Art Culture

Light, Color and Nature’s Play: Tord Boontje

| February 19, 2022 | 0 Comments
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Tord boontje annabel. thumbnail Light, Color and Natures Play: Tord BoontjeSpring is in the not so far off distance — or at least that is what I tell myself to ward off rainy images of March — and with it come the pleasant reminders that the world is alive and beautiful: flowers, cherry blossoms, warmer days, budding tree leaves . . . the list goes on. There is no better artist to celebrate the coming of spring than Tord Boontje , the Dutch-born London-based designer who creates highly detailed glassware, lighting and furniture that all reflect the playful side of nature.

Born in Enschede, Netherlands in 1968 Boontje studied industrial design at the Design Academy in Eindhoven and then went on to pursue a master course at the Royal College of Art in London, where he now teaches. He has designed everything from limited edition to mass marketed pieces, making his work known round the world.

The first thing that strikes me when looking at Boontje’s work is his impressive ability to creatively combine naturally playful elements with a clean sophistication. His pieces have a way of seeming nearly organic, absorbing cues from the natural environment and then combining those with the precision of hi-tech techniques. The end product is both whimsical and sharp.

Many recognize his Wednesday Light lamp done for European home furnishings company ‘Habitat ‘. I think the reason that so many of us are entranced with pieces like this are their enticing use of light. As Boontje says himself, he is not inspired by light itself, but darkness. “Light can be a very powerful tool to influence a space. I like the dappled light in forests, and the glitter and sparkle of ice, cities, crystal and parties,” Boontje told Design Museum .

Boontje’s work borders on both design and craft, putting as much emphasis on the process of creating and making as the end product. Seeing his work almost forces us to think about the steps involved in making his complex pieces, engaging us in not only the work but also the creation.

So how does Boontje’s work transfer into the mass market? During the holidays he did a whole line of housewares for Target, and most recently he teamed with Phillips Electronic to produce an espresso maker that himself describes as a “rich bouquet of flowers for your kitchen.” And if you don’t want the mass marketed version, but can’t spring for one of his one-of-a-kind pieces, the best way to bring a little Boontje light and color into your home is his book Tord Boontje by Martina Margetts, full of inspiration, especially for spring.

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Category: Design

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