With the Pebble series for Satelliet Originals, Erik Remmers combines two great loves: designing furniture and wood. ‘For me, it’s relaxing, sketching such a chair, at home, by myself.’
The past fourteen years have been dynamic, to say the least. Immediately after studying furniture design in Den Bosch, Erik Remmers ‘stuck’ with his internship company Art2Go Interieurprojecten in Baarle-Nassau. Together with Jorg Wijnen, he managed to build an interesting portfolio of high-profile hospitality interiors. The fresh interior of fish restaurant Blu in Tilburg and the eclectic design for modern Japanese concept Kyatcha in Rotterdam bear witness to this. He also continued to design furniture and lighting in his spare hours from his own design studio Vandaag.
When he stepped into the company as a partner five years ago, he had to ‘make a choice’. ‘I put the focus entirely on Art2Go. We have expanded our scope to offices, where hospitality plays an increasingly important role. Lockdowns and working from home have contributed to this development. What role does the office have to fulfil now that we continue to work hybrid? What kind of activities do you do in the office, and how can the environment enhance that?’
As time went on, Remmers increasingly missed a chair in the collections he worked with, including Satelliet’s. ‘Maico (Pheninckx, creative consultant at Satelliet ed.) and I had been talking about it from time to time, so when I had the idea for Pebble, I threw out a feeler.’ Remmers himself needed a fine wooden chair, a welcome change in the aggressively upward trend of steel frames in recent years. ‘I understand, steel frames fit the industrial trend and are inexpensive, but don’t always match an atmosphere or design. Wood is versatile, brings a lot of charm and warmth. A wooden chair exudes more quality as far as I’m concerned.’
As it is in his blood, Remmers used his spare time to design again. ‘For me, that is a form of relaxation. At home, tinkering with an idea like this. Pebble was created at home, in bed, while I was leisurely sketching on my laptop.’ Remmers wanted to make a chair that is also beautiful at the backside. ‘Often the focus lies with the front, but once seated in any hospitality interior, you do not see that beauty any longer. Pebble has slender, tapered legs and at the backside, against the soft upholstering, there is a beautifully curved, wooden detail.’
Pebble was launched in Satelliet Originals’ collection last October; the first pieces are now being delivered. Besides a chair and a bar stool, also a lounge version of the cuddly Pebble is available. ‘My design language is simple, and my designs are focused on application. I am happy to see, that within Originals, there is room for designers with a different slant, more conceptual. That individuality is precisely what makes Satelliet Originals’ collection so attractive.’
Remmers remains a practitioner. And that is where he once discovered his passion for the trade. As a child, he had a part-time job in a carpentry factory. From sweeping wood shavings and sawdust off the floor, he was allowed to do the first small tasks: helping to make window frames, stairs, that sort of thing.
‘Stepping into a workshop and smelling the scent of wood remains something special. From carpentry to interior construction, making, doing jobs, being busy, that’s just me.’
Remmers sees many opportunities for the future. There is still a lot of innovation and room for change in the office market, but he also wants to create concepts of his own. ‘I think it would be fun to inspire entrepreneurs with interiors that strengthen their formula. Like a hip bar with only non-alcoholic drinks, for example, is not here yet in my opinion.’ He also plans to continue designing furniture under his own name. ‘After the Pebble, I got the taste for more.’