This year Design Gallerist will be present at Maison et Objet with an exclusive journal, Kiki gave this interview.
Kiki van Eijk‘s career began in 2000 with her hand-knotted carpet “We’re living in a doll’s house” – better known as the “Kiki Carpet” – with which she graduated with distinction from the design academy in Eindhoven. Ever since she presented herself as Alice in Wonderland on the enormously enlarged rose pattern, she has been a rising star on the Dutch Design firmament. And her studio, which she shares with partner, designer and love of her life Joost van Bleiswijk, is growing along with her. These days, the couple is working in a former Philips paper factory in Eindhoven, with their own carpentry workshop, metal workshop, showroom, offices, etc. It’s very impressive but the pieces are as simple and playful as thirteen years ago. On shelving units, pieces for a chic French fashion house are waiting to be painted. With miniature boats, horse reins, little bales of straw and models of an old coat, the place exudes the atmosphere of a toy shop rather than a design studio. Kiki appears to have returned to the doll’s house where it all began.
Read our interview where she reveals a bit more about her-self.
A · Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born in a small village in The south of Netherlands:Tegelen
There’s a lot of green and nature, which is very pleasant. My life has always been very down to earth, but I have always been a dreamer at the same time: I could sit still quietly in my room as a child and dream my own stories. It still the same and you can see this in my designs.
B · What’s your favourite part of the design process?
I can’t tell, bit maybe the start: ideas and then a big jump to the finalization; the final touch where dreams come true!
C · Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer?
I’m raised by 2 sports teachers! But I’ve always been interested in modern art myself and visited museums and exhibitions as a teenager. I was reading art books and had my own atelier when I was 16 years old where I was painting. At design academy Eindhoven I learned much more about real design and the history of industrial design.
D · Where do you get inspiration?
From all aspects of my own life.
E · What was the movie or book that impressed you the most?
The movie “das experiment”
F · Can you describe your style, how has that style developed over the years?
I don’t fancy the word style. It’s more a way of working: I follow my intuition and try to develop my working method all the time, so never stick with an existing method. This way I have the chance to reinvent myself. I think you can see that if you see the development of my work of the last 13 years; you can see that in the book co-evolution (this was launched last april)
G · What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working for Hermès windows Benelux for next year…! And a new product for several design brands. But I’m not allowed to tell or show anything!
H · For you what makes a product rare?
If it has soul and therefore is unique and authentic
I · What would people be surprised to learn about you?
That I just became a mother of the most beautiful son in the world 3 months ago! And no design I ever made is as good and special and authentic as this one.