Handmade Industrials was established in 2013 by cofounders Marlies van Putten (born in Hoevelaken, the Netherlands in 1990) and Rutger de Regt (born in Zoetermeer, the Netherlands in 1979). The studio experiments with unusual materials and processes to create furniture, accessories, and product designs. As de Regt explains, “In our work, the details of an object emerge during the process; in the end, the details turn out to be the object.” The studio occupies the auditorium of a 19th-century orphanage in The Hague.
The cofounders first met in the metal workshop at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague in 2011. De Regt studied furniture design at the Academy, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in 2011. His graduation project, Make & Mold furniture (2011), is the basis of Breaking the Mold (2014), Handmade Industrials’ first major project. The studio’s series explores a self-designed, low cost modeling process that reclaims industrial and everyday materials, whereby the designers use balloons filled with biodegradable thermoplastic granules to form flexible molds, which are then used to create one-off objects. Van Putten also studied furniture design; she graduated from the Academy with her bachelor’s degree in 2015. Both designers interned at the Dutch studio Atelier Remy and Veenhuizen; de Regt from 2010-2011 and van Putten in 2013.
The designers have presented work at multiple events to date, including 2012’s Chair for Charity at Venduehuis der Notarissen in the Netherlands; the 2014 Elements of Craft presentation (curated by Lina Kanafani) at Mint during the London Design Festival; the 2015 Vous avez fit Bizarre exhibition at the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne (curated by Bart Hess and Alexandra Jaffré); and the 2015 Ventura Lambrate exposition in Milan, among others. Notably, The Happy Misfits Chair (2010), another of De Regt’s graduation projects, was acquired by the Vitra Design Museum in 2013.