Imperfectly Perfect: Hella Jongerius
At the turn of this century, Dutch designer Hella Jongerius introduced a radical notion to the design world: permit objects to be imperfect. Working alongside doubtful craftsman, Jongerius deliberately introduced cracks in her ceramics, awkward bulges in her furniture and bizarre angles into her home furnishings. The result was a series of objects produced for Ikea, Vitra, Rosenthal, Camper and Evian.
Yes, Jongerious can bring a touch of imperfect style to almost anything, from mass-produced, inexpensive furniture to water that is “bottled at the source.” It’s almost as if Jongerius has give the design world permission to be quirky, whimsical and just slightly off.
This knocks design off its perfectly proportioned, self-made pedestal, making it all the more accessible to people who believe style should be inventive, singular, a little strange and, above all, personal.
A new retrospective of her work is opening in Rotterdam, and once again the Jongerius style stretches its realm of influence by standing design on its head. Jongerius takes such headstands literally. (The “contact” link on her own website, jongeriuslab.com, is written upside down.)
With her “office pet” series for Vitra, her line of “animal tables,” her seemingly unfinished / all too finished pots, and her killer line of leather shoes for the Spanish mega-hit shoe company, Camper, Jongerius will push the rest of us towards adopting a relaxed sense of style.
Knowing that our furniture, tableware, and footwear now finally can be imperfect, we probably should just thank Jongerius, embrace Jongerius, and become “more like Jongerius.”
Fortunately, becoming “like Jongerius” simply involves becoming ourselves.
A new exhibit in Rotterdam’s Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, entitled “Hella Jongerius-Misfit”
For more information: