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01 January 2019

OS ∆ OOS Exhibiton during DDW 2018 - Nick Bookelaar
With over 2600 participating designers, Dutch Design Week (DDW) in Eindhoven is the largest design festival in Northern Europe. Every year, Dutch Design Daily, Innovation Origins and Katja Lucas, programme manager DDW, pick nine designers who they consider this year’s hidden gems. In this article you can read all about Hidden Gem #8: OS ∆ OOS.

Marking the fifth year they worked and operated in Eindhoven, OS ∆ OOS presented their ‘Body of Work’ last DDW. The studio is known for its lamps, mirrors and other objects that are almost works of art in themselves. The duo also designed the interior of various Ace & Tate shops, for example the shop in Eindhoven. How do they look back at the past few years? ‘Traffic flows in shops? It was all new to us.’

It is a Tuesday afternoon when Sophie Mensen and Oskar Peet have a break at the wooden table in front of their studio. We are at the edge of Strijp-T. Opposite the studio is the renovated TQ building, next to it the recently opened office of Additive Industries. A little further down the road is the immense Innovation Powerhouse, which opened last year after a major renovation. ‘The city is slowly moving towards us’, notes Oskar.

Studio OS ∆ OOS has been here for about four years now. A small office in a former Philips building with a large workshop attached to it, which they share with a number of other makers on the site. They don’t have a lot in stock, Sophie explains. ‘Our designs are launched in limited editions and most of our products are only fabricated once they are sold’. Oskar describes their ‘handwriting’ as layered. ‘We play with transparency and optical effects and we work a lot with glass and aluminium, but it is mainly the combination of different materials that defines our style.’

Sophie and the Canadian born Oskar got to know each other at the Design Academy in Eindhoven. During their studies, they already recognized the same sense of aesthetics in the other person and they help each other with projects. ‘Sometimes it wasn’t really clear what it was going to be, but we both knew immediately what the atmosphere and style of the product should be.’

The first thing they have made as OS ∆ OOS was their Syzygy lamps series, which has been taken into production by the Italian brand FontanaArte later on. It continues to be one of their favourite designs. Another favourite are the large room dividers ‘Perspectives no.1 & no.2’, a project supported by gallery Roerhs & Boetsch, Zurich. ‘I think it’s our most autonomous piece of work’, says Sophie.

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Last year, they expanded their field of work to interior design. Eyewear store Ace & Tate opened a flagship store in Eindhoven and wanted to collaborate with local designers and came into contact with OS ∆ OOS. Initially they were interested in just the lamps of Sophie and Oskar but then they were asked to design the entire interior as well. ‘It was fake it till you make it’, says Oskar about their lack of interior design experience, ‘Traffic flows in shops? It was all new to us.’ But their approach, with a great eye for the industrial history of the city, worked out well. Ace & Tate was very pleased with the end result and commissioned them to design the new offices in Groningen, Dublin and Brussels as well. Last DDW, we brought everything together on a ‘dream location’: the TQ 1 building opposite their own studio. ‘It was a large, empty space’, says Sophie, ‘a wonderful place to show our work.’

This article has been made possible by Innovation Origins. During DDW18, Dutch Design Daily, Innovation Origins and Katja Lucas, programme manager DDW, organised the Hidden Gem bike route by which you could discover and meet the selected designers.