A CONVERSATION

WITH 

NEELTJE DESIGN STUDIO

QUESTIONS BY

STYLIST AND FRIEND ANNE AYLA

Schermafbeelding-2021-06-30-om-18.49.43

 

WHAT DO YOU FIND IN THESE SUBJECTS?

 

That I never know beforehand. It’s a search for something true, something magical and it’s a great feeling to start as an adventurer, not knowing what you’ll find. There is freedom in there, freedom of thought because the brain can make new connections between informations of all kinds and then all of a sudden an idea comes to life. That is an empowering process. What attracts me in these topics is that there is a lot to learn and to discover. If a design makes you think, wonder, contemplate or get emotionally involved, it reaches another dimension. These things happen to me when I get involved in astronomy or the theory of Japanese gardens.  

WHY THE MOON? 

One day I was laying in my bed watching the moon and was in awe and the feeling of consolation came over me; the comforting idea that she is always there. If only I could capture this powerful feeling into an object, it had to come down to earth, it had to become a table. Just like that selene was born.


I borrowed the moon. For her to look upon indirectly, knowing that a direct stare could make one mad. Like a moonviewing platform in a Japanese Garden. Do you see what I see? Can you see what there is not. In a pool of water one can see itself, waiting for the mind to become clear, when she appears from behind clouds...

Neeltje_portrait_22438

WHAT DOES SELENE MEAN TO YOU?

 

 

Selene, named after the greek moon goddess, is the personification of the moon into a female character. It's a search about what and who she is, in a modern version. What does she look like, what does she smell like, what does she wear, how does she behave and mostly how do we see her. To me, she is representing life. She is the harmony and disharmony, the primair force that is always there even when you don’t see her. She somehow seems very familiar, very close. She changes and develops, through all stages of her moon symbolizing the stages of life and motherhood. I wanted to capture all these emotions reflected on the moon into an earthly object. As a table she is no longer just the one watching over us but becomes an active part of our living. As a centre piece she’s a witness of intimate moments shared with family, friends, beloved ones. Close to the ground she’s inviting you to take of your shoes and get comfortable, in this way she is not just beautiful to admire but meant to set the scene for intimacy and conversation.

HOW ABOUT YOUR PROJECT ALTAZIMUTH?

 

Altazimuth is the second project evolving from the collab with astronomer Lucas Ellerbroek, of which selene was the first. Altazimuth is a combination of the two words: alta (Lat. altitudo = height) and azimuth (Ar. as-samt = 'the way, direction' Lat. sémita = the path), together determining the location of a star in the celestial dome. When Lucas and I sat together, we asked ourselves; what if we could experience the distances of the stars in a human scale? What if we could see the constellations as we know them, but now as tangible, three dimensional objects? I started collecting data from the stars and Lucas came with a formula to transform the distances from lightyears into centimeters, resulting in new designs for standing and hanging lighting objects (coming soon). All you're gonna see in the designs; the shapes, colors and brightnesses is the result of this star data. You can experience the order of brightness in every constellation, get information about what kind of star it is because of it's color and actual experience the relative proportions of the stars. 


 

 

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO
DESIGN NEXT?

 

I would like to use my sense of smell as a starting point for new designs rather than just the eye, the ear or the sense of touch. It attracts me because it is such a powerful thing. We can choose our partners and feel connected with the other person just by smelling them. We know instinctively who to trust and who not, by smelling. We all have a nose, I want to use that power to create objects and places that make people feel rooted and connected to each other and their surroundings. I’m also dreaming of a garden in which there is so much to discover if you would just follow your nose.

PORTRAIT OF NEELTJE BY MYRTHE GIESBERS

PORTRAIT OF NEELTJE BY MYRTHE GIESBERS

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