The Boring Collection Set#1 by Lensvelt
“The Boring Collection arose from frustration”, says Hans Lensvelt, who took over the family business from his parents in 1990 and who has been enjoying “developing new products that are ahead of their time” ever since. With the Boring Collection, Lensvelt – whose mission is: to give architects the tools to transcend themselves; to make good design and great interiors – has launched a daring solution to an annoying problem.
“You often see great buildings by great architects with the cheapest mishmash of interior furniture. Because the CFO decides on the furniture and he then chooses the cheapest available. This doesn’t work, of course. It degrades the building! We decided to do something about it.” Lensvelt’s answer is The Boring Collection: it consists of archetypical office elements, all in the same grey colour and “not designed”. “Plus it’s not as expensive as most of the horrible low-quality furniture that downgrades architecture.” The entire set costs less than €1000.
“You know, nowadays it is no longer passionate, visionary people who lead the world, it’s guys with management training. The trouble is, because they run the company they also decide what the office should look like”, Lensvelt says. He recalls his visit to Google in Zürich: “The interior design was done by Stefan Camenzind, and he decided to install slides and ball pools in the office... Completely fake and totally non-functional! What nonsense. The staff hates to have meetings in a ball pool. It’s nothing more than window dressing and showing off. I don’t want such an office.” To make his point even clearer, Lensvelt refers to the interior architecture of the Chiat/Day offices in New York by Gaetano Pesce, an early ‘workplace village’ modelled on urban life: “That was an organically grown office. What Google is doing is not organic; it’s fake. They copied the form but not the content.”
Lensvelt emphasises that an office is not about the furniture; it’s about the overall environment. “The furniture must be subservient to that environment. It should not stand out. It should be neutral. It should not make a statement.” Thus, Lensvelt asked Amsterdam based young architects from Space Encounters to design an office that is “as boring as possible”. It consists of a desk, a chair, a dustbin, and other equipment, all in the same colour. “If you think it’s an easy solution, I’ll have to disappoint you: it’s a true challenge to make all these materials – laminate, steel, textile, and so on – in the very same, identical grey colour, RAL 7044. It was honestly a big investment for us to achieve this.” However, Lensvelt is known for these kinds of projects: “We do business out of passion!” But the Boring Collection, which was initially launched at the Salone del Mobile last April, has also proven to be a commercial success: now everybody wants it.
And Lensvelt wouldn’t be Lensvelt if the collection didn’t come with a twist. Thus, within it you’ll find a clock that happens not to show the correct time but is instead fixed on 5pm, the time to finally go home in a traditional 9 to 5 job... This is a signature Lensvelt touch – there’s always more behind the furniture design than what you might notice at first sight. “The real twist, though, is that as a design label, we are producing a piece of furniture that does not matter”, Lensvelt smiles. “Non-design by a design company...”
And now you have a chance to WIN this boring set of furnishings. DAMNº and Lensvelt are giving away three Boring Collections Set #1, worth €955 each. The only thing you have to do is to answer these questions: 1) The Boring Office comes in one colour, what is that colour? 2) At which event was the Boring Office launched? 3) "An office should be as …….. as possible”, according to Lensvelt. Tiebreaker: How many screws are holding the Boring Collection Set #1 together? Fill in this form and WIN!
Images: Loet Koreman & Stan Koolen for Lensvelt.