Dutch design office Roderick Vos Studio has recently opened a new showroom in the town of ‘s Hertogenbosch (also called Den Bosch for short) in The Netherlands, which reflects its designers’ convictions and philosophy about what design should (or should not) be. Founded in 1990 by designers and partners in life Roderick Vos and Claire Teeuwen, the studio specialises in innovative interior solutions and product designs for the home. With collaborations with companies such as Alessi, Driade and Moooi, products on display include iconic design pieces such as the modular Dresser Montigny, the almost poetic Kiyo faucet and the organic Atlantis bowl. More recent projects at the Roderick Vos Studio include the hybrid Bucketlight (cast-aluminium pots with live plants hung from the ceiling, double-functioning as lighting) and the interior design for the eat-in kitchen of hotel Château de la Resle in Burgundy, France.
Roderick Vos’ philosophy as a designer is simple and concise: ”Good design should be self-explanatory,” in other words, a design object should not require intellectual and conceptual explanations in order to be appreciated, used and enjoyed. For Roderick Vos, art and design are two different beasts, with the latter being in the service of everyday life, utility and efficiency. A firm believer in the disarming power of simplicity and beauty, he strives towards creating objects that make the people who use them happy, placing more emphasis on the emotional impact of a product. Like a researcher armed with a child-like curiosity and eagerness for experimentation and play, he seeks new ideas in the factories and workshops where his products are manufactured, drawing inspiration from getting to know different materials, crafting techniques and the craftspeople themselves.
The new Roderick Vos showroom occupies a 1910’s renovated building with two floors, and is part design studio, part showroom and part retail shop. In a recent interview, Vos stated that designers these days have to be more versatile as entrepreneurs, so he set out to create a multi-purpose space that could cater for that necessity. More like a wunderkamer than a design shop, the new showroom has a playful air to it: apart from an impressive array of Bucketlights hanging from the ceiling and the studio’s collection stylishly curated all across the space, the showroom features a cartoony (and fully functional) electrical switchboard that looks like it came straight out of a steampunk movie. If the aim of this new space was to dissolve the boundaries between designer and customer, the professional and the casual, work and play, then the cheerful appeal of Roderick Vos’ new studio makes us think it has hit the mark.