Studio Wieki Somers - 10 Years

Studio Wieki Somers, Bathboat, 2005. Photo: Elian Somers.

Press release

Studio Wieki Somers - 10 Years
11 October 2014 - 11 January 2015

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen celebrates the tenth anniversary of Studio Wieki Somers, the design studio of Dylan van den Berg and Wieki Somers, with the exhibition ‘Out of the Ordinary’. The exhibition will include new works and will provide an insight into the studio’s unique artistic sensibility. The series ‘Frozen in Time’ and ‘Mitate’ will be shown for the first time in the Netherlands.

Dylan van den Berg and Wieki Somers see many extraordinary qualities in our everyday surroundings. They experiment with forms and materials and ask themselves how the ordinary things around us came into being. They observe, contemplate, and search for the stories that lie behind our daily rituals. These narratives inspire them to make new forms and objects. These products are remarkable not only for their storylines but also for their use of materials and technical ingenuity. In their anniversary exhibition ‘Out of the Ordinary’ the designers emphasise their design philosophy by presenting their work in a 30-object installation that is based on the principles of a Zen garden.

Two recent series
The exhibition will include two projects that have never previously been shown in the Netherlands. The series ‘Frozen in Time’ is inspired by the extreme weather that hit the Netherlands in the spring of 1987. Heavy rainfall, followed by a sudden cold snap, brought the country to a complete standstill and created extraordinary natural phenomena. The result is a series of household objects in which nature appears to be literally frozen in time. For the series ‘Mitate’ the studio took its inspiration from the seven virtues of the Samurai’s code of honour, the Bushido. The series consists of seven man-size lamps that combine traditional crafts with high-tech materials.

About the studio
Coinciding with the exhibition ‘Out of the Ordinary’, works by Studio Wieki Somers will be included in Galerie Kreo’s inaugural exhibition in London. The studio’s work will also feature in Galerie VIVID’s anniversary exhibition at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam. Works by Studio Wieki Somers can be found in many museum collections around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

In the museum’s collection
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has a strong focus on fashion and design, not only in its exhibitions and collections displays but also through its design commissions for spaces such as the espresso bar, the museum shop and the cloakroom. Since 2008 the Merry-Go-Round Coat Rack, a carrousel-shaped cloakroom by Studio Wieki Somers has been one of the eye-catching elements of the museum’s entrance area. It is used by more than 300,000 visitors per year. The museum’s collection includes several important designs by Studio Wieki Somers, including ‘Bathboat’, a remarkable design that is part of the museum’s permanent display of its Design Collection.

Anniversary publication
The exhibition coincides with the publication of a lavishly illustrated book elucidating the design philosophy of Studio Wieki Somers. The publication is designed by Mevis & Van Deursen and includes contributions from design critics Pierre Doze, Anniina Koivu and Louise Schouwenberg, and Boijmans curator Annemartine van Kesteren. Photographer Elspeth Diederix has been commissioned to visualise Studio Wieki Somers’ research themes. The book will be published by JRP Ringier and will be available from the museum’s shop and via

Studio Wieki Somers is the subject of a documentary in the series Dutch Profiles, which can be viewed on the video channel