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EYEspiration: Laikingland

Interview met Nick Regan van Laikingland

Voor mijn serie interviews met creatieven: EYEspiration, ging ik in gesprek met Nick Regan van Laikingland. Nadat ik een tijd terug nieuw werk: tikkende vingers en een kloppend hart, van de mannen tegenkwam. Terwijl ik 2 of 3 jaar terug voor het eerst kennis maakte en gefascineerd raakte door de Applaus Machine. Die mijn aandacht voor ruim 10 minuten opslokte waarbij ik niets anders kon dan spelen, en kijken naar het mechaniekje. Om te kijken wat er nu voor zorgt dat de handjes klappen.

Omdat het interview in het Engels was, heb ik besloten om het ook maar in het Engels te publiceren. Dus hieronder kun je mijn eerste interview in het Engels lezen!

Introduction
Laikingland is a creative label, based in both the UK and The Netherlands, who design and manufacture beautifully crafted kinetic objects that engage, and evoke a sense of play and nostalgia.

The company was founded in 2008 and is built upon a life long friendship between artist, Martin Smith (below) and engineer, Nick Regan (above).

Interview met Laikingland

The start of Laikingland
Martin and I have been friends for nearly 30 years and first met at high school in West Yorkshire, England. After high school Martin went to Art college and I went to study Mechanical Engineering.

Following that Martin started his own studio as an artist. I built a career in the automotive industry working as an Engineering Manager on projects in Europe, USA and Asia.

All the while we stayed friends and when I got married. Martin gave me a gift, an Applause Machine that he had handmade. From that point we started to discuss the idea of working on a product together. Using his concept and craftsmanship skills and my engineering and development knowledge.

In 2008 we were finally to release the first range of Applause Machines in 5 different colours.

Developing Laikingland.
The Applause Machine was really well received. And became widely published on both the internet and print media. We still see it as a sort of ideal calling card for people who haven’t heard about Laikingland.

Equally we were able to make some great contacts with design stores such as the Frozen Fountain in Amsterdam and Mint in London. Both of whom have sold many of the products that we have subsequently developed.

Playfulness
In the area that we grew up, Laik actually means to play. So there is always an amount of playfulness and humour into the objects we create. Our hope is that with our designs we will encourage everyday playfulness.

We have shown new product ranges 3 times at Ventura Lambrate in Milan (2010/11/12) and were always delighted with the reaction of visitors. They are often somewhat surprised to see our kinetic objects in the middle of a design / furniture exhibition. But usually leave us with big smiles after seeing the wonderful craftsmanship and surprising functionality of our work.

Some of the best feedback we get is from the many designers that we meet. Who say they would like to collaborate on a Laikingland product.

Storm in a Tea Cup

Storm in a Tea Cup

A slight change in direction.
Over the years Laikingland has had many interesting requests to work on commissions, special editions, window displays and exhibitions. This year we made the decision to investigate some of these requests further. And have a break from launching new product editions at the Salone del Mobile in Milan.

Now we are working on several projects for example; a major project with the Swiss horological machines creator and producer MB&F. The results will be launched in October 2013 during the Laikingland exhibition at the MB&F M.A.D.Gallery in Genève.

Additionally we are collaborating on a project together with internationally renowned artist /designer Nacho Carbonell. This project will be presented in the Autumn of 2013.

This slight change in direction is really interesting. Because rather than collaborating with designers that we approach to develop products. We are rather working with clients who have come to us to work on a project basis. Laikingland is becoming both a products and projects company.

Laikingland Expertise
The theme of our company is very simple, we make objects that move. However, the expertise required in making objects that move isn’t so simple.

Between Martin, myself and Willem (Laikingland Projects Director) we have over 50 years experience in engineering, product development and craftsmanship of moving objects. These skills are really complimentary and very interesting to use in collaboration for both products and projects.

In the last few years we’ve worked in designers such as Maarten Baas and Tord Boontje.

Maarten Baas had a concept of a product that signals the passing of time and we developed together Just About Now, which is a new concept for a sand timer with a wonderful mechanism that activates the hammer to hit a gong.

Just About Now

Just About Now

Tord Boontje had an idea to create a type of doorbell that would create a performance and a cacophony of noise when a visitor arrives. With his idea, we again developed the components and the mechanism required to get this piece working / moving.

For both our products and projects, Martin gives concept, aesthetic and mechanism direction, often using product maquettes. Then Willem and I develop the components and mechanisms using a mixture of hand drawings and CAD.

As Willem and I live in the Netherlands and Martin and our studio is in UK. We have lots of Skype sessions to discuss the products and projects that we’re developing. Additionally, every couple of months the three of us meet to more easily exchange ideas and fix the problems that we encounter during development.

Ben je, of ken je een creatief die graag zijn inspiratie wilt delen? Neem gerust contact met mij op!

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MisterDesign

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