Olivier Van Herpt's limited edition series of vases for COS.


IT’S A PROCESS: Industrial designer Olivier Van Herpt will be helping COS make the most of the maker culture starting Monday in six of its stores.

The Dutchman has designed a limited-edition set of six vases with his unconventional 3-D printing technology. Since clay is a malleable material, chance plays a role in the printing process. The end result is a craft product infused with the latest technology. For COS, Van Herpt studied its spring collection and was intrigued by the sportswear-inspired garment shapes, colors and tactile fabrics. “It’s almost as if the clothing and wearer merge together to create new forms and I used this idea as the starting point to develop the vases,” he said.

His series of vases will be displayed in the stores on Stockholm’s Biblioteksgatan, Berlin’s Neue Schönhauser Strasse, London’s Regent Street, in Rotterdam’s Dreamhouse, Spain’s Bilbao and on New York’s Fifth Avenue. There will also be images of the designer at work in the COS store windows. The company currently has 205 stores in 34 countries.

In line with its reputation for working with artists, COS selected Van Herpt partially due to how he pushes the limits of existing 3-D-printing technologies. Van Herpt has come up with machines that produce larger forms and work with materials beyond plastics. Taking a more unconventional approach, Van Herpt has printed collections of objects from such material as paraffin and even clay to reinterpret and soften the definition of industrial design.

To reinforce how the human hand affects manmade machinery, the designer has created ceramic vases that would appear to have been handwoven by artisans that include random imperfections shaped by the environment under which they were made. By exploring different digital fabrication technologies, the Design Academy Eindhoven graduate creates methods and means of production that blend together seemingly divergent worlds. In the same way that stalactites naturally form in caves, the 3-D printer drips its creations.

COS creative director Karin Gustafsson said, “We were inspired by Olivier’s use of new technology and materials and are very pleased to share his work with our customers.”

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