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issue 45 - August/September 2018
CURVE magazine cover August/September 2018
Push  Art  

SEEKING THE UNKNOWN

The Works of Ward Wijnant: Knowledge and Boundaries

Designer Ward Wijnant is fascinated by wood. After studying wood working and refining his knowledge and skills, Wijnant began to work on the creation of unique pieces of furniture. However, in time, this was not enough and Wijnant branched off to explore the depth, creativity and story behind his works. At the Design Academy Eindhoven, Wijnant learned conceptual thinking and working, graduating as an independent designer and starting his own company in 2015. Wijnant's work is characterized by experimentation with materials and the pushing of boundaries. Wijnant is always looking for the unexpected.

Tell us about yourself. How did you enter the realm of design?
After high school, I attended Hout and Meubilerings College in Rotterdam where I graduated after studying wood processing and carpentry. I really like the beauty of craftmanship and old techniques, but I felt something was missing from solely manufacturing furniture. I'm fascinated by materials, I love to play with materials and discover new possibilities with them. This is why I undertook an internship with Den Herder Production House (DHPH), the manufacturer of Maarten Baas' "Clay" furniture series. I was looking for an internship at a company which produced modern furniture with unusual materials. After graduating from Hout and Meubilerings, I started studying at the Design Academy Eindhoven (DAE). During my time at the DAE, I discovered the design process and was encouraged to explore materials at a deeper level. I also learned the importance of creating strong concepts.

What was the first thing you designed and why? Take us through your creative process.
The Space lamps were part of my graduation project for DAE. It was a tough journey until the product was developed. I was inspired by shimmery funfair balloons and reflections within them. That's why I started to experiment with inflating materials and the creation of natural tension and the release of tension. I examined all possibilities, but nothing worked out. A few weeks before the deadline I decided to work with a totally different material and unfortunately I needed to get rid of the inflation. Creating tension was still possible, and the beginning of Space was there. It has been further developed within every new edition and I'm very happy with it now. I hope I can still do something with inflation in the future.

How would you describe Twisted, your latest collection?
What happens when craft wrestles with industrial strength steel? The furniture is formed by twisting iron bars by hand and bending them into shape. Extraordinary human strength and formidable force are combined in its making. The interplay results in bends and curves that cannot be reproduced: every piece is unique. This is self empowerment for industrial steel. How can the material reach its full potential on its own strength without adding or using any other materials? Twisted connects the material with the material itself and therefore creates a new unit. It begins with twisting three bars, which become one. With these new bars the twisting goes on. In the chair, its legs, there are nine bars (or twelve for the chair with armrests) coming together!

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