Mark Sturkenboom's conceptual designs


Something to Talk About

While in Milan, we also came across the work of Utrecht-based Mark Sturkenboom, a conceptual artist-designer who makes beautiful, conversation-inspiring pieces frequently centered around the ideas of love and time. According to Sturkenboom, "My focus lies not on the appearance of things, but on what I call the deeper layers in the relation[ship] between an object and its owner. I try to call forward myriad associations and stimulate our thinking about what counts to us in our lives. I examine products and set them free from their conventional use."

Sturkenboom's Ark, for example, poses the question: "What one thing would you save or preserve if a flood were coming?" Inspired by Noah's Ark and Julian Barnes's 1989 A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters, his 21st-century vessel features a leather box inside a glass dome where one can place a prized possession to preserve for future generations. As Sturkenboom says, "The Ark makes us think about that what is important to us and perhaps what’s just static."

Sturkenboom's Ark, photo © Jesse Nortier. Sturkenboom's Ark, photo © Jesse Nortier.

Sturkenboom's Ark, photo © Jesse Nortier. Sturkenboom's Ark, photo © Jesse Nortier.

Sturkenboom's Ark, photo © Jesse Nortier. Sturkenboom's Ark, photo © Jesse Nortier.

Meanwhile, with Watching Time Fly By, Sturkenboom offers up "a new way of experiencing time." Rather than presenting a particular time of day, the piece allows one to actually watch the passage of time. A "fly" made of a 500 euro bill whirs around within mouth-blown glass, exactly one round a minute. (You can wind the clock and the fly will circle for two days.) As Sturkenboom notes, "Pablo Picasso already told us, 'What one can imagine is by definition part of reality.'"

Intriguing concepts for sure.

Sturkenboom's Watching Time Fly By, photo courtesy of the designer. Sturkenboom's Watching Time Fly By, photo courtesy of the designer.

Sturkenboom's Watching Time Fly By, photo courtesy of the designer. Sturkenboom's Watching Time Fly By, photo courtesy of the designer.

*All images courtesy of Mark Sturkenboom