We recently designed and put into production a new special coffee table at Stilst. The coffee table was named Terms. Where did the inspiration for this table come from? Where does creative inspiration come from in the first place? In this blog post, we are going to try to answer this question.
To begin with, the origin of creative inspiration is something elusive. Therefore, creativity is not something you can just plan. And it’s certainly not something that comes spontaneously to you, although it sometimes seems that way. In fact, there is a whole process involved. A famous singer once told me that he sits down at his desk at 9 a.m. sharp every day to write all day. And on nine days out of 10, he has nothing of value at the end of the day. But he knows he has to go through all those “failed” days to arrive at something that does matter on that one day.
Stilst’s designer is Reinier de Jong. Trained as an architect, his architectural background is evident in his furniture designs: the conceptual approach, the love of repetitive volumes, the significance of the space between volumes, industrial materials, functionality, the way of detailing. These are all aspects in which architecture recognizes. Architects such as Tadao Ando, David Chipperfield, Peter Zumthor and artists such as Donald Judd are among his sources of inspiration.
Special coffee table
The Terms coffee table transforms an industrial semi-finished product into an unconventional, very special coffee table. Reinier had been walking around for some time with the idea of doing something with aluminum profiles. He saw the potential to transform it from something ordinary to something special. It took many experiments with different types of profiles and configurations to finally arrive at this design. The key in this process is to not be easily satisfied. With every model he makes, Reinier checks to see if it is interesting enough, if the composition feels right and if the proportions are right. It involves both physical scale models and many digital models. In the end, creativity is above all a lot of trial and error and watching your creations carefully and critically in everything you do. And at the same time, you have to keep all possibilities open in your mind to arrive at something that really matters.