Held on the iconic SS Rotterdam ocean-liner, this year’s – 5-8 February – brought together an eclectic mix of design and invention, with a majority of projects drawing upon nautical or industrial themes. Glass was in full force with new pieces by Studio Their Van Daalen and a special selection of Czech-master Bořek Šípek’s oeuvre, while tactility was explored through needle handprint-like tables and voluminous textiles. All the while, memphis-inspired geometric compositions and material generation were present. Though varied in style, the following designs, if only by coincidence, responded to the surrounding docklands.
The heavy production, shipping and large warehouses that define Rotterdam’s extended harbour were best echoed in ’s hearty Typecast shelving unit and Layers chair – pushing the ergonomic limits of steel. While Havenlichten by exposed it’s no-frills mechanism to turn, descend and retract the ceiling lamp, the same crane-like construction could be found in ’s Moving Things – where strung electrical wires and joints allowed thin light encasements to sustain a tilted angle of suspension.
Patterns, surfaces and textures conceived by Amsterdam-based – the collaborative efforts and savoir-faire of Stella Derkzen and Sarah Linda Forrer – further a more sea-fairing theme however inspired by micro-organisms. Resembling complex typography, layered motifs employ a precise marbling technique to achieve different compositions, what both Derkzen and Forrer hope to apply to textiles, wall-coverings and prints.