Pushing the envelope of material study, Bertjan Pot creates functional products that have today become renowned in the world of interiors.
With a start driven by the curiosity of a specific material and its relationship with various forms, colour palettes and functionalities, Bertjan Pot’s designs invariably champion basic design materials.
“He is best known for his Random Light (1999). The light started as a material research, which is basically the starting point of each product created by Bertjan Pot. The outcome is usually an interior product exhibiting a strong fascination for techniques, structures, patterns and colours.”
In the wake of a minimalistic culture in the interior world, exclusivity with an air of flamboyance is almost a given these days. The Heracleum Copper for Moooi is another landmark design that reinstates Bertjan Pot’s flair of mastering the world of lighting. Also showcasing his keenness towards exploring materials, the Revolving Chandelier presents itself as a photo-chromatic and reflective masterpiece all in one.
“The Revolving chandelier has four half reflective, half transparent light-shades. The light-shades are shaped like a propeller and balance on a small steel tip. The rising air, heated by three halogen bulbs, makes all four light-shades rotate.”
Shouting out into to the world of contemporary furniture, Bertjan Pot’s sleek lightweight lines contrast the reality they are surrounded by. The Slim Table with its niche design and airy practicality is actually in disguise because “The slim table is an aluminum table laminated with a thin layer of wood. It measures 100cm by 200cm by 75 with 4cm thick legs. So in the end I did end up with something that looks impossible and ready to collapse.”
The Enzo Enzo Table inspired by the Enzo Mari catalogue gives off a futuristic aura owing to its structure, along with the Auto reflector Table which is made up of 30% reflective window film – all of these are synonymous with Bertjan Pot’s signature flair of material mystery. A commitment towards material study and the playful medley it can partake in is evident in virtually every design development of his.
The Big String sofa series with high backs made of multi coloured strings are what technicolour dreams are made of. Offsetting the basic hard black metal body frame, these high back chairs allow a steady transparency through the carefully woven strings that form the back of these multi-seater lounge chairs. “The sofas are made of big steel frames that are coiled with polypropylene strings in different colors.
Black sheepskin coats were used for the seat.” Similar to this, the Carbon Chair for Moooi mimics the woven back design but in a much more industrial and monochromatic overtone. The sleek lines black framework gives these chairs just the right kind of edginess. Evolving with this penchant for string-backs, the Random Chair is strings and only strings. The entire lounge chair is made up of interwoven black strings over a solid black frame. “The Random Chair is the follow-up of the Random Light.
Epoxy drained carbon fiber is coiled over a single sided mould.” Odd rigidity but with a sense of free flow is achieved by pushing the envelope on the strings.
However, the fondly named Lazy Bastard seating is what comfort dreams are defined by. Floating on a grounded plane, these seats will envelope you with a sense of practical comfort seldom found in any design similar to this style.
Probably the most fluid of all, the Tie Break chair has the outcome of familiarity you would expect from this style of design. Bertjan Pot brought a 3D graphical mesh to life.
The true artist from within comes alive in Bertjan’s The Masks series. From what started off as a functional experiment, the end product with its vivid eclecticism is now world famous. “Although seemingly these masks tell stories, this again started out as a material experiment. I wanted to find out if by stitching a rope together I could make a large flat carpet. Instead of flat, the samples got curvy. When I was about to give up on the carpet, Vladi came up with the idea of shaping the rope into masks. The possibilities are endless and I am meeting new faces every day.”
Introducing the key factor of functionality into play is an art that not everyone can master, but those who do, like Bertjan Pot do so with panache.
Text By Virupa Kantamneni
Photographs Courtesy The Designer