The aesthetics of simplicity by Tiddo de Ruiter

published in: Design By Marcia Argyriades, 23 April 2010

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photo © Ricki van der Tas

Tiddo de Ruiter is the significant other half behind the brand Men at Work who collaborates with Dennis Slootweg.  Men at Work are two self-producing furniture designers from The Hague.  Tiddo de Ruiters’ work is a combination where traditional methods of craftsmanship meet modern simplistic designs.  His eye catching designs where exhibited at the Salone del Mobile 2010 Milan, at Zona Tortona; his designs grabbed our attention and we were immediately drawn to them.

R1000 trestle table (detail) // photo © Ricki van der Tas

Through his hand crafted works Tiddo de Ruiter is interested in revealing the soul of his furniture pieces through a simplified manner.  His designs reveal everything before our eyes and act as living objects within a space.  His works stand meaningfully revealing the simplicity in form and comprehensibility in construction.  Through his designs de Ruiter tries to reveal the essence of clarity as he discards the excessive forms.  What remains is a clear, minimalistic design.  Through the procedure of discarding the unnecessary he has managed to translate traditional craftsmanship into the designs which meet the needs of the present.

Upholstered chair // photo © Ricki van der Tas

Low leather chair (detail) // photo © Ricki van der Tas

The designs of de Ruiter couple naturalness with feasibility.  The end result is an unpolished and very natural end product.  Using clear materials such as zinc, copper, wood and leather de Ruiter provides for each piece the mere necessary finish.    The furniture pieces and the materials used can be experienced in their primary state allowing for the end user to understand the feel of the product.  The wood used in de Ruiters’ chairs as well as the R1000 trestle table reveals the wood which has been sanded with care to bring to surface the grains of the wood. 

photo © Ricki van der Tas

The shape, the form and the natural color of the wood provide a unique experience which is very much lost in today’s mass producing furniture industry.  Each piece produced by de Ruiter whether a chair, a table or a light reveals the craftsmanship of the past in the most modern way.  All furniture designs by de Ruiter have been created in such a way in view of the possibility of reproduction.

Copper shade (detail) // photo © Ricki van der Tas

About Men at Work // Craftsmanship with character
Tiddo de Ruiter and Dennis Slootweg are Men at Work: two self-producing furniture designers from The Hague. Their works enhance each other by the attention paid to materials (particularly metal and wood), their traditional methods (the making of prototypes in atelier and adjoining workshop, the meticulous implementation and skilful production), their aversion to trends, and their passion for industrial quotations and detailing, and the literal sustainability of their products. In Milan, variants of their successful existing collections were presented, as well as new designs, with new materials and techniques. Men at Work: a presentation in which distinctive materials and modern craftsmanship form center stage.

Resilient chair (detail) // photo © Ricki van der Tas


Tiddo de Ruiter

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    Nick Heywood | 2010-04-29 17:32:35

    This work is beautiful and simple, but NOT simplistic -- "the description of something that fails to look at all concerns : the reduction of a problem to a false simplicity by ignoring complicating factors." The difference between simple and simplistic is like the difference between complex and complicated, and in neither case are these terms to be confused. Not to be overharsh, but I'm tired of seeing this mistake made. Artists and designers (and those who write about them) should strive to be as articulate in speaking about their work (and the works of others) as they are with the act of creation. This is just a problem I've seen too many times to ignore.

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