Stainless Steel Furniture at Dutch Design Week 2022
Stainless steel is one of the most versatile materials on the planet, which explains it being chosen for countless applications in a wide and diverse array of different industries all over the world. That exceptional versatility was once again confirmed at Dutch Design Week 2022 which, taking place in The Netherlands in the last week of October, saw designer Paul Coenen reveal a breathtaking collection of furniture and homeware made from single pieces of stainless steel sheet.
Dutch Design Week is the biggest event of its type in the north of Europe and takes place annually. Over nine days, the event is hosted in the Dutch city of Eindhoven and displays work created by over 2,500 designers. Dutch Design Week welcomes more than 350,000 visitors and includes seminars, workshops, exhibitions and more.
Coenen displayed his new stainless steel concept pieces at his workshop as part of a group exhibition called 'Tell Me I'm Pretty'. The items he created included a mirror, a table lamp and three different seating designs: a chair, a stool and a bench. All of the items were created from a single sheet of stainless steel without any fastenings, adhesives or coatings.
Coenen begins his process by using sheets of paper to represent the sheets of stainless steel. Once he has created a workable pattern, he then transposes this onto a stainless steel sheet in a manner similar to a sewing pattern. The steel sheet is then bent into the desired shape using an industrial brake press along with manual force. Commenting on this unusual process, Coenen said: "It's like a conversation between what the machine can do and what I can do myself".
Instead of being finished with chemical coatings, Coenen's pieces are sanded. This gives them a soft matte appearance, that is described as being 'almost opalescent'. His stainless steel mirror required no such sanding and was instead simply polished to its highest possible shine to create the necessary reflective quality.
Coenen has worked with stainless steel before and some of his older works were also on display at the 'Tell Me I'm Pretty' exhibition, including his side table and tension shelf. Though made entirely from stainless steel, these pieces comprise multiple pieces of the material. "I want to create pieces that can last a generation. I try not to follow trends, so they look like they could've been designed 20 years ago but also 20 years from now," said Coenen.