Interview With Tim Várdy, Designer of the Dutch Design Chair


Tim Várdy has studied classical piano at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague (Netherlands) and was a regular visitor of the North Sea Jazz Festival. There he got the idea of a handy cardboard stool due to the fact that it had to be lightweight and fully printable for advertising. With the help of industrial designers he developed a cardboard chair. Then patented it internationally. That's how the FestivalChair was born. 

Since then the chair has been developed further and further and became an art object which is sold at museums like the Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam and Galleries like the Lafayette in Paris. Since 2011 The Dutch Design Chair was developed and is sold in fancy design stores in Holland and abroad. The New York Times Style Magazine described the chair as a ‘Dutch standout creation’ in an article on Dutch design. We're one of those proud fancy international stockists, so we thought we'd sit down with the designer and ask him a few questions. 

1. How heavily is the design influenced by the functionality of the products?

The basic design of the chair is a cross-construction, which is responsible for the strength of the Dutch Design Chair. After that we played with the shape to improve the design. I really like the firm lines. Almost 90% of the design is functional, and this shows how functionality can be beautiful, which is also our slogan of the Dutch Design Brand. This is the essence of the products we want to create. A product without functionality can be beautiful but is not our cup of tea!

2. Who are your favourite designers?

Dutch designers like Gispen, Rietveld, Eek, but also the painter Piet Mondriaan and Escher.

3. Tell us a little bit about your design process.

We now commission great Dutch designers to design new products for our brand. We do have lots of ideas and after brainstorms with Suzan Bergman (co-founder Dutch Design Brand) and others we create the process with the designers. It is very difficult to explain our process and the way we work. Every time this is completely different. 

4. How does designing for cardboard differ from other furniture design?

My background is music. I studied classical piano at the Conservatory. This is my real expertise. I didn't design that much furniture. Of course, the great aim of designing cardboard furniture is to take away the prejudices of the material. The strength of the material and the often 'cheap-look' for example. I like to add the surprise-effect to our products. The trompe l'oeil effect of our prints for example is something I really like.

5. What's your favourite product from the range?

Dutch Design Chair Tree trunk

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