Since graduating from Design Academy Eindhoven in 1999, Marleen Kaptein (Nijmegen, 1971) has collaborated with Stijn Roodnat under the joint name of Kaptein Roodnat. They design interiors, furniture, and other products in a visual language that is straightforward but never bland.
In 2012, Roodnat co-founded the design label Label/Breed, bringing together innovative manufacturers and designers. It was through Label/Breed that Kaptein entered into a collaboration with the Netherlands Aerospace Centre [Nationaal Lucht- en Ruimtevaartcentrum (NLR)], a foundation that offers technological support to the aerospace sector.
At NLR, Kaptein was able to use its fiber placement machine, a robot that heats thin strips of carbon fiber and layers them in different orientations. As the fibers cool, they fuse to form a strong yet lightweight surface. The machine is normally used for the production of a wide variety of structural components for the aerospace industry, but Kaptein’s interest was in the aesthetic possibilities presented by the materials and the technology. She designed a lamp and two chairs, one of which is the Fibre Placement Chair. Reminiscent of dragonfly wings, this chair has a simple profile but a complex structure suggestive of a futuristic spaceship.
Several other furniture items in the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum collection, including pieces by designers Marcel Wanders and Bertjan Pot, have been made using carbon fiber. However, Kaptein was the first to employ a high-tech robot for production. Her chair, which emphasizes the black ribbons’ graphic qualities, represents a new and original form for this material.
Marleen Kaptein is one of the 26 designers and studios that are selected for the group show Dream Out Loud – Designing for Tomorrow’s Demands. The exhibition can be visited from 26 August 2016 in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Read more about the exhibition or order tickets.