Tessa’s Designer Pick – Studio Klarenbeek & Dros


Tessa Blokland  


Studio Klarenbeek & Dros are Design Academy Eindhoven alumni Eric Klarenbeek and Maartje Dros. I like their work a lot for their magical use of color and shine, as well as the combination of how they incorporate design into a system. Let me explain this: they approach each project as a system, starting with harvesting the raw material, creating filament from it to make it applicable for 3D printing, and finally realizing a 3D printed end product with the filament. The examples below are just a few of the amazing results Klarenbeek & Dros have created with 3D printing.

In 2019, Swarovski, in partnership with Design Miami/, selected Studio Klarenbeek & Dros as one of three designers of the Future Award. The duo designed a series of 3D-printed crystal objects inspired by the reduction of Arctic icecaps. For the first time, Studio Klarenbeek and Dros tested the capabilities of 3D printed crystal by using colored crystal, allowing unprecedented freedom of design differentiation and customization. On the website of Swarovski, they commented: “In this time of big changes, we’re not only developing materials, we’re not only developing products, but we’re also developing the whole infrastructure and the social coherence around it with the aim of positive change, and that’s thrilling.”

Another example of this holistic approach towards designing products can be found in the exhibition ‘From Weed to Ware‘ for SEA (Science Encounters Art) at Museum Kaap Skil at Texel, the Netherlands. Starting from the hypothesis that the surface of farmland will be limited in the future and there are lots of opportunities for farmers at sea, Studio Klarenbeek & Dros investigated the possibilities for using cultivated seaweed. They want to stimulate and develop a new circular product chain. Via the Royal Dutch Institute for Sea Research, they were able to use the first cultivated seaweed from the North Sea. In the exhibition, the duo presented the resulting processes, materials, and 3D printed objects (also top image).

Before starting the previous project, Studio Klarenbeek & Dros collaborated with Atelier Luma, Lumas Arles, France, researching the potential of algae as an alternative for non-biodegradable plastics. Since February 2017, the duo has been working with Luma on social and local production in the Arles region. They believe that the development of a polymer from algae can be used to grow and create consumables and innovative products. The series of 3D printed objects is related to the culture and history of the region, like utensils from the depot of Musee Departemental Arles Antique.

The last 3D printing project is the Mycelium Project – Print and Grow. The studio was the first in the world 3D-printing living mycelium, the root structure of mushrooms, a technology the duo has been developing since 2011. Combining the threadlike network of fungi with local raw materials enables them to create products with a negative carbon footprint. The Mycelium Chair serves as the archetype for a functional design object. Form-wise the chair is inspired on mycelial networks and reflects the unimaginable freedom of 3D printing. The popping out mushrooms are both aesthetic and a ‘proof of concept’ as you can clearly see the mycelium has successfully grown through its structure.

Portrait of the designers: Eric Klarenbeek (left) and Maartje Dros.

LEO Lane_Designer Pick_StudioKlarenbeek & Dros


Each of Tessa’s designer pick is a curated group of 3D printed designs or projects from one designer or design studio. If you would like to offer a designer or design studio for Tessa, or if you have your own 3D printed designs or projects you would like to see featured, please let us know by commenting below. Subscribe to the newsletter to get the latest picks every week in your mailbox.


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