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Floris Wubben

Earlier this month Floris Wubben took his “Pressed” project to DMY in Berlin.  Germany, he says, has a different and dynamic design scene that well suits his goal to stay experimental.

By Gabrielle Kennedy /asdf 20-06-2013

Floris Wubben states early in our chat that his work is created solely for museums and galleries.

It’s a common ambition, but given the current market fewer designers are willing to be so specific.  It leads us to the inevitable discussion of art versus design.

“I always start with a function,” Wubben says, admitting that he has had this conversation too many times.  “First I discover a material and from that I decide to make a bowl or a chair.  Artists do not start with a function. I am making a chair, it may be experimental and you may not be able to sit on it, but it is a chair and not a sculptural installation.”

Wubben says his motivation comes down to wanting to be creative, which can only happen without limits.  

As it turns out Wubben’s neighbour in Eindhoven is Massoud Hassani – designer of the now very controversial Mine Kafon.  

“Yes, but that is different again,” Wuben says.  “His design has a functional purpose, which my work does not necessarily have to have.  I am never saying my objects will work.  For example my chair does not have to be made to sit in because for me it is more the experience around the objects that are important.”

Wubben is based in Eindhoven but chose to study design in Belgium.  “I like that my style is a little bit different to everyone else working here.” he says.  

This year DMY in Berlin was a big success.

“DMY is more about establishing contacts, and meeting journalists and curators,” Wubben says.  “Also, I was invited to participate in a few competitions.”
For “Pressed” Wubben and his team first designed and made a machine, operated by a simple hydraulic press.  This machine is as important as the final objects. 

“The end product reveals the process because I really wanted the consumer to be able to feel closer to how the vases are made.”

Epoxy clay is pressed through the profiles and different profiles can be attached for different results.  The pressing is done manually so every vase is unique.

“It is a semi-industrial machine,” explains Wubben.

And although it is not something he wants to focus on too much, the idea for this project came from a kids’ playdough machine.  “I don’t mention it because I don’t like it when a concept sounds too funny or quirky,”  Wubben says.  “I really just wanted to make something where humans and machines work together in harmony.”


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