Three questions to
Koen Van Guijze
16 April 2021
Kristen de la Vallière: There has been a lot of focus on the negative aspects of the circumstances of the past year but we'd love to know how it has positively impacted your practice. How has the past year changed the way you view or run your design practice?
Koen Van Guijze: Actually, the first lockdown brought me … peace. Peace of mind because we were all forced to press the ‘pause’ button in our daily lives. Since I have my own lighting design studio, where we do lighting concepts for both private clients and professional projects, I divide my time between designing for my studio and for my bespoke lighting designs. This has sometimes been a full agenda to cope with. So I must admit that the past year gave me time to think things over and even gave me the opportunity to reflect on how I would go on with both activities.
“Being at COLLECTIBLE over the past three years was so inspiring for me.”
KdlV: What do you think are some of the most important roles of a designer in 2021?
KVG: Well, a designer has to dream. There are so many reasons why designers do what they do … The pandemic helped us to think twice before putting drawings on paper and actually start making objects, I guess. I was never so productive as the past year. I took more time to read and to explore both in books and on the internet, finding time to inspire myself on the subjects I love.
KdlV: How are events such as COLLECTIBLE, important for your creative practice?
KVG: For my lighting design studio, the interaction with the client is the most important thing. Being at COLLECTIBLE over the past three years was so inspiring for me. Because of the chance to see and feel the reaction, both positive as negative, to my work. Once you are there at the fair, there is no hiding. People judge by their words or by their non-verbal communication. Also being among colleagues and creative people creates a certain feeling of well-being that I like a lot.
About Koen Van Guijze
Koen Van Guijze is a lighting designer with brutalist and minimalist roots working with ‘authentic’ materials such as steel, brass, concrete, cork, ceramics, sand, and paper to create one-of-a-kind collectible lighting pieces and site-specific projects. His approach to design combines brutalism with a sophisticated attention to details.