerge within translucent forms. These are the defining traits of Studio Tijmen Smeulders (STS) designs, revealed through the incidental nature of daily life.
Since its founding in 2014, the Rotterdam-based studio has designed furniture, tableware, lighting, storage units and rugs. Each product is the culmination of a meticulous approach to design, based on enquiries into its various elements. A desire to challenge common perceptions drives these investigations, which play a key role in developing new perspectives on everyday products.
Manufactured in an assortment of materials, STS products share a common voice, finding a balance between familiarity and individuality without the need for decoration nor extravagance. They serve essential functions with clarity — benches for sitting, cups for drinking — while their sensorial nature ensures they maintain a valuable presence, even when not in use.
Dialogue is fundamental to the studio’s ongoing collaborations with brands, craftspeople and factories around the world. Working directly with manufacturers allows it to explore the potential for constructive intervention and opportunities to push the boundaries of both design and production.
Examining common products right down to their essence, STS pursues designs that challenge the conventions of daily life.
Words: Ben Davis