WHO is he?
Aldo Bakker was born in the Netherlands in 1971, to artist parents. He first trained as a silversmith, working to commission and setting up his own studio in 1994. Moving into furniture and product design, he won awards for collections of glass and porcelain tableware. He also teaches at the Design Academy at Eindhoven in the Netherlands. This is his first collaboration with Swarovski.
Aldo Bakker presents a vase in three sizes, constructed in crystal and expressive marble. The base acts as a shallow water pool, and the sides are made of three interconnecting elements in either faceted marble or crystal, creating a fascinating play of light. Although functional, the design is ambiguous and abstract, allowing the user to feel and play with the way one element fits with another.
Tell us some of your works, and name the one you are most proud of.
The first time this question was asked of me I referenced my “Stool urushi” and “Salt cellar” — that’s probably the reason why these two works immediately come to mind again. I would also say the objects that I am occupied with at the moment, a Coffee Table and Support for Karakter and the Crystal Vase range for Atelier Swarovski Home.
Especially for this second year, they are characterized by their ambiguous nature, but the pieces relate to one another by idiom and clearly form a family.
“Bottle Stopper” combines two shapes: the bottom part, which has a fluidity that reflects the bottle and its liquid contents, juxtaposed with the faceted top on which the hand finds a hold.
This refers to our architectural surroundings.
“Lens” has a slightly tilted and faceted silhouette, supporting the cantilevered top.
The object comes in two sizes. The smallest version fits neatly between thumb and index finger, and the larger one is as big as the palm of the hand and doubles as a weight.
The idea behind “Lollipop” is to protect the actual lens from greasy fingers by putting it onto a stick.
The title of the work refers to the overall shape.
The main challenge was with “Bottle Stopper,” and how to combine a faceted shape with a round shape.
I have tried to make the facets blend naturally, without losing the sharpness, in order to create an object both visually and tactilely attractive.
Are you currently involved with any project?
We’re starting a collaboration with Lobmeyr in Vienna, a long awaited wish that comes true, and furthermore we’re very motivated to continue our collaborations with Swarovski, Karakter and other brands we’ve a fruitful relationship with — because things get only better by time.
Describe your design style.
Thorough and deadly serious.
Where are you most creative?
When I am alone and when it’s quiet.
What does your home mean to you?
Family, books, music, leisure time.
What do you collect?
I used to collect Glassware from the Leerdam factory, but nowadays there is not one specific item that I collect.
I would say I buy less but what has remained the same is that I tend to keep the things I buy instead of using them.
Essentially everything I buy I collect.
Where would you like to go most in Shanghai?
I have only stayed in Shanghai once briefly when invited by Pearl Lam and Danful and we stayed mostly central.
I feel I need to spend more time in Shanghai to get a more lasting impression.
What will be the next big design trend?
I do not care so much about trends but probably after this graphic, straight, hard, conflictual, multi bright colored, artificial period, we will get a more subtle one, as I believe things come and go in waves, and the next thing is always a bit different than the last.