Salone Milan 2010 – Living Forum

Salone Milan 2010 – Living Forum

Who still starts a conversation nowadays in public with a stranger?

In busy shopping centres, we avoid each other’s gaze.

In the train, we seek out a seat from which we can avoid sitting opposite a stranger.

Living forum is a meeting place in which you cannot escape making contact with others. The zinc frame connecting six chairs and a two-seat sofa forms a line of communication that keeps the group together. Each chair has its own character, representing the different individuals who can take their place here. The red one, for example, is intended for the romantic, the black one for the ‘business type’. If the topic of conversation on the sign appeals to you, you can reserve the chair of your choice here.

Niek van der Heijden

Design Academy Eindhoven 2009


Niek Van Der Heijden’s love affair with design kicked off when he got his first tool kit as a child. ‘I used the wood saw to ruin my parents’ antiques dining table,’ he recalls.

Despite this somewhat inauspicious start, twenty-odd years on his parents happily have plenty of reasons to forgive this early misdemeanor; he is currently working on a meeting place for a future centre, as well as on the development of new furniture.

He describes his style as ‘a bit industrial but sympathetic, raw but sophisticated,’ and he is inspired by ‘abandoned stuff,’ and the fact that his chosen profession allows him to spend as little time as possible sitting at a computer.

The ultimate dream is, he confides, ‘working somewhere with all the tools and materials I have ever wanted and eating only home-grown food.’ There are undoubtedly plenty more to come, but thus far, his proudest moment was ‘sitting in my Living Forum next to Rossana Orlandi after the opening of her exhibition in Milan.’

Niek will also be showing his Briefcase light

with thanks to Geert Vlasblom

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