Dutch Duo OS ∆ OOS Seems to Bend Light and Space with Its Products and Interiors

Vitra presented the studio’s Repeated Mirror no.2—which can create ghostly reflections—as part of the furniture company’s Salone del Mobile showcase.

OS OOS design profile
OS ∆ OOS’s Repeated Mirror no.2, placed within a vignette at Vitra’s Salone del Mobile exhibit. Courtesy Vitra

Tucked into Vitra’s expansive 4 Collages, 5 News, 6 Windows *and a Whale exhibit at this year’s Salone del Mobile, next to a new version of designer Jasper Morrison’s Plate Dining table, was a captivating object created by Dutch studio OS ∆ OOS. The studio, led by Design Academy Eindhoven alumni Oskar Peet and Sophie Mensen, devised a mirror that uses glass and different grades of light-filtering foil to deftly manipulate light: Some reflections are clear while others, when viewed from the right angle, manifest a hazy, ghostly apparition. This design, Repeated Mirror no.2, is just the latest iteration of the duo’s longtime fascination with light and transparency.

Various iterations of the Syzygy lamp series

For example, the studio’s Syzygy lamp series was inspired by solar patterns. (“Syzygy” is a term used to describe the straight line that runs between three celestial bodies.) That series dates back to 2011, when OS ∆ OOS created the lamp’s first manually-operated iteration to simulate how Earth and other planetary bodies block out sunlight.

“When starting a new project, we often begin with a concept and then search for the best materials to express that initial idea in the clearest way possible,” Mensen tells Metropolis. For Syzygy, OS ∆ OOS used LED panels, layers of film-industry glass filters, and adhesive foil to simulate dawn, dusk, and eclipses. Most recently, the Syzygy concept was picked up by Italian lighting brand FontanaArte. The Heliacal lamp (as the FontanaArte version is called) debuted at last year’s Euroluce lighting fair.

OS OOS design profile
OS ∆ OOS designed the interior of the Ace & Tate boutique in Eindhoven. The project showcases the duo’s 2014 Mono-Lights design, seen here. “We wanted to see how the beautiful simplicity of a fluorescent tube could become flexible,” Peet explains. Mono-Lights feature LEDs encased in a rigid, clear plastic tube, while flexible tubing at the luminaries ends means the spaghetti-like lamps can be hung in endless ways. Courtesy OS ∆ OOS

“We’re not minimalists, we just like to focus on the essence of what we’re trying to achieve,” Peet tells Metropolis. “Every element we include has to serve a purpose.” A perfect example of this philosophy is the recent limited edition Tunnel furniture concept. A play on the age-old saw horse, the new series matches structural sturdiness with new laser cutting technology. Different sized anodized aluminum cylinders are precisely cut and interlocked without any need for bolts or welds.

OS OOS design profile
OS ∆ OOS’s 2017 Tunnel series combines the structural sturdiness of a classic sawhorse with new advancements in laser cutting technology. The series’ aluminum cylinders interlock without any bolt or weld. Courtesy OS ∆ OOS

That desire to play with visual perception also manifests the studio’s design of the Ace & Tate boutique in Eindhoven (as well as the Matrix furniture collection that was developed from that project’s interior partitions). Asked by the eyewear brand to draw from the store’s urban context, OS ∆ OOS tapped into the Dutch city’s rich industrial history.

Eindhoven is dotted with a series of empty factory building and, intrigued by the skeletal-nature of these spaces, the studio developed a curvilinear, open structure screen concept using a bendable steel composite. The transparency of these room dividers allows for light to flood the space. To create a unique optical effect, OS ∆ OOS curved the walls and hung multiple mirrors from them, enabling customers to test their new glasses from various angles at once.

OS OOS design profile
The bendable properties of the steel grid used at Ace & Tate (seen here) inspired the Matrix bench and light concepts (seen in the slideshow). “We thought that we should show more of what this composite material could do,” Peet explains. “We designed a cylinder-like bench and light that plays with the same essential qualities of transparency.” Courtesy OS ∆ OOS

Though the duo has already produced a wide range of projects, OS ∆ OOS feel that it still takes time for people to fully understand their work. “It sometime takes a year for customers to see how our designs are functional and how our industrial aesthetic could fit into their spaces,” Peet and Mensen reflect. “Our goal is to work long enough that more and more people recognize our handwriting.”

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