Richard Hutten is an internationally acclaimed Dutch designer for Artifort, Droog, MOOOI, Moroso, and others. He exhibits all the traits of other well known Dutch designers like Marcel Wanders, Hella Jongerius, Maarten Bass, and Bertjan Pot because of his creativity and his unconventional thought process. A few years ago, Kathy and I had the opportunity to have dinner with Richard Hutten, at first glance Richard looks like a scientist gone mad but after the initial introductions, the guy is totally engaging.
Richard first talked about his iconic Dombo Mug he designed for Droog. The idea, which I thought was based on a 2 fisted drinker, was developed with his kids in mind.
"It's a weird product, but everybody loves it," he says. "For me, the best thing is that it makes people smile and it makes people happy when they see it."
Our conversation shifted to some of his other famous designs like the "This" and "That" task chairs. As I sat there in total fascination, I could clearly imagine the conversation in the showroom that would parallel the Abbott and Costello's "who’s on first?" I'd like to order this chair, no you mean That chair, no I mean this chair, no this chair over here is This chair, that chair next to you is That chair. I love his naming conventions because they are so simple and totally impractical!
Richard said that his simple naming conventions didn’t start with the “This” and “That” chair but further back when he created his “Things” series of furniture. In the 90’s he redefined both a table and chair by collapsing the boundaries between them and created everything composed of the same basic element: A flat-topped, four-legged form using varying sizes to serve as floor, ceiling, bed, chair, and table. Names like Thing 1, Thing 7, Thing 22 were the names assigned.
We finished the dinner with a quick conversation about the museums that house his furniture (currently 40 museums). But in typical fashion of his Dutch humor, he said the largest collection of Richard Hutten furniture is in his house. He invited us to visit him in Rotterdam on our next trip.
view Richard Hutten's website
Richard also designed the Dandelion Lamp for Moooi, the Halo chair for Artifort, and the X cross chair for Moroso.
His work is held in the permanent collections of over 40 museums around the world making him one of the most collected living designers. The list includes MoMA New York, Victoria & Albert Museum London, Central Museum Utrecht, Vitra Museum Weil am Rhein, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Design Museum London, Design Museum Gent, Stedelijk Museum ’s Hertogenbosch, Chicago Art Institute, and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam