Dutch industrial designer Breg Hanssen graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2003. Hanssen, together with Joeke Beenhakker, founded Suspacious design studio in 2008 in Zaandam, the Netherlands. Suspacious is dedicated to designing “suspiciously spacious” furniture that maintains a high level of functionality in combination with ease of use and a pared-back, detail-focused design aesthetic. After Beenhakker left Suspacious in 2012, Hanssen has served as the studio’s lead designer, creating custom, made-to-order furniture.
Hanssen’s function-driven furniture incorporates a playful use of color, shape, and materials. Inspired by the notion that humans’ needs are ever-changing, many of his pieces incorporate some form of movement and encourage intervention by the collector. Take the Pivot Sofa, which features moveable armrests, or Wonderwall, which incorporates a sliding wall mounted onto a static shelf, amongst numerous other dynamic designs.
Hanssen is also known for his collaboration with Dutch design label Vij5; together, they co-designed the first collection utilizing NewspaperWood, a new material invented by Dutch designer Mieke Meijer. This innovation—composed of layers of old newspaper compressed into “logs” and then treated like natural wood—allows for the appearance and aesthetic of real wood. Hanssen and his fellow design collaborators—rENs, Greetje van Tiem, Ontwerpduo, Floris Hover, Christian Kocx, and Tessa Kuyvenhoven—are finding new ways to exploit the material through a collection of objects and furniture. Hanssen’s Framed Cabinet and Framed Nightstand (both 2011) use the upcycled material to create wood panels, which he then frames in coated steel, emphasizing the sophisticated silver-gray hue of the NewspaperWood. By doing so, he is able to perfectly integrate material exploration with an industrial aesthetic. Hanssen first presented his Framed Cabinet in the Ventura Lambrate district during Milan Design Week in 2011.