Marjan Van Aubel Marjan Van Aubel

5 questions for Marjan van Aubel Featured

Marjan van Aubel, winner of the Swarovski Emerging Talent Medal 2015, talks to LUXOS about her projects.

by 08 April 2016

Dutch designer Marjan van Aubel, used discarded wood shavings to create The Well Proven Chair (2012) in partnership with designer Jamie Shaw. By gathering shavings from a wood processing plant, the pair invented a ‘porridge like’ mixture of resin and shavings that would ‘prove’ (like bread) into a chair mould. Here she talks to LUXOS about what's happened since and what's she looking forward to at Design Week in Milan this month.

LUXOS: What was the inspiration for The Well-Proven Chair?
MvA: It was a collaboration with the American Hardwood Export Council. My co-designer and I visited a manufacturing plant and saw how much waste there was, and I saw an amazing opportunity to use the scraps to make chairs.

1Current-Window---Amy-Gwatkin1Current Window by Marjan van Aubel

Are sustainable materials important to your practise?
You always need to think about new materials and new ways of using things that surround us. I’m not interested in just making another chair. Instead I’m thinking, what could be a chair?

Related: Sustainable, responsible design: Luxury's best new trend

You received a lot of recognition for your recent Current Table, which creates solar energy. What were you trying to achieve here?
To work with science, to really understand technology efficiencies, and to tell a story about where our energy is coming from. I want my work to bridge design and science.

2-Current-WindowCurrent Window by Marjan van Aubel

What does being a ‘sustainable’ designer mean to you?
I see it more as a case of, if I am a designer then of course I am going to be sustainable. We live in a time where you can’t ignore it. Just like you wouldn’t make an ugly chair – what is the point? – I also think, what is the point of being an unsustainable designer?

Your favourite thing to do during Salone del Mobile?
Visit la Triennale di Milano. I never miss it.