Visser & Meijwaard is a Dutch design studio that creates distinct products from versatile and unexpected materials. The studio was founded by design duo Steven Visser (born in Groningen, The Netherlands in 1985) and Vera Meijwaard (born in Naarden, The Netherlands in 1988) in 2013. The two are inspired by uncommon and overlooked details found in everyday objects, which they identify and reinterpret to establish the essence of their products. All designs are completely handcrafted and assembled in their studio in Arnhem.
Visser and Meijwaard met as classmates in 2008 while pursuing their Bachelor’s degrees in product design at the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem. In addition to her studies at ArtEZ, Meijwaard did an apprenticeship in shoe craft and design, earning a vocational degree from the SVGB Institute of Craftsmanship Utrecht (2012). She also interned at the Amsterdam-based fashion house Viktor & Rolf (2011) and the shoe brand United Nude (2014) in Guangzhou, China. Visser completed an internship at the design agency Tjep in Amsterdam in 2011.
After the pair graduated, both with Bachelor’s degrees, in July 2012—Visser with the graduation project A Gentleman’s Thing, a collection of gentlemen’s accessories, and Meijwaard with Renaissance of The Abundance, a collection of very high heels inspired by the splendor of the cult of Virgin Mary—the idea arose to start a label together. By the end of 2013, they had launched their studio, focusing on fashion accessories and furniture. Describing their working relationship, the two note that Visser finds solutions in technical details and loves to work with hard materials, while Meijwaard focuses on visual detailing, styling, and overall setting.
As of this writing, standout projects include the Truecolors furniture collection (2014) and the Grey on Gray cupboard (2015). Truecolors debuted at Dutch Design Week in 2014; it was inspired by the versatility and durability of industrial PVC cloth, from which the collection is realized. The range includes a bench, stool, barstool, cabinet, and credenza. In 2015, Visser & Meijwaard designed Grey on Gray as part of Baars & Bloemhoff’s Transitions project, which was exhibited at Milan’s Salone del Mobile that same year. Inspired by a simple crate, their cupboard—which is composed of the solid surface material HI-MACS—evolved to feature a ribbed exoskeleton that is both functional and decorative.
To date, Visser & Meijwaard’s work has been displayed at a number of exhibitions, including Kassiewijle at Dutch Design Week (2015), which featured colorful PVC zip-up coffins, and Transitions (2015) and Kiss my Name (2016) at the Salone del Mobile in Milan.