Diederik Schneemann. Image by Ilco Kemmere

Diederik Schneemann – a portrait

Diederik Schneemann. Image by Ilco Kemmere

Text by Jeanne Tan
Photo by Ilco Kemmere

Diederik Schneemann lives and works in Rotterdam. His recent projects include A Flip Flop Story and the 3D-printed Mash-up Collection.

How would you describe yourself in one word? 
Storyteller: somebody who walks around wondering and observing, and reveals the story that lies beneath.

What is your strongest quality?
Being able to sink my teeth into something and not let go – believing in an idea without compromise. Others would probably describe me as stubborn or even mad.

And your weak point?
I am bad at kissing ass and selling myself.

(How) Does your personality translate into your work?
You could say I am a curious person. Sometimes I stumble upon things that amaze me or that I can’t grasp. And without thinking about it too much, I start to find ways to communicate this through an object or product. And if I’m lucky my creation will translate my curiosity, and fascinate others in the same way.

Any secret talents you’d like to share with us?
I’ve never met anyone who could walk down stairs faster than I can…

What makes you get out of bed in the morning?
Sometimes it’s the sun shining on my face, but most of the time it is the most beautiful thing I have ever created – my 2-year-old son.

Was there ever a point when you wanted to give up being a designer?
About a 100 times! I believe it has to do with always doubting yourself: is it good enough, is it the right design choice or am I just plain crazy? Designing and developing is always more work than I anticipate. Sometimes I just want to throw everything out the window and start doing something simple of which the outcome is certain.

Diederik Schneemann

Diederik Schneemann

So if you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
A deep sea explorer like Jacques Cousteau.

If you could meet the newly graduated version of yourself, what would you tell yourself?
Follow your gut feeling.

Where can we find you if you’re not at work? 
I’m almost always working and if not, I try to spend time with my loved ones, and enjoy good food and all that Rotterdam has to offer. In general, not a day goes by without me not thinking about work; I need to go away for at least 2 weeks in order to let work thoughts go. But even then, new surroundings often inspire me and I can’t help myself sketching new ideas.


This interview was published in Connecting the Dots #9 for the Milan Design Week 2014.
For entire magazine click here.

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