I’m Renske Solkesz (1982, The Hague), product designer. Since early childhood I’ve always been making (mostly textile oriented) things: from dresses for my teddy bear to small woven tapestries. After a short intermezzo at the Rotterdam Dance Academy I decided to study industrial design in Delft, at the University of Technology. I graduated in 2008 and started freelancing exactly one year ago. I’m still searching my niche, my own unique place. Part of that searching process is to find a way to incorporate those two earlier fascinations, textile and movement, in my design work. I think my affinity with textile and fashion could add something special to product design. I also think that objects, the form our environment has, literally shape our movements, gestures and even our behavior. By carefully choosing the form and feel of my products, I hope to influence people’s mood and bring poetry to their lives.
One of the projects I started this year that I’m really proud of is called ‘The Dress I Made’. It’s a blog. And a challenge: I only wear clothes of my own design and making. It all started because I think something’s profoundly wrong in fashion industry. When you realise how long it takes for cotton to grow, to refine it and make it into cloth, which then is cut and sewn into a T-shirt, paying only 10 or 20 dollars can’t be right. When I thought about this I wanted to do something fun and positive, which became ‘The Dress I Made’. It’s my personal playground and an ongoing experiment with style, construction, cut and texture of clothing. It’s also the place where I explore how to tell a story visually.
My goal is to become a good designer, a better one than I am now. I would love to have a small atelier and the freedom to work both on individual projects and commissioned work. I want to make products that are close to people, that they choose as part of their identity. To me fashion and product design have a lot in common: both can be a means for expression and a shield at the same time.
My inspiration comes from a whole universe of people, things and experiences. Bruno Ninaber, Samira Boon, Isamu Noguchi, Jasper Morrison, Sheila Hicks to name a few. One of the most important things a designer has to do, I think, is observe carefully. Observe nature, because a lot of elegant solutions to design problems are already there. Observe people to see how they interact with each other and their environment. I like to soak up ideas from all kinds of places and experiences, from going to the theatre to a good surf session at sunrise.