Nadine Sterk, Lonny van Ryswyck

Interview with Nadine Sterk and Lonny van Ryswyck from Atelier NL – DDW 2015

Nadine Sterk, Lonny van Ryswyck

Social & Green Design Guide with: Nadine Sterk and Lonny van Ryswyck from AtelierNL – DDW 2015

Video by Robert Andriessen
Text by Annemiek van Grondel
Produced in partnership with DOEN Foundation

Earth Alchemy Factory by Atelier NL


Nadine Sterk (1977, Gorinchem) and Lonny van Ryswyck (1978, Tegelen) are two kindred spirits who started Atelier NL in 2006, right after their graduation from Design Academy Eindhoven. Their work revolves around the observation of nature and respect for the soil, its history, and its workers. Everyday miracles are thoroughly analyzed via intensive field and studio work. Atelier NL translates this research into designs that provoke debate, wonder, and sometimes straight-out awe – like the Knitting Lamp, which creates its own lampshade through energy from lamplight. The identification of raw materials tells stories of original territory, chemistry, archaeology, geology, history and even philosophy. The project Uit de klei getrokken (Drawn from Clay), reveals the Netherlands as a depository of different kinds of river, sea, and glacial clay.

The designers currently teach at the Design Academy Eindhoven and lead outdoor workshops for students, school classes, and companies. By including specialists like beekeepers and papermakers they show that everything around us can be traced back to the earth.

Their base is a former church in a residential area of Eindhoven. Sterk and Van Ryswyck baptized their studio recently as Earth Alchemy Factory, a place where self-manufactured machines are on display and where they will offer workshops and sell their products. They hope to buy ‘their’ church with the money earned from workshops and the sale of limited edition tiles from Atelier NL’s intriguing tile wall.

At DDW everyone is invited to peruse the designs that Atelier NL has developed over the years. Come taste the pleasant vigour: an infectious atmosphere in which visitors are encouraged to take part in various activities, from demonstrations to workshops – for example, making paint pigments out of clay. Volunteers from the neighbourhood will help out, while the design duo hosts and gives workshops. Although the work of Atelier NL has been shown in many museums worldwide, we can finally see it now as a whole. According to Van Ryswyck, “It’s an exhibition where everyone thinks: Aha! The design world know us, but others might wonder: what on earth do they do with all that local clay and sand?”

Eureka! We expect a genuine Atelier NL design retrospective – an aha experience that promises many surprising turns in the future.

AtelierNL will open their doors during the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven:
Bergmannstraat 76, 5615 KG, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

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