Experimenting With Form – Slow Motion by Designer Aldo Bakker

It was the architect Louis H. Sullivan who first coined the term ‘form over function’ back in 1896. This principle states that the form of a specific design or object should be chosen based solely on its intended function or purpose. Dutch artist Aldo Bakker follows this principle in all of his work. Most of his designs are born out of the fascination for the beauty of a form and the movement it suggests. The form and its movement then inspires a certain function.

Bakker’s ‘Slow Motion’ includes a range of furniture and homeware featuring unusual shapes and smooth, rounded surfaces. Bakker, who spent almost a year creating each piece, describes the process as organic. Looking at the pieces, specifically the ‘Sitting Table’ and the ‘Three Pair’, it’s obvious that the works were created to challenge our idea of what function is. It’s not always easy to see the function of the object the first time you look at it, you are rather drawn to the interesting shape and material used. It could easily be mistaken for an artistic sculpture, when in fact they are highly functional seating solutions.


Sitting Table in stone


Three Pair in Urushi


Weight/Wait in urushi


Weight/Wait in stone

Bakker used a 1200 year old Japanese technique to craft this collection. Different finishes were used throughout the series, including stone and urushi lacquer. Urushi is collected from indigenous trees in Japan, Korea and China, and is a shiny coating that has been used for hundreds of years. It includes a durable resin that solidifies over a period to produce a protective coating. Bakker applies the resin to objects by hand in several layers. He also uses foam as the foundation to stop the urushi from cracking. The flawless execution of each object reveals a sort of perfectionism. Looking at Bakker’s entire body of work it is indeed evident that he has impeccable style and technique.

Bakker’s Slow Motion stone and urushi series also include the Weight/Wait seat. This piece is carefully created from basalt volcanic rock. The seat’s shape can be compared to that of a human form in a bowing position, giving it an element of life. The unique shapes Bakker use are somewhat abstract but also feature an element of simplicity, this gives the pieces a strong yet elegant look. It brings about a new perspective I haven’t seen that often in the design world.

What might serve as inspiration to others is that Aldo never actually went to design school. He learnt at the feet of his parents, two notable Dutch designers. I believe this allows him to create more freely and be more expressive with his design. Today, he often collaborates with other artists and his work can be viewed in several museums and galleries around the world. Just another nod to his talent for creating timeless design.

aldobakker.com


Sitting Table in urushi


Sitting Table in stone


Three Pair in stone


Weight/Wait in urushi


Weight/Wait in stone