I couldn’t have thought of a better way to conclude a successful and fascinating design tour than visiting the studio of Brussels-based designer Maarten de Ceulaer, whose series of furniture 'Pile of Suitcases' I adore. A graduate from the Design Academy Eindhoven, de Ceulaer has developed his school project into a successful enterprise, evoking his passion for travel the world, with colorful pieces of furniture made of beautifully-crafted leather components. Composed of suitcases, boxes, and briefcases, handcrafted by Ralph Baggaley, and set in various, mostly asymmetrical compositions, these pieces of furniture stimulate nostalgic dreams of the golden age of travel, when people knew how to travel in style, long before mass travel has consumed our journeys. Maarten who guided us through his expansive studio, introduced us to his other work, including the Sundial Chandelier, which he created of aluminum sheets for Nilufar Gallery; the Mutation series, which he crafts out of individual foam spheres, which he cuts to fit perfectly onto the wooden carcass, before the entire piece is coated (above); and his fantastic bowls which at first look like ceramics, but they are in fact made in plaster composition created by blowing balloons (look at the demonstrating video below). From his studio, we traveled to the airport, and concluded a week full of the most inspiring design, with meeting people who have made us think differently about design.
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