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Studio BL's nature-inspired, collaborative display at Dutch Design Week 2023
The 'Baguio' table lamps (Ø 35-28-21 cm)
Image: Bastiaan Luijk

Studio BL's nature-inspired, collaborative display at Dutch Design Week 2023

The Spiraal Fyllotaxis Lampen en Interieurobjecten exhibition reveals phyllotaxis lamps and interior objects made using algorithmic design and digital manufacturing techniques.

by Pooja Suresh Hollannavar
Published on : Oct 23, 2023

Partaking in Dutch Design Week 2023, Atelier Houtwerff (Sectie-C) in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, is hosting a curated artisan exhibition focussed on the fascinating work of Studio BL. The design exhibition is a unique opportunity to simultaneously witness the creative skills of textile designer Mariëtte Wolbert, furniture designer Frida van der Poel, and designer-maker Bastiaan Luijk, combined with the craftsmanship of interior architect Karel Bodegom, 3D paper artists Khalid and Rachid Zerrou, as well as blacksmith-artist Annelied van Dijk.

In the realm of art and design, the intersection of science and creativity often leads to breathtaking and innovative results. Spiraal Fyllotaxis Lampen en Interieurobjecten ( Spiral Phyllotaxis Lamps and Interior Objects), a group exhibition by Studio BL, lives and thrives at this intersection, where the fascinating spiral phyllotaxis pattern takes centre stage. Drawing inspiration from nature's intricate design, the Leiden-based studio founded by Luijk creates lighting designs and interior objects that embody the harmony of the Fibonacci sequence, symmetry, and the golden ratio.

Phyllotaxis, a term borrowed from botany, describes the arrangement of leaves around an axis or stem. This phenomenon is most prominently observed in sunflowers and pinecones. The Dutch design studio's innovative approach lies in applying mathematical precision to this organic design, uncovering the underlying principles that make it so captivating. This pattern, initially proposed by Helmut Vogel in 1979, can be expressed mathematically, making it possible to replicate it in lamp designs and ornaments. While the original formula Vogel introduced is two-dimensional, Studio BL has developed a method and algorithm to create this pattern as a three-dimensional structure, giving their designs a unique depth and dimensionality. This approach allows them to translate nature's beauty into captivating spatial objects that can be incorporated into interior design settings.

"Studio BL has developed a method and algorithm making it possible to construct the spiral phyllotaxis pattern as a spatial structure for 3D designs. The studio creates these nature-inspired designs to share their fascination: to emphasise the beauty of nature, bringing it closer and appreciating it in new ways," reads the exhibition's description on the official website of Dutch Design Week.

In their creative approach and practice, Studio BL is also committed to sustainability, as is evident in their choice of materials. They source recycled and renewable materials from the Benelux region to craft their functional, playful, and captivating product designs. Each piece is produced to order, ensuring that it harmonises with the colours and materials that suit the buyer’s personal taste.

One of the standout features of Studio BL's work is their collaboration with other creative minds who share their passion and ethos. Among these individuals is Khalid and Rachid Zerrou, whose project named ZERROU amalgamates tradition, geometry, light, and shadow through the medium of 3D paper art. Inspired by Islamic mosaics, they intertwine geometric elements into complex aesthetic patterns. The result is a visual harmony that transcends the boundaries of the visual realm, a testament to the power of artistic collaboration. "Light and shadow are inseparable partners in our creative process. The interplay of light dancing across the paper surfaces constantly transforms our works throughout the day. Shadows bestow depth and dimension upon the paper sculptures as if we are capturing the fourth dimension—time—while light and shadow tell their own stories. At the core of our work lies the concept of perpetual motion, a seamless transition between shapes and colours. Our patterns know no boundaries on paper; they extend into the viewer's imagination. Our 3D works honour tradition, geometry, light, and shadow, inviting others to journey with us in an exploration that surpasses the limits of creativity and imagination," the brothers share.

Annelied van Dijk's project, Smeedijzer en schalen (Wrought iron and scales) adds a blacksmith's touch to the studio's array of offerings. Her work combines the art of blacksmithing with elegant, functional objects. This fusion of craftsmanship and design results in pieces that are not only visually striking but also serve a practical purpose. "She gives shape to metal in a creative way. Her bowls and sculptures are examples of passionate craftsmanship, inventiveness and beauty," the website relays.

Karel Bodegom, with his project 'LLeHs - Long Lasting elektric Heating systems' introduces high-quality heating technology for interior architecture, for 'thermal comfort on demand.' His focus on longevity and quality aligns perfectly with Studio BL's dedication to sustainable design. "LLeHs - Long Lasting electric Heating system is the first infrared heating panel that combines cutting-edge technology on nonwoven isolation mats with carbon fibre together with the unique ceramics from Dekton. 'LLeHs' distinguishes itself from conventional heating solutions and infrared panels through its energy efficiency, a pleasant form of convection warmth and adaptability. Made for a sustainable future, 'LLeHs' is dynamically effective deployable, energy conscious in usage and with a sophisticated carbon footprint," they explain.

The textile and product designer's collaboration with Coral Knob, created in honour of the 30th anniversary of Mariëtte Wolbert Textiles, led to the design and production of a coral-themed knob for exclusive kitchen sets. Building upon the inspiration derived from this theme, Luijk developed a Coral lamp, utilising his spiral phyllotaxis algorithm to create a unique lighting piece.

Another notable collaboration is with NOVY SKOK, where artisan wood craftsmanship meets algorithmic design and digital manufacturing. Luijk, along with Dutch designer Frida van der Poel have reimagined the 'SKOK' stool design, breathing new life into an iconic object. The NOVÝ SKOK series explores innovative combinations of materials, colours, and function, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in modern furniture design.

The Heatfun Baguio collaboration between Luijk and interior architect Karel Bodegom is a testament to their innovative approach to design. They aim to make heat visible even when the flame is extinguished, emphasising the idea that heating systems can be a statement piece in interior design. "How can we make heat visible when the flame is extinguished? How do we show that the heat emitter is on? An all-black heat plate from the Heatfun Collection and a custom-made 'Baguio' table lamp. A statement for heat (and) enthusiasts," they share.

'Spiraal Fyllotaxis Lampen en Interieurobjecten' is on display from October 21 - 29, 2023, at Atelier Houtwerff (Sectie-C), in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

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