Archive Studio Hutspot

Archive Studio: ‘our tableware is designed to last a lifetime’.

Interviews

Archive Studio is a design studio specialized in ceramics and tableware. Founded by partners Wouter and Lynn, they combine functionality and pure materials with contemporary details to create minimalistic plates, cups and bowls. We visited their design studio to discuss their philosophy, design process and future collections.

Could you tell us a bit about your background and when you decided to start working together?
We had been thinking about starting a business together for a long time. Lynn worked as a fashion designer for many big brands and Wouter has a background in commercial economy. The fashion industry is a huge industry that revolves around fast changing trends and high volumes of product. It is an interesting industry to work in, but it ultimately inspired us to do the contrary: we wanted to create a product that we could put on the market more sustainably.

Did you guys always have an interest in tableware?
Yes, but we did consider to make some other items in the beginning. For us, what is most important is to create a series of products that have an important role in your daily life and that last a lifetime. Personally, we love good food and cooking for friends so the idea to create timeless tableware was a logical conclusion when considering our own interests and goals.

Functionality and timelessness are important for Archive Studio. How does a consistent style strengthen this?
We think a lot has to do with the way people have used and bought tableware throughout the years. Back in the day, parents would give children a complete set of tableware as soon as they would leave the house. You were expected to keep this for years, expanding the set slowly as you would save up for new items. With the rise of commercial concepts such as Ikea, people feel the need to change their interior more frequently, focussing on more affordable / less qualitative alternatives.

Our tableware is designed to last a lifetime, tapping into a more old-school approach of collecting and saving. Quality and durability are essential, but style is just as important. Archive Studio is minimal and timeless. People can save for different items and slowly expand their collection. We will add new styles, but will make sure that all series can be combined and that a product never goes out of stock.

Could you tell us a bit about the design proces?
Sure! One of the most recognizable aspects of our current tableware collection is the contrast in finishes. The outside ceramic layer is left unglazed, resulting in a delicate tactile experience. The inside is glazed which creates durability. Because of the contrast in tactility, people often mistake the finer inside for glass.  

All ceramics are heated with high temperatures in the oven. As a result, the clay binds more firmly and consumers can put their items in the dishwasher. Furthermore, the unglazed surface becomes softer the longer you use it. We love to work with clay because it allows us to really execute our wish of creating durable and qualitative items without compromising too much on aesthetic.

Archive Studio works together with a workplace in Vietnam to produce all products. What is so special about this factory?
The workplace in Vietnam is owned by a woman who has been in the industry for over 40 years. About four years ago, the Vietnamese government financed a stand for them at a European fair to introduce their skills to new markets. In return, the European Union stimulates European brands financially to collaborate with this workplace because they get recognized as a healthy factory who take good care of their workers. 

How is it to visit the factory?
We try to visit as often as possible and every visit has been incredible thus far. Their ceramic knowledge is incredible and they know very well how to execute our wishes. When visiting the workplace, you can walk everywhere and talk to everyone. They even let you touch all the products that are in development and ask questions. It is like a ceramic walhalla!

What is next for Archive Studio?
We developed a new series of tableware specifically designed for coffee or tea. Because of our timeless approach, this new series can be combined flawlessly with our current collection. However, that does not mean that it looks the same. The most significant change is the added line structure of the material. Furthermore, if you would break the material in two (please don’t!), you will see that the coloring is ingrained throughout the entire material. Because of this, scratches and other damages will be less noticeable.


Shop Archive Studio at all our stores.
Shop a selection of gift sets online.

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