Klaas Kuiken & Dieter Volkers
ONE WEEK ABOUT Design from Arnhem by Ontwerp Platform Arnhem
They have a similar interest and fascination. Dieter Volkers turns existing objects and tools into new, functional objects. Klaas Kuiken scored an international hit with his glassware: industrially manufactured bottles the individual singularities of which he exploits through heat and pressure. From time to time, Kuiken and Volkers – who both have a studio at the Arnhem Industriepark Kleefse Waard – work together.
That was also the case in 2013. They went to Beijing to participate in Salon, a traveling initiative of Manon Schaap and Gijs Stork. In Beijing, Klaas and Dieter designed and developed a teapot together with 100 inhabitants of the Beijing district Dashilar. The object looks horrible, but it is charming and touching in spite of its clumsy ugliness. You have to know the story behind it, says Klaas Kuiken in an interview published on the site of Design Platform Arnhem. That story, or rather the project of the two Dutch designers and 100 Chinese, has more to do with our (false?) version of the Chinese as anonymous masses of people and the (self-righteous?) conviction of the Westerner who just loves to regard himself as an independent individual. With their project and its result –the documentation about the inhabitants of Dashilar and the remarkable teapot – Klaas Kuiken and Dieter Volkers are in an entertaining way tampering with ingrained ways of thinking. That’s something that cannot be done often enough …
Read more on the site of Ontwerp Platform Arnhem
Text: Peter Nijenhuis