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The mood of

Piet Hein Eek

Piet Hein Eek is not only a designer, he is also a true entrepreneur. Year after year, the Dutch designer has laid the foundations of his Piet Hein Eek empire. Hotel Piet Hein Eek, Lobby restaurant, Grand café van Piet Hein Eek… the list is long and it’s still going strong. His beginnings? In 1990, with his graduation project, Scrap Wood Cupboard, he already launched the idea of upcycled design.


Piet Eek is a fan of many materials and working media, attentive to the life cycle of a product and an undeniable thinker. He has built up a style in which the idea has as much place as the aesthetic. A permanent search for form and content that characterises him and his career…!

What day & time is it? What do you usually do at this time of the week?


« Friday 28 January, it’s 2pm and I’m drawing. Often in pencil, I imagine objects, especially at the moment. »

What is the starting point of your workshop?


« I started as a designer, making products after studying at the Academy in Eindhoven. Then, as the years went by, I wanted to be able to link the design to the experience of the object. That’s how I ended up building a hotel, a restaurant, an art gallery… »

So the physical experience is essential to your workshop? 


« Yes, this is one of my main goals. Nowadays people buy on the internet, some products become global phenomena, with my studio I decided to focus mainly on craftsmanship made by human hands, real and material work with materials as close to the production site as possible and I wanted to exhibit them. »

How many people are in your company? 


« About a hundred. Between the restaurant, the gallery, the workshop… »

A project you would like to share?

« Well, the Pers Hein Eek Hotel. That was the most interesting. Everything was made on site and we had to adapt to the old building that was the hotel. It was a big project with huge amounts of material. The aim was to create a beautiful environment where people feel comfortable. We installed a bar on the rooftop of the hotel, 13 rooms, a meeting room and we are currently renovating the Grand Café on the ground floor. »

What role does the environment play in your work?  


« Recycling does not necessarily mean doing good for the planet. You can recycle something halfway around the world and then have it travel to the other end of the planet and leave a huge carbon footprint. The best thing for me is to get the most environmentally friendly product possible by using the minimum amount of material as close to the production site as possible. Just as it makes more sense to live close to where you work. It’s all about transparency and doing the best you can. »

The ideal object? 


« The perfection of an object has more to do with its history than with its physical characteristics. The history, its owner can make the object beautiful without it being fundamentally beautiful. »

A colour range that follows you? 


« I don’t really have any. They are important to me but never the starting point for my projects.

Form, function or fantasy?


« Functionality must include beauty and form. An object is a product of nature through its materials and the person who makes it, the human being, is also the product. And nature is beautiful and useful in essence. »

A place you could return to regularly? 


« Le Moulin and Le Four, spaces that I rent located in the Dordogne on the hills of Périgord. »

People who influence you? 


« Daniel Kahneman, an Israeli-American author, psychologist and economist. He wrote Thinkink Fast and Slow which is a fascinating work. He became suspicious of people and their thinking after living through the Second World War. I also find myself very much in the work of the designer and architect Jean Prouvé. He tended to think as much like an engineer as a creative person.

”LES JOURS MEILLEURS” House, 1956 – Jean Prouvé

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