OS ∆ OOS — Interview
Studio OS ∆ OOS, Eindhoven based design studio founded by Oskar Peet and Sophie Mensen.
Hello Oskar and Sophie, how are you?
We are pretty okay! Once you just return back from holiday it’s a bit of an odd combination of holiday laziness and post holiday anxiety as you try and work through the endless mails that have piled up in the meantime.
Can you introduce yourselves?
We are a design studio for small objects to larger spatial concepts; Studio OS ∆ OOS tries to find the balance between form, material and their relation to the surroundings and the user. For it, it’s the constant search to find the essence in the complex that drives us, taking an initial concept and working it into an object that conveys only what is meant to.
The majority of the work borders the line of design (in the industrial / functionality sense) and autonomous objects; best described as contemporary objects derived from concept, yet rationalized to give them purpose. We feel it is very important that the objects are able to show a clear form of language and without prior knowledge of the concept behind them it should be able to communicate, not only in its physical form but also in the manner it is to be used.
Where does your interest in industrial design come from?
I (Oskar) got a great deal of interest from my father who is a goldsmith so that artistic touch comes from his side, who also has a particular love for cars and motorcycles which got me to first study mechanical engineering before switching to more design dedicated study. Sophie having grown up in a art loving surrounding, knew from early on that she had a creative side but also knew she was not an artist herself, soon studying a more applied arts direction after high school which eventually lead to the Design Academy in Eindhoven.
How do you work together?
The partnership grew together naturally since we both have the same interests and eye for aesthetics, but more so also having qualities the other doesn’t, I (Oskar) use my more mechanical background whereas Sophie has the drive for strong concepts and generally has very good organization skills. Together we form a more rounded design studio.
Can you explain us the concept behind the Keystone chair and his upholstered version?
The initial idea comes from participating in the Dutch Invertuals exhibition which always has a coupled theme to each show, that time it was “revaluate” which eventually brought us to an idea of the beauty of individual objects that need each other to become a whole. The best example of this we could find was from the romans, they built bridges that needed a construction to support the arch shape until the final “keystone” block is placed before the bridge can support itself, all this time without the use of glue/screws or other connectors. It’s only the constructions characteristics and use of gravity that hold it all together! Beautiful! So we translated that idea to a more human sized object that resulted into a chair.
Since the original version made from concrete, ceramics and silicon rubber weighed 410 kg, a more commercialized version was needed for the general public, having some connections with Kvadrat and the Raf Simons fabric line and a Danish producer “Please wait to be Seated” the match was made and the upholstered version was born! And weighs only 30 kg now.
Is the Memphis Group one of your main style influences?
The studio strives to communicate an idea in the most essential way, which gives our projects a minimalistic appearance; the use of geometric forms is also a reoccurring trait. I think because we wanted to use color for the upholstered version of the keystone chair that when everything came together one could say there is a Memphis connection but it was not our intention.
Who are the designers that you admire?
We admire the designers who are capable of bringing something new to the design world, since there seems to be a lot of cross contamination going on… some will argue this as just trends. We feel it’s important to try and be as original as one can and those who can do that have our utmost respect.
What stimulates you outside design?
We almost never look to design websites, which means that all our stimulations are mainly non-design related. Art and nature are our main inspiration sources.
Which books are on your bedside table?
Sophie is in the process of completing her motorcycle license, and an old book of mine “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” was her holiday book. I don’t have a book on the bedside table, I’m far to visually oriented so books rarely fill that space.
The last word…
I think a thank you is most fitting here, the chance to have our studio and its projects highlighted.
Interview: Dennis Moya & Tiffany Bähler — 09.15
Images ©OS ∆ OOS.