I am born in 1958 Victoria, Australia of Dutch parents. I studied 'interior design' at Sint-Lukas, the Institute for Architecture and Arts, in Brussels and obtained my master 'autonomous design' at Royal College of the Arts in Gent.
Although I'm generally considered to be a Belgian designer, my work is actually infused with the typical Australian laidback spirit 'open, direct, freewheeling and relaxed'. My work is wide-ranging: from mobile office chairs, ice-coolers and showers, to interiors for private mansions, bars and showrooms as well as exhibition design.
Each project is a challenge where we link behaviourism with the design. That is a powerful game changer in shifting consumer behaviour. The Gestalt (form or shape) of my designs is centred on the concept of playfulness. This in turn is linked to the idea of mind-games in which I continuously questions and undermines given ideas about form, materials, scale, or the use of space and objects. This way of working ensures surprising results: the office chair that has the look of an over-sized baby-crawler or the shower that has the water fountain coming from the bottom rather than the top.
My challenging, flexible, but topsy-turvy world is really an exercise in relativity. It invites the user to become a homo ludens, on a peaceful and humble way, and with the perspective of a child, for whom anything remains possible...
I started Venlet Interior Architecture ltd. first in Sydney, Australia in 1988. Later also opened an office in Brussels in 2002. The company was initially an Interior Design firm, working on residential and public spaces. It is in the public spaces that we managed to design special custom furniture. These custom made products very quickly became the taking pieces of the interiors and were like a logo for these businesses. The natural result was that the furniture pieces started having a life of their own and were entered into exhibitions. So the office became next to the interior fit outs well known for their furniture designs. Which we love to design!
We absolutely love challenges!
The one thing our office is known for is innovation
That’s the reason why we need, read love new challenges where we need to (re)search, (re)educate, (re)think, (re)innovate, feel. They’re like blood running through our veins. Challenges are our oxygen!