Text by Jeanne Tan
Photo by Ilco Kemmere
Product designer Geke Lensink lives and works in Amsterdam. During the Milan Design Week 2014 she showed her latest work as part of the LOW MOTION group installation, at Erastudio, Via Palermo 5.
How would you describe yourself in one word?
What is your strongest quality
I would say I’m good at seeing opportunities.
And your weak point?
I can sometimes be too shy.
(How) Does your personality translate into your work?
I am pretty unfussy and bold; I see this not only in my personality, but it also characterises my work.
What keeps you designing?
I design to get things done. It’s a train that slowly started moving and now keeps moving faster. Designing is what I do to keep that train rolling. It forces me to push my limits, because to become a successful designer you need more skills than just the ability to design. It forces me to become a good decision maker and gives me the opportunity to meet so many interesting people on an international platform. Finally, I hope to make people happy with ideas and products that are worthwhile.
Was there ever a point in your career when you wanted to give up design?
It took a while before I switched to product design. I mainly designed interior and commercial projects, and cultural exhibitions. I was stuck doing small projects for the same kind of clients and I was no longer developing my talents. Now I’m designing, mainly in collaboration with Jesse Visser for labels like eQ+. I’m working on a new tableware label, I develop ideas into limited editions, exhibit all this several times a year, and I’ve learned (and am still learning) so much about production, pricing, sales, marketing, and more. It feels I like I’m in the right place now.
If you could meet the newly graduated version of yourself now, what would you tell her?
Learn more – school is not enough! I would also say: ‘You can do it, go for it.’
And if you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
A wine critic, visiting lovely little castles and estates in places where the weather is nice and the vineyards curve through landscape. I could also see myself as a cook, photographer or stage director.
Do you have any hobbies, and do they influence your work somehow?
I like to read poetry and see art house movies – I definitely consider it a challenge to implement the raw edges and poeticism in my designs.
And if you had the time, is there a hobby you’d like to try?
I’d love to try flying! It must be amazing to take off and leave the world behind for a moment…
This interview was published in Connecting the Dots #9 for the Milan Design Week 2014.
For entire magazine click here.