Roland Pieter Smit

Interview with Roland Pieter Smit – DDW 2015

Roland Pieter Smit

Social & Green Design Guide with: Roland Pieter Smit about Made by Scorlewald – DDW 2015 

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

Made by Scorlewald


Concept and product designer Roland Pieter Smit (1987, Koedijk) founded Studio RO SMIT after graduating from the Design Academy Eindhoven upon completion of his project ‘Wolwaeren’ (Wool Affairs), an investigation and reassessment of the value of wool. “Our large wool industry has declined; nowadays Dutch sheep are mainly good for their meat,” he sighs. Smit’s story begins on the island of Texel. Here he did research at Maartenshuis, an institution for people with intellectual disabilities. The institution has a weaving mill. After observing residents at work, he noticed differences in their weaving methods. “Autistic people do, for example, very precise and delicate work, while people with Down syndrome want to see quick results,” he explains. “I developed different yarns for different limitations: thick and very fine yarns.” He built a new loom, suitable for thicker yarns, and spent five years working intensively with the residents. As a result of his work at Maartenshuis, Smit was invited to Scorlewald, an anthroposophic healthcare institution in Schoorl. The goal was to support self-sufficiency among resident artists, to improve artist visibility, and to create a product line to connect the institution’s workshops. Scorlewald has wood, ceramic, paper and metal workshops, plus a weaving mill and a farm. Smit developed a brand called ‘Made by Scorlewald’, reorganized the workshops, and devised product lines to develop with the residents. The first product line is called ‘Aan Tafel’, a table set with products from five of Scorlewald’s workshops. A table set might include a vase, candleholders, a tablecloth, specially designed cutlery, and a chopping board made from winch waste wood. ‘Aan Tafel’ and the ‘Made by Scorlewald’ online shop will be presented at the Yksi expo during Dutch Design Week. Filmed portraits of two resident makers will be viewable on the DDW website. Plans for new product lines include the ‘In De Tuin’ cookbook and ‘Aan de Muur’, a gallery featuring artwork by residents. According to Smit, “Maximum use is made of everyone’s strengths. Their work, of which they are very proud, will finally have a platform.”

Made by Scorlewald is exhibited at Yksi Expo,
Torenallee 22-04, 5617 BD Eindhoven

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