Bram Boo – Designer of the year 2010

14 Jun 2010

I am keeping it local for this article. A few weeks ago Brussels born designer Bram Boo received the title of designer of the year 2010. The official award will be presented during Interieur 2010. Interieur took place for the first time in 1968 and will celebrate its 22th Biennale from 15 to 24 October 2010.

Oasis for Belgian brand Feld

Who is Bram Boo

Bram Boo was born in 1971 and welcomed into an artistic family. His father Bram Bogart is a well-known abstract painter and his mother Leni is also an artist. The 13th century house he grew up in holds a kind of folklore – the brightly colored paintings, the modern furniture made by Joe Colombo, Charles & Ray Eames, and Ettore Sottsass. His parents had many discussions about art and talked about Gerrit Rietveld and Dom Hans van der Laan.

I'm a mix of two strong cultures. My parents are Dutch, they always talked about Dom Hans Van Der Laan and those people, but I'm born in Belgium, it's a country of surrealism, so I think I'm a mix. I've got the constriction of the Dutch, but there is also a Belgian part that is not too serious. I start furniture with that function and then move on to the other things – it's a blend of a Dutch and Belgian way to see things, perhaps.

Oasis for Feld

Consisting of two separated, changeable seating elements (one that incorporate a desk space), “Oasis” stays true to the designer’s multifunctional philosophy. One part allows you to work on it with your laptop, while the second part allows you to lean on it like a chaise longue.

When he was young some trouble manifested itself. Bram explains:

I was a trouble-maker. I couldn’t follow the normal way of going to school, to go inside a room and do these things all day; for me it was too much after living in that very rich, very full world of my parents. I escaped and started having very dark years. When I was 17, my father said, ‘Bram, things are going bad with you. If you’d like to come work with me, you can.

Garden Bench Etcetera

Etcetera is a great convertible table for indoor or outdoor use. Use it as a table, a breakfast table, a garden table, a picnic table, a dining table, a working desk. The lacquered aluminum structure of the table makes it light, strong and beautiful. The play with Felt cushions and place mats are available for extra comfort.

Furniture for the entrance hall of the Brussels Parliament

Furniture for the entrance hall of the Brussels Parliament

Working with his father and following night classes in carpentry made him discover his love for furniture. At the age of 25 Bram studied at the Royal Academy of Art in Hasselt, Belgium. Since then he has steadily established a fantastical design language that has his own signature. His dad is now 88 years old and he still works for him too.

His Work

Bram Boo designs furniture that is both unusual and functional. Most of his furniture are using wood as main material. Bram creates pieces that are influenced by people's daily habits. His designs do not follow rules and always include space for storage. By disturbing the usual rules, Bram Boo aspires to create new ideas and emotions with a focus on function and aesthetic values. His creations are often functionally enriched and therefore emotionally surprising. He wants to challenge people to reconsider their habits.

People are used to seeing a table-like table, and may be a little disturbed by what I do. I’m playing with function and it creates a kind of emotional response to something. When people first see my furniture in a space, perhaps they should laugh a little bit, that’s very important to me. They may work another way because the furniture is something a little bit strange, but they might do it with new inspiration. In the office, it’s very important to have that.

Barbasso - Indera

The Belgian design company Indera has also joined forces with Bram Boo. The result of this collaboration is a set of timeless tables called "Barbasso". The rounded shape of the side and coffee tables provides a compelling contrast to the rectangular structure of most sofas. Enriched by an additional tabletop for extra storage space and asymmetrical legs, these tables are a perfect fusion of function, humor and fantasy.

Overdose chair

Overdose chair for Bulo

Overdose desk

Overdose desk for Bulo

Barbasso"

Barbasso for Indera

Carte Blanche - Bulo

Bulo follows an innovative design strategy with their "Carte Blanche" projects. Fashion designers such as Dirk Bikkembergs and Anne Demeulemeester, architects Jean Nouvel, Bataille & Ibens, and interior architects such as Evelyne Merkx all got complete freedom to design a piece of furniture that later came in production. This year Bram Boo will gets its go with an office desk called "Overdose desk".

Salsa - Vannerum

Vanerum specializes in products for the education market and Bram Boo designed a new school desk called Salsa for them. The origin of the idea came from a piece of furniture that offers the possibility to talk, relax or work. He provides an interactive place by placing four seats in a central form. One learns as soon as people come together and share ideas. Interaction isn't a problem with this design because the structure allows all forms of conversation. Put Salsa in a public place and put some books or laptops on the table tops and you will quickly see that people come up with the craziest ways to do their thing.

Salsa

Salsa for Vannerum

Salsa

Placing four seats in a central form

Comments

  1. 1 Nathalie Van Horen 17 Jun 2010

    Love the simplicity of his designs. I’ll test his chairs at Interieur in October. Hard to judge from pictures if they are comfortable.

  2. 2 Brenda 21 Jun 2010

    Wow, this is beautiful! I do agree with Nathalie that it’s sometimes hard to see if the chairs are comfortable. I mean, even AFTER testing a couch in a store I’ve had the ‘pleasure’ of selecting one that isn’t comfortable at all ;)