Exclusive Interview with Studio Job
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Graduates of the renowned Design Academy Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Job Smeets (b.1970, Belgium) and Nynke Tynagel (b. 1977, the Netherlands), who both live as well as work together, form Studio Job. Having met in 1996 in Eindhoven - she beginning her studies in graphic design and he having just graduated in three-dimensional design – Mr. Smeets proceeded to open Studio Job in 1998 in Antwerp, joined by Ms. Tynagel in 2000, following her graduation.
From the beginning, their collaboration resulted in highly expressive, usually one-off or limited-edition artesian works, often cast in bronze or, later, finely constructed in laser-cut inlaid woods. Employing iconographic, pan-historic imagery which can be in the same moment both heraldic as well as cartoon-like, the results are consistently monumental and yet somehow primitive, and generally read neo-baroque, clearly fantasist, and certainly more mannerist than modernist.
Projecting a strong narrative quality, suggesting often a heroic battle between good and evil, their gorgeous collections seem born more from a medieval, guild-like process than an industrial approach. Although, by definition, their work has primarily been geared to collectors and museums, Studio Job has collaborated successfully with various like-minded industrial manufactories, including Swarovski, Austria, and Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum and Moooi, the Netherlands.
Their work has been shown internationally in numerous museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, the Centraal Museum, Utrecht, the Dutch Textile Museum, Tilburg, and the Groninger Museum, Groningen.
What does design mean for you? What is design in your life?
Design is the cherry on top !
Please describe the changes in design over the last 20 years.
In the last 20 years we reinvented the ‘sculpture’ in design meaning within the field of design the ways of expressing became more sculptural and less modernistic.
Which designers/architects have influenced your work the most?
From Rietveld to Mendini … from Bugatti to Koons… from Gober to Morandi.
What item have you envied because of its design?
Must be something functional like the invention of the table in the prehistoric days.
Do you believe that design assists in the creation of a “better” world?
Not at all… I do think that mankind should create a better world.
Should design be more inexpensive or does it deserve to be paid for at a high price?
Design should cost what it should cost however personally I’m not promoting fast design as in fast food… design that’s only driven by commerce.
What led you to become involved in design?
My education! It’s a total coincidence that I became designer…
If you were not a designer, what other profession would you have chosen?
A painter, a writer,...