Taking In Dutch Design with Frederik Roijé

In Holland, we have two words for design. One is vormgeving; in German formgeben. And the other word is ontwerpen; in German entwurf. In the Anglo-Saxon language there’s only one word for design, which is design. That is something you should work out. Vormgeving is more to make things look nice. So for instance, packaging for a perfume or for chocolate in order to make things fashionable, obsolete and therefore bad for society because we don’t really need it. While ontwerpe means, and the Anglo-saxon word, but its stronger, means engineering. That means you as a person try to invent a new thing—which is intelligent, which is clever, and which will have a long-life. And that’s called stylistic durability. It means you can use it for a long time. (Dutch designer Gert Dumbar)

Fab’s Dutch Design Shop features a bevy of Netherlands beauties that range from seriously sleek to super whimsical. Fab had a chance to catch up with one of the featured designers, Frederik Roijé.  Check out what he had to say about his process below, and don’t miss the picks from his sale below!

How did you get your start in the design field?

I studied at the design academy, and after I graduated I directly felt that I should start out for myself with my own studio. In the beginning, I did everything on my own. Now I have a studio with about five people.

It all started with Spineless Lamps. I received a lot of attention from publications, and it was very good for my name in the beginning. The problem was (laughs) that they didn’t sell well. Museum’s exhibited them, and that was fun, but after all you need to sell product. Storylines was the starting point for making more products. 

What were some of the challenges you faced along the way?

I learned that you cannot invest in every idea you have.

How is your typical day spent?

It starts around 9AM.  We have a little coffee and everybody here is starting and doing something for themselves, and then we have a discussion time as well. We talk about the designs, the projects that are ongoing, and we tackle any problems. 

What can’t you work without?

My computer, and pencils—because i have to draw my ideas , they can be in your mind and people can’t understandable—and…coffee!

How has your business changed since it began?

I started in a hard period. These days it’s a bit difficult, but actually we are developing a lot of new ideas. We just keep going on. I think if you develop new good ideas, you can survive these difficult times. It’s a challenge to deal with this sort of area: products need to be clever in concept, but easy to produce. There are designers who create for galleries and museums, I want my designs to reach a larger public.

What does work/life balance mean to you?

For me, design is part of my life. I think: if it’s not fun for me, then I have to quit, because we are here a lot of hours every day. And I think it’s only possible when you really feel [design is] something you love.

Rise of Flames by Frederik Roijé

Amsterdam Metrobowl by Frederik Roijé

Guidelines by Frederik Roijé 

Desire Birdhouse by Frederik Roijé 


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