Designer: Piet Hein Eek
Piet Hein Eek was born in Holland in 1967 and was graduated from the Academy for Industrial Design in Eindhoven in 1990. While at the Academy, he gained attention for his exam project Scrap Wood Cupboards. He sold all of the cupboards and used the money to start his own design studio in 1992. The following year he went into partnership with fellow designer Nob Ruijrok, establishing Eek en Ruijgrok v.o.f. Eek first developed an interest in old materials after restoring a cupboard for his sister; he thought the old wood looked nicer than the new. He has built his business around old materials, saving these discarded pieces of wood and working outside of the circuit of mass production. His work is sold in numerous galleries worldwide. He has exhibited at such venues as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Milan Furniture Fair, Italy; and Cïbone, Tokyo.
The eletronics giant Philips is based in Eindhoven. One day Piet Hein Eek found a number of metal-framed doors discarded at Philips dump. The doors were originally part of a technical box. This Aluminium Cupboard came out as a logical result of the size, character and former use of the windows. The cupboards became popular, so they began reproducing the original Philips doors. Later on, they redesigned them to be like original ones thereby perfecting the cupboards. The Aluminium Chair was inspired by a visit to a company that manufactured sheet steel products using CNC machines. Eek perceived a certain beauty in the negative forms that emerged from the metal after the machine had finished punching out the holes. He had no experience working with metal in this way but, inspired by the process, began designing pieces together with the factory. This chair was later used for a café interior project for the Museum of Modern Art in New York.