The best creative partnerships often feature a thinker and a doer, someone with the imaginative ideas and another to bring these ideas into fruition. This is certainly true for Dutch studio Ontwerpduo. Made up of Tineke Beunders and Nathan Wierink, the Eindhoven-based duo create surreal, fairytale-like furniture born from Beunders’s wild imaginings (think swinging birdcage chairs and a sprawling forests of lights) and made reality by the deeply practical Wierink.
Their latest collection, which was showcased at Milan’s Salone del Mobile earlier this month, ranges from clever, multifunctional pieces to the delightfully mischievous. Rockid is a nifty crib and rocking chair combination that allows you to lull a little one to sleep while you relax, and Tallow is a specially moulded wax product that combines candle and candlestick to create a free-standing light source with no need for a holder. Split Mirror, with its angles panels, reminds us of a funfair’s house of mirrors, and Marbelous is a wooden dining table that also doubles up as a marble fun. Perhaps most mind-bending is asymmetric chest of draws What it is, it isn’t, which through clever curves and construction techniques creates a Dalí-esque optical illusion that must be a nightmare when you’re trying to find your socks with a hangover.