In Conversation with Pieteke Korte

Foam and Stone is a project by Pieteke Korte, a graduate from Design Academy, Eindhoven. Her project plays with the illusions of hard and soft materials mainly focusing on marble and foam. Korte takes these materials and their usual characteristics and flips them on their head to create a series of side tables that as Korte says “have soft characteristics bases which bear their heavy, burdensome tabletops.” These pieces play with the notion of balance, adding a playful element thanks to colourful foam.  I spoke with Pieteke about her practice and asked her a few questions about her latest project.


Pieteke Korte foam stone


Hi Pieteke, could you tell us a little bit about you and your practice?

I graduated half a year ago from the Design Academy Eindhoven, after which I was sort of thrust into independent practice due to the success of some of my work. If you had asked me a year ago what I wanted to do, I wouldn’t have said start my own studio. That said, so far i’m enjoying it.

Where would you say your main inspiration comes from when deciding on a new project?

I’m a fanatic image collector. I fill up hard drives with images I find online and photograph day-to-day.  That tends to be the starting place for most of my projects. As cliché as it is, I really do love mood boards.  I start with an atmosphere and then I start playing with materials and try to replicate what I see and feel.

Your work has a cross-disciplined nature to it, straddling the worlds of textile , materials and art direction. Do you think it is important for artists to have a crossover in their work? 

I think it would be really boring if I only got to do one thing as a designer. I straddle or alternate between these different worlds, because I enjoy putting on the different hats as a designer. I believe it is important for me to have crossover in my own work, but I can equally enjoy someone’s work if they are exceptional at doing one thing.


ptkkrt-foamstone FORM-003



Stone & Foam, your graduate project, plays with illusions and the contradictions of weight in materials. How did this interest in contrasts come about? 

It started as material research, toying with structure, weights, and colour, I was given a brief required me to work from the word ‘carry’. What I set out to do at least at the beginning was capture the expression of weight in a design. The illusions in my design were a more of an afterthought.

Naturally you work with a lot of different materials, but what has been the most interesting and unpredictable materials or indeed processes you have chosen? 

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As a material I have gotten the most from working with leather.  Experimenting with it was the closest to cooking.





The Design Academy Eindhoven has a reputation for producing a strong alumni. What was it like to attend a school with a prestigious name and how did it shape your practice?

As an entering student I was affected more by the idea of ‘prestige’ but by the time you leave your busier with just graduating and creating work you enjoy. The Design Academy is pretty insulated as far as design schools go, they have carved out their own way of designing and an economy  for it, and in that way I think it made a comfortable environment for being creative. As for the alumni they didn’t so much shape my experience as much as they shaped my perception of what was possible.

What are you plans now you have graduated 

I’m going to Disneyland! Haha! Well to be perfectly honest I’m sort of going with the flow. In an Ideal world I would love to work under a designer who I can learn from while continuing to develop my own practice on the side.


All Images courtesy of Pieteke Korte 


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