5 Minutes with Paul Heijnen
What does the Fuori Salone in Milan mean to you?
It’s a very important platform to show your work, and it’s an opportunity to prove yourself as a designer. People are coming from around the world to see your work so you can’t screw up. If you can surprise people it will gain you recognition and hopefully some contacts. Milan is a great way to interact with the public.
What works are you showing in Milan?
There is a new table made from granite which I have upcycled. When a company uses granite slabs, these are cut from giant boulders, so some of the pieces have rough, rounded edges. Usually these parts are destroyed but I have intervened and have made them into tabletops. Steel posts support the 450 KG slab.
Also I have two cabinets and a chair on show, all to do with upcycling.
Tell us a bit more about your upcycling projects.
I use materials such as old factory flooring or pallets, by working with old materials I can keep my prototyping costs low. Once a project is finished, is has given a new sense of worth to otherwise unused or destroyed materials. Additionally though, I rework my projects in new materials, and I’m starting my own production line.
What message would you like your work to convey?
For me design is about materials and techniques but also about the way you work with your materials and how to ensure production is efficient. If objects aren’t produceable, then for me they turn into art objects. Also I like a product with an honest character and a pure form.
How does Milan compare to the Netherlands during design week?
I think here in Milan more visitors have a professional background. At Dutch Design Week you can present your research but in Milan you can show the finished product and do business.
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