Tal­ent show

René Linssen

Belle - - Who R I Ght Now - Is de­sign­ing his way into the fu­ture.

WHAT WERE SOME OF YOUR EARLY IN­FLU­ENCES? My mother was a big cre­ative in­flu­ence early on. She is an amaz­ing cre­ative, a very tal­ented painter and sketcher. Grow­ing up sur­rounded by her work has def­i­nitely played a big part in my cre­ative de­vel­op­ment. HOW DID YOU COME TO PUR­SUE A CA­REER IN IN­DUS­TRIAL DE­SIGN? I took an ar­chi­tec­ture course in col­lege which in­tro­duced me to the world of de­sign; it be­came my favourite class. The plan then was to go to univer­sity and study ar­chi­tec­ture, un­til I heard about the in­dus­trial de­sign course. I de­cided to give it a go, think­ing I could al­ways change to some­thing else if I didn’t like it, but I be­came very pas­sion­ate about it and haven’t looked back. HOW WOULD YOU DE­SCRIBE YOUR DE­SIGN PHI­LOS­O­PHY? I’ve al­ways loved Di­eter Rams’s 10 prin­ci­ples of good de­sign, to me it sums it up. As a de­signer I’m drawn to pure and sim­ple forms, things that aren’t try­ing to be more than they should be. I think de­sign is suc­cess­ful when it con­nects with peo­ple by be­ing func­tional but also hav­ing an aes­thetic ap­peal. WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE CA­REER EX­PE­RI­ENCES? My favourite would have to be win­ning the Belle Alessi De­sign Awards last year. That was very sur­real. Alessi is a com­pany I’ve al­ways dreamed of work­ing with, and to visit and meet the peo­ple be­hind the com­pany face to face was in­cred­i­ble. My favourite project is the ‘Par­lia­ment’ bike rack, in­spired by Par­lia­ment House, that I de­signed for an ACT Gov­ern­ment de­sign com­pe­ti­tion. Since the com­pe­ti­tion the ACT Gov­ern­ment has or­dered 70 bike rack units to dis­trib­ute around Can­berra. To have one of my de­signs fea­tured in my home town is very spe­cial and hum­bling. WHAT WAS THE IN­SPI­RA­TION AND CON­CEPT FOR THE ' PEARLA' OYS­TER SHUCKER? ‘Pearla’ was in­spired by Aus­tralia’s love of the ocean and my de­sire to cre­ate a beau­ti­ful ver­sion of a prod­uct that I felt hadn’t been done jus­tice. I see oys­ters as a so­phis­ti­cated and el­e­gant food and the knives on the mar­ket didn’t re­flect that. I wanted to make the oys­ter knife more beau­ti­ful and to de­sign some­thing that re­flected where I am from. Oys­ters are very pop­u­lar in Aus­tralia

and the coast is a big part of Aus­tralian life. The item’s aes­thet­ics take cues from sea shells and sea crea­tures to am­plify the con­nec­tion be­tween the oys­ter and the ocean. TELL US ABOUT YOUR TRIP TO THE ALESSI HEAD­QUAR­TERS? I had an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. I was taken to the fac­tory and saw first­hand how many of their prod­ucts are made. I saw the Alessi Mu­seum which in­cludes thou­sands of Alessi pro­to­types and de­sign ob­jects. I met so many peo­ple in the com­pany and spent time with Al­berto Alessi in his of­fice. The trip to Alessi has re­ally helped me get a bet­ter grasp of the re­al­i­ties of man­u­fac­tur­ing and un­der­stand­ing the im­por­tance of the com­mer­cial as­pects of prod­uct de­vel­op­ment and de­sign. WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORK­ING ON AT THE MO­MENT? I’m work­ing on sev­eral projects at the in­dus­trial de­sign stu­dio, Form­swell, where I work – sports drink bot­tles, ACT Gov­ern­ment pub­lic fur­ni­tur e , ba throom ac­ces­sories, tro­phy award de­signs among oth­ers. At the be­gin­ning of the year I started a new fur­ni­ture brand, Fur­nished For­ever, with my busi­ness and de­sign part­ner El­liot Bas­tianon. We cur­rently have a low stool and high stool in pro­duc­tion that we re­vealed at Den­fair 2017, and plan to ex­pand the col­lec­tion to light­ing, ta­bles and chairs. All our prod­ucts are man­u­fac­tured in Aus­tralia which we place great value on. ARE THERE ANY OB­JECTS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO RE-THINK AS A DE­SIGNER? I would love to de­sign for the el­derly – I think there is a mas­sive op­por­tu­nity to make a real dif­fer­ence and im­pact peo­ple’s lives for the bet­ter. renelinssen.com

“As a de­signer I’m drawn to pure and sim­ple forms, things that aren’t try­ing to be more than they should be.”

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