Karol Baijings and Stefan Scholten
Scholten & Baijings (Droog Design) occupy a unique position in Dutch design and do the things that people really want and buy. Thanks to the artisanal decoration and balanced, but powerful color palette, their work is minimalist, but at the same time rich in detail and expressiveness.
The origin of the studio
They met in the late 90s, when Karol Baijings worked at an agency that asked Sholten to design a small bar for their office. Stephen’s father was a bank manager, as a result of which the family moved to another city every two or three years, from Amersfoort to Leeuwarden. There, his parents sometimes expanded their designer collection. And it so happened that Stefan from childhood was surrounded by design classics and this child loved to draw. This gave him the opportunity to get impeccable taste and an early idea of the interior, shape, color and atmosphere.
The decisive factor was the «open day» at the Design Academy in Eindhoven, during which Scholten immediately fell in love with the design profession. He graduated from the Academy in 1996, this was the heyday of Droog Design in its best form. Karol, on the contrary, grew up an unremarkable and quiet girl. In kindergarten she loved to draw and paint. She painted everything from people to chairs and tables. But Karol never received a special education, she is a representative of a self-taught designer.
Scholten & Baijings
Partners in work and life, they created the Scholten & Baijings design studio in 2000 and since then their work has become a natural division of labor. Stefan always focuses on ideology, and Karol focuses on details and production. It is the home and family that are the testing grounds for each product they produce.
Scholten & Baijings (Droog Design) clear focus on craftsmanship and tradition creates a good balance between design and functionality in their work. Parts of their work are included in the permanent collections of the Utrecht Central Museum, Stedelijka Museum in Amsterdam and the Dutch Textile Museum in Tilburg. In the meantime, they have built up a strong international position and are working on leading brands from their beautiful studio.
In 2012, at the INTERNI Legacy exhibition in Cortile del 700 of the University of Milan Scholten and Baijings presented MINI (BMW Group) as one of the main characters of the design installation COLOR ONE for MINI. Applying their conceptual approach, designers questioned almost all aspects of design, extracting the essence of each component, regardless of whether it was revealed at its core or during the dismantling process itself. Dutch designers complement bare details with color and texture in the characteristic Scholten & Baijings fashion.
Close cooperation with the MINI design team led not only to a very loose interpretation of the frame, but also gave rise to so-called “artistic details” — components that were completely removed from the car. All this gave a completely new look at the design of the car. In its deconstructed form, the seats and seat belts began to remind of the rally heritage of the brand and were trimmed with specially designed fabrics. The doors were removed and exhibited separately from the car and covered with three-dimensional gold textures or matte porcelain paint, developed in conjunction with MINI Design. At the same time, bags embedded in the frame and a sun visor that serves as a clutch increase the potential range of Scholten & Baijings aesthetic reinterpretation.
1616 / Arita Japan is one of the oldest and most famous manufacturers of porcelain in Japan. In 2009, they asked Karol and Stefan to create a collection of dishes. The resulting Color Porcelain collection includes plates, cups, bowls, serving plates and a tea set and was released in three series — Minimal, Colorful and Extraoral. The names were chosen due to the number of colors, details and patterns used in each model.
The collection for Arita was not an easy task for Scholten & Baijings, as they needed to use their signature colorful style in the realm of the classics. Scholten & Baijings (Droog Design) convinced Arita to retain the natural porcelain color, a delicate gray-white shade, which served as the basis for adding specially designed glazes. The Color Porcelain collection was inspired by the old Arita catalog and new combinations of traditional Japanese colors from local historical works. It is distinguished by a bright range of watercolor-blue, light green, red-orange and yellow ocher.
Established & SONS
Another outstanding project of this duet was the Amsterdam wardrobe, designed for Established & Sons. This famous brand is famous for the ability to combine the latest technology with craft techniques. Knocked together from boards, painted in delicate colors, the wardrobe repeated the original Dutch form of the 17th century.
On the inner sides of the doors there were black and white still lifes adorned with many objects typical of old masters’ canvases. And the legs — balls of pink hue — made by glass blowers. The special chic of this thing is that the real object looks like a computer model.
One of the notable works of the duet Scholten & Baijings is the Tea with Georg set for the Danish company Georg Jensen. As a basis, the designers took the traditional tea ceremony, adopted in Japan, but added coffee pots and coffee cups to please the Dutch, who prefer coffee. The most striking combination of materials: kettles, coffee pots, sugar bowls, a device for boiling water made of stainless steel, and cups, saucers — from fine porcelain, painted by hand.
Droog Design and Ottoman
Among the latest works of designers is the Ottoman collection for the Italian factory Moroso. In the silhouette of the object itself, there is a noticeable spirit of the 1950s, and in the upholstery there are branded colors plus “vintage” fine geometry. In this case, the guys do not lose the level of fashion.
In early 2018, Scholten & Baijings developed a new series of accessories and coatings to give a new life to two classic Ikea members: the Klippan two-seat sofa and the Poäng chair. This series has been released in limited quantities.
Droog Design: Awards
Scholten & Baijings have found their place in all areas of the production spectrum: from products for the mass market to exclusive high-class concepts.
Their studio was awarded four Dutch Design Awards and three ELLE Decoration International Design awards. And in 2015, Phaidon published the first monograph Reproducing Scholten & Baijings.
Their clients include the Art Institute of Chicago, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, the Rijksmuseum, the Boymans Van Beuningen Museum, Georg Jensen, German Miller, Maharam, Established & Sons, the Danish brand Hay and many others.