Working class: Artisans reveal creative process in Milan

15.04.2014 Milan : Salone Internazionale Del Mobile : Save Our Artisans
Klaas Kuiken EPS stool. photo by JW Kaldenbach Klaas Kuiken EPS stool. photo by JW Kaldenbach
Rick Tegelaar photo by JW Kaldenbach Rick Tegelaar photo by JW Kaldenbach
Workmates overview  photo by JW Kaldenbach Workmates overview photo by JW Kaldenbach

Milan – While beautiful design is guaranteed at Milan Design Week, few see the work that goes into the final products. Workmates Depicted was an exhibition that focused not only on the final results, but also on the creation and experimentation that are vital to an artist’s work.

Workmates is a collective comprising Dutch designers Joris de Groot, Rick Tegelaar, Casper Tolhuisen and Klaas Kuiken, who all work in different fields – food, fashion and product design – but have similar mindsets and working methods. In an old garage in Milan, the Workmates gathered to work on their current projects, revealing the creative processes they normally undergo in their studio when figuring out new designs. 

‘We all celebrate the relationship between craft and machine production in our work,’ Tolhuisen told LS:N Global. ‘We are connected by the experiments that we do, and by the materials and processes we use rather than our final products.’

Videos were on display at the exhibition that showed the designers’ past failures and experimentation, celebrating the highs and lows of creating new designs. Workmates Depicted is reminiscent of our Show Your Working microtrend, which traced a rise in brands revealing the artisans and craftsmanship behind their products to add to their brand story. 

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