“By making everything our material the world is our toolkit, we transform the familiar and incorporate the circumstances. By applying this as a kind of design rule we create our own freedom.”
Remy&Veenhuizen use the available data as their means. They take the liberty to label anything as working materiaal: the information the space indicates, the limitations of the assignment or the material that they encounter. Then they start playing. In every design project they seek for new leads and develop a specific mindset that comes from within the project. Thus each project is designed from its own parameters and creates its own image.
The considerations in this process are capricious and without hierarchy, without guidelines and with space for twisted thoughts and poetry. Remy&Veenhuizen are not pragmatic, but explore, experiment and discover. Nothing comes first and the outcome is always unknown. They also throw away their principles on a regular basis: could it be something else as well? Positive randomness characterizes their attitude to design. There is no single best solution, its about considered arbitrariness. The moment in which something occurs is important. They want to give meaning if and when it happens. They want to work in the here and now, in their own reality. Capricious logic leads to materialized poetry.
The philosophy underlying the work of Remy&Veenhuizen can not be read immediately, but the underlying idea must be felt. Therein lies the imagination. They are looking for a form that has meaning for the user. Finding that form they consider their responsibility to the outside world, only then can their work generate added value.
Rock bottom simplicity is a characteristic of their designs. They use simple solutions to structural problems. By their way of working, new and unexpected applications of materials arise. Everyday materials get a different context and sometimes a new use. A design often combines several functions. Thereby the work is imaginative in the construction: ornament, function and construction form an inseparable whole.
Remy&Veenhuizen work both within and outside the Netherlands for clients as Droog Design, Centraal Museum Utrecht, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Fashion Hotel Modez, Governments Building Agency (Rijksgebouwendienst), Cinekid and design for various schools and public institutions.
Their work is exhibited worldwide and part of several collections, amongst others: MOMA, New York; MAD, New York; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Crafts Council, London; Helsinki Design Museum; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Centraal Museum, Utrecht; Textiel Museum, Tilburg.
Having collaborated with Droog Design since its inception with the 1991 classics Chest of drawers, Rag Chair and Milkbottle Lamp, Remy&Veenhuizen have reached international acclaim. The Chest of Drawers was listed as one of the best designs over the last 100 years of Dutch Design and has reached an iconic status.
Tejo Remy and René Veenhuizen both studied at the Utrecht School of the Arts, Department 3D-Design, and work together since 2000.
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Atelier Remy & Veenhuizen, based in Utrecht, the Netherlands, is critically acclaimed for its product and furniture design, and noted for using simple materials in strikingly original ways. The designers prefer hands on experimentation and avoid designing with computer assistance. In their large, one-room, light-filled studio just outside the historic core of Utrecht, they bend, fuse, glue, and manipulate fabric, glass, wood, cement and other materials, creating, testing and fabricating new designs. Tejo Remy graduated from the School of Art in Utrecht, in 1991 and shortly thereafter achieved international acclaim for three of his first designs: “Rag Chair,” “Chest of Drawers (You Can’t Lay Down Your Memories)” and “Milk Bottle Lamp,” each of which reused and repurposed basic, discarded and underappreciated materials. Examples of those three works are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. René Veenhuizen graduated the School of Art in Utrecht in 1993 and is now on their faculty. After several years of collaboration, the duo formalized their design partnership in 2000. “We love to use a cheap material, or a used material, and give it new value,” says Remy. The result is a body of design that conveys a series of oppositions and transformations: soft becomes hard; light becomes heavy; slick and colorful becomes matte and concrete-gray; evanescent and pop-able becomes enduring and unbreakable. “We want every piece to have its own logic,” Veenhuizen explains, “and the shape is the product of that logic.” Remy & Veenhuizen’s work is in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Corning Museum of Glass, the Centraal Museum (Utrecht) and numerous public and private museums around the world.