John Kormeling asked if we could design a space for the World Fair. The theme of the room was to be ‘green’, since practically everything in it has been recycled. The walls are green and there is a tree growing inside it. There are also a table and chairs made of typical Dutch green scrap wood and a set of Jeanine’s dishes collected at a flea market and glazed green, lamps made of old green tie fabric above the table, and a variation on the birch bark cabinet - the first was a horizontal square tree trunk but this time we’ve made a standing version - just like John had in mind since, I believe, he has been keen on the birch bark cabinet for some time now. And to complete the green Dutch theme, he imagined a watercolour showing a typical Brabant heathlands landscape hanging on the wall.
But that wasn’t the end of it. John had another idea for a Dutch junk store full of design, culture and typically Dutch products. Not really World Fair material, since you don’t present your country with old junk, now do you, even if this old stuff is design and culture? It took a little rephrasing and some effort, but we managed to get the go-ahead for the project in the end. The only design I had managed thus far was an initial sketch, little more than a jumble with arrows and text. But that’s pretty much what the end product looks like. With combined forces, we managed to scrape together, buy, borrow and beg for all kinds of stuff, the ultimate result of which is a room filled with objects that may very well say more about Dutch culture and design than a tightly directed snapshot.
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