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In 2018 Baars & Bloemhoff returns to Milan’s Ventura Centrale vaults. For 'Transitions III: Experimental Inventiveness', six leading Dutch design studios were invited to work their magic with the company’s extensive materials collection. Bart Joachim van Uden, Christian Heikoop, Floris Wubben, Job van der Berg, Mae Engelgeer and Studio Truly Truly will show the public startling techniques, applications and combinations. After months of investigating and exploring the rich archive of Baars & Bloemhoff, the studios are ready to show their personal material explorations with new work, and exciting adaptations and variations of existing work. The set design is made by Studio Harm Rensink, known for their expertise in spatial design experiences.

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Get an inside look into the studios of the six ‘Transitions III’ designers and learn more about their creative process, material usage and how their collections came to be. You can find the short interviews here. You can download or embed all videos easily using the share and download option in the bottom right corner of the video.



Bart Joachim van Uden is an expert at playing with perception. For Transitions III, Bart Joachim surprises visitors with a digitally-printed Abet Laminati and chipboard structure. Google Earth images of pristine landscapes such as sand flats and riverbeds in Libya appear as a marble-like patterns from close up. Van Uden doesn’t only play with the perception of the material but also with the reputation of chipboard and the application of a decorative finish. His work deliberately highlights the contrast between the raw chipboard and the exclusivity of the marble appearance. The forms themselves also allude to real marble. For this, Van Uden took inspiration from classical marble forms from Italian Renaissance palaces. In those times, marble was only used as a surface finish, just like the Abet digiprint HPL in Romancing the Stone. To create the right balance in his collection, Van Uden designed a high column that will be exhibited for the first time in Milan.



Floris Wubben presents a collection of lighting objects entitled Crystal Shift and the follow-up series Crystal Twist. His research into the aesthetic of broken objects led Floris to the Solid Surface material HI-MACS. He discovered that by heating up the material first, it can then be torn using a special tool that he developed for this purpose. This exposes the normally hidden core of the material which Wubben showcases in his design. With this, the otherwise glossy and soft material gains an organic, raw quality. Combining different layers of torn HI-MACS strips create a unique depth of quality in both series. Crystal Shift is characterised by undulating lines while Crystal Twist is composed of spiral forms. The latter combines white and coloured HI-MACS, where the core of the material interacts with light to create a spectacular play of shadow and depth.



Made from Decospan Decoflex oak veneer, Job van den Berg’s design Hollow showcases both the material and the construction. Rolling the veneer around a table leg inspired the concept of highlighting flexibility, literally, as the strength of the object. Van den Berg rolled the material into layered cylinders, tubes and other profiles. This lends the thin Decospan Decoflex a previously unknown structural strength. This unique technique also saves a huge amount of wood during production. With this hollow, open set of shelves, Job sheds new light on the flexibility of oak veneer. Looking through the structural tubes from different perspectives plays with the perception of mass and volume. Its silhouette appears heavy but its smart use of material makes it feather light. Specially for Milan, Van den Berg designed a series of lamps using new insights and featuring the same interplay of mass and volume; together they form a forest of lighting objects.



The Showroom collection is a spatial translation of Engelgeer’s refined feel for colour, texture and composition. Never before have materials such as glossy HI-MACS, shiny Homopal metal laminate, Rehau, extravagant Sibu and natural MOSO bamboo been combined in a series of coffee tables, shelves and a room divider. The most recent addition to the collection is a sideboard that fuses materials in an almost Memphis-like composition. The Showroom collection also highlights Engelgeer’s signature graphic illustrations and minimal forms. An inspiration for the collection is the boutique feel; her series of ‘jewels’ can be used as an inviting display, for example, in a retail context.



Christian Heikoop showcases the unique properties of Decospan Decoflex beech veneer in a furniture collection comprising two aesthetic objects. Thin and fragile, the veneer also has an unexpected flexibility and strength that results when the veneer is pressed onto a paper backing and the wood fibres are broken down - it’s precisely this unexpected element that intrigues Heikoop. By completely cladding strong but ultra thin metal structures with Decospan Decoflex veneer, Heikoop creates the illusion of unusually fragile yet solid timber furniture. The woodgrain played an essential role to enable a slim silhouette and curved lines - Heikoop researched different types of timber and decided on beech. Its fine, smooth grain gives the veneer even more flexibility, which allowed him to push the material to new limits in this collection.



Studio Truly Truly’s Column collection shows the effect of light and perspective on texture and colour. Joel and Kate Booy created four architectural light sculptures applied with coloured gradations of contrasting materials. Forbo’s matte Bulletin Board has an earthy character with a deep, grainy texture. By nature, the material is already composed of various shades of colour that appear different at almost every square centimetre. By shining light on it at an angle, this brings out its texture even more beautifully. The juxtaposition of the matte Forbo board with anodised aluminium creates a striking interaction between light, shadow and contrasting textures.


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