In 1994, while still in design school in Eindhoven, Job Smeets set up Oval Design with a partner. But soon enough, his need to be more creative than commercial took over, and he took his much preferred solo route to set up Studio Job in 1998. Partner Nynke Tynagel joined him a few months later, and the two currently run the studio out of Amsterdam and Milan.
Studio Job has worked with brands like Swarovski, Moooi and Alessi, and created pieces for galleries like Carpenters Workshop Gallery and the Groningen Museum. Its newest, closely watched move, has been a collaboration with Italian manufacturer Seletti for BLOW, a brand that produces radical, pop-art inspired products.
Brought up in Belgium, Holland and a few places in between, Smeets has never slotted himself into a box. His work is difficult to describe, but easy to identify. Dabbling in art, design, interiors, fashion and architecture, Smeets’ work is radical, groundbreaking and has no boundaries. It’s pop when it can be, politically inclined when it wants to be, but functional and durable all the time. His designs are sculptural works of art that many people would claim to have trouble finding a good spot for in their spaces, but when placed, can easily command the attention of the room. They’re collectors’ pieces, which aren’t just unapologetically over-the-top, but also largely personal. Delving deeper, we speak to him about the supposed ‘abnormalities’ in his work.
Excerpts from our chat: Were you always interested in design?
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