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up to and including 30 September 2018

Bertjan Pot - Hot Glue

The Dutch product designer Bertjan Pot is known for his idiosyncratic designs. For him, design is the search for a simple yet unique solution. He considers a design successful only if the materials and construction come together in a logical combination. His choices seem simple but are often unusual. The results are well known: the ‘Random Light’ and ‘Random Chair’, the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and his ongoing series of masks.



For Pot, the design process almost always begins with the inherent characteristics of a particular material or production technique. Often it’s a small discovery: a stitch, a knot or another way of combining things. Repeating this action results in an object. This principle, which is also at the basis of textile production, is a recurring theme in Pot’s work. He readily admits that his approach is often opportunistic: it’s about getting the best out of the selected materials and production techniques. His aim is to create an end product that is greater than the sum of its parts. It must amount to a valuable thing, no matter how simple or awkward its construction and no matter how cheap or ugly the raw materials.

Bertjan Pot, Patch, 2018
Bertjan Pot, Patch, 2018
Bertjan Pot, Mask, 2018
Bertjan Pot, Mask, 2018


For this exhibition, Pot attempted to realise as many of the ideas he had in the year preceding the exhibition as possible, not including commissions from manufacturers or other clients. He set to work with simple materials such as plastic spoons, beads, rope, tape, set squares, plastic bags and hot glue. Lots of hot glue. The results are ready-mades in which he attempted to keep pace with his ideas. This exhibition provides an insight into Pot’s artistic process: the play, the thinking, the research into materials and constructions, the creativity and the solutions that lead to new forms


‘I was always good at making models, and I think it’s a shame that a design career sometimes means a shift from being a maker to being a manager. In this exhibition, I’m definitely a maker.’


Pot is critical of the current state of the design world. He is increasingly uninterested by whether people call their work art or design. For him, it’s about making things. ‘I’m certainly a child of the industrial revolution. If you’re making things today, you have to acknowledge that, whether you’re using your hands or machines. Just as every contemporary painter has to recognise the existence of photography.’