One half of the duo that leads the Netherlands’ of Atelier NL design studio, designer Lonny van Ryswyck has long seen things a little differently. Though she was advised by a teacher while a student at Design Academy Eindhoven to ‘forget about the world for a while’, van Ryswyck went on to do the exact opposite and has made the hidden narratives of the earth her business.
At Atelier NL, van Ryswyck – alongside partner Nadine Sterk – explores the earth’s raw materials in an effort to demonstrate how they can be used to create products of value. She explains that once she discovered that she was driven more by her intuition, she has led it lead her to interesting places.
The two travelled all over The Netherlands collecting clay samples for and meeting farmers. She says this experience made her realise that in a society where we want everything to happen immediately, "There is a moment of everything. First we have the seed, then we can grow and develop and then we can harvest”.
The latest resource to claim the designer’s attention is sand, a seldom addressed diminishing resource, in a project called A World of Sand.
A remarkable project that sees the designer collecting sand from across the world, van Ryswyck brought the very special initiative to the Design Indaba 2018 stage. Aside from revealing her extraordinary research, she was also responsible for creating this year’s speaker gifts.
A stunning glass item made from sand that she collected from the Western Cape’s Theewaterskloof dam, it is a gift that highlights both her focus on sand as a raw material and Cape Town’s dire water crisis.
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