It's Dutch Design Week, so it seems appropriate to highlight some of the stars of the country. Dutch design has traditionally been eccentric, intelligent and part of the culture of the Netherlands. It has evolved from being witty to becoming more grown-up and remains very individualistic. Some of the names are familiar: the work of Droog Design and Tord Boontje is readily and affordably available. Jurgen Bey has made a Tree Trunk Bench (pictured) that is literally a tree trunk with three bronze chair-backs inserted. There is one in the lobby of the Grand Palais in Paris and it is surprisingly comfortable. Last year Marcel Wanders created a Crochet chair, constructed from individual, hand-sewn crochet flowers that are stitched together, formed over a mould and stiffened with resin ($40,000 if you are interested).
Christien Meindertsma traces the connection between farmers and consumers in her work. She creates knitted sweaters, gloves and cardigans that show the provenance of the item. So each piece comes with the animal's ear tag, biography and details of its life, including year of birth. Starting with the fleece of a single sheep, she has now knitted a rug from the wool of 18 merino sheep and a pouf from woollen dreadlocks that looks like a fluffy white lozenge. Ineke Hans' furniture is made from recycled plastic used along Dutch canals, embedded with grains of fake wood. :: Financial Times