Wisse and Rachel, what do you appreciate most in well-designed products?
Wisse: “I appreciate it when a product is good in itself, without necessarily knowing the story about, say, the technologies used to make it. The story shouldn’t be the most important element in good design. It can bring a product to life, but mostly in a complementary way. I recognise this in the Mazda MX-30. You don’t immediately see that the car is all-electric. It’s a good car in itself, with a robust appearance and beautiful rims. The fact that it’s sustainable is something that contributes to an already good product.”
Rachel: “I value a product that synthesises material, process, form, function and context in a sensible and thoughtful way. When each of these elements fits well with the others, you know that a product is working. That synthesis can be found in complex objects like the Mazda MX-30, as well as simpler things such as a vase.”
How do you approach aesthetics in your designs?
Rachel: “I would say that I am a soft minimalist. I am not a purist, but I do try to avoid using more than is necessary – “necessary” being what fits a particular material, process, function or context. For example, I recently designed a vase that would not be considered minimal by traditional standards, but rather tries to strike a balance between simplicity and humor.”
Wisse: “I have a background in industrial design, rather than from an art academy. This is because most of my products seek the balance between sustainability and scale, which translates into a sleek and straightforward design language. Also, I use materials that don’t need any explanation, but speak for themselves.”