Minimalissimo Meets Joren Naerebout

Jana Ahrens of Minimalissimo speaks to Joren Naerebout, who creates and publishes highly minimalist design under his eponymous label Atelier Naerebout. But he doesn’t only design individual objects. It seems much more like he is on the verge of building his very own vision of a minimalist surrounding. It all began with lamps, illuminating the room he is now filling with furniture and objects accompanying or sitting on said furniture. Every piece references and compliments the others. The central piece right now is the Coffee Table. We met with Joren and asked about his approach towards design.

My design principles are in constant process. I believe my latest designs are the best.

How do you choose the materials you work with?

It really depends on the design. I wanted the Coffee Table to be as slim as possible to fully experience the play of light, shadows, lines and surfaces. So sheet metal was the best. One of the features a paper weight should have is of course ‘weight’. So I chose wood with a higher density. I believe sustainability and tactility are also important. I ask myself: Does the material last? Does it age well?

And your designs will last. Not only because of the carefully chosen materials, but also because of the approach towards shapes and forms you follow. The Coffee Table for example, is as beautiful as it is useful and the colour range is reduced to an off black and a brass finish.

Who are your design heroes, your role models?

There are too many to mention them all. I believe it is very important to have those role models, from all sorts of disciplines. Some are everlasting. Like Le Corbusier, Barragan, Scarpa, Castiglioni, Brancusi, Schoonhoven, Judd, Rietveld, and Miles Davis.

But as seriously as you may take your precursors and your designs, you still don’t lose your humour about it.

Sometimes I ask myself: “Am I living in the past?”

But you’re not. Which can be seen in the fact that your designs are constantly evolving.

Which of your designs best represent your design principle?

I have to say it is a constant process. I believe my latest designs are the best, I am very happy with the Twofold Lamp and Coffee Table. I am really trying to make something timeless and useful.

But success doesn’t always synchronise with the best designs. Successful sustainable designs also need some time on the market to be recognised.

Which of your designs is the most successful one?

Until now it is the Leaning Lamp, but I hope the Coffee Table and Twofold Lamp will become even more successful over time.

What’s next for Atelier Naerebout?

I am slowly expanding the brand and trying to gain more attention for my products. Currently I am working on some subtle extra’s for the Coffee Table and different versions of the Twofold Lamp.