Some years ago I finally found a compact solution for replacing coffee tables. I like to dance in my living room, so I need all the space I can get! To me, the most iconic tableware is the traditional plates and saucers used in hotels. They are also the sturdiest. Basically just a plate is enough to place your food and drinks and most other things on. After making a disastrous series of prototypes a solid and elegant support was created. Since then we are happy to have a whole island of LIFE IS A PARTY waiting to be picked up and used to entertain our friends.
The making of the first series was also my first somewhat bigger production of one of my designs. The Materiaalfonds selected me to support the realization of three hundred items and it was the first time I went to prison…. The stands are produced at the workshop there. Picking up the supports after they were made in the historic prison village of Veenhuizen was a special experience. You can only enter the premises after leaving your papers and cell phone at the gate, then you have to drive through a lock chamber in the middle of nowhere with a trailer and all and then you are let loose among the inmates. This is also the start of my co-productions with social and inclusive workshops.
LIFE IS A PARTY has gathered many fond memories for me. It was a joy to delivered some pieces at the MAC in Dallas myself. My design and I were invited to be part of design exhibitions in Moscow, Madrid, München and more and we partied along nicely! In Madrid I was asked permission to use the cup and saucer to serve coffee to our prime minister in the Dutch Embassy. In the exhibition work was presented of all the best that Dutch Design has to offer, like Hella Jongerius, Ineke Hans, Richard Hutten and Miriam van der Lubbe & Niels van Eijk and Piet Hein Eek. It was the talk of the town! To my surprise I was the only Dutchy present at the opening, together with over a 1000 visitors. Imagine all the attention I got…. Many friendships around the world were forged during these exhibits that are lasting till this very day.
I hardly ever apply for awards, but I do have a sweet spot for the Frisian Design Prize in my region in the Netherlands. They always do something special for the winners [see video below with interview in Dutch].
It is my pleasure to see how LIFE IS A PARTY is being used in many a reception area, in private corners, and as displays for all sort of things. It definitely invites to play! At the start of this design, a large and small soup plate were also available. I still have some in store, but they are running out of stock and after 20 years that will be the end of it…. By the way, they still serve me well in my own living room and I enjoy them every day!