Product design studio | Alfred van Elk industrial design
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Alfred van Elk industrial design

For Alfred van Elk the product is his focus, through which he aims to convey something about the client, the market, and society at large.
He develops high-quality products that are long-lasting. His attitude is one of providing a service, for both start-ups and multinationals, and he is committed to a sustainable society.

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Alfred van Elk is stubborn in a measured way, enthusiastic, and energetic and at his best when challenged by his client. That is where the process truly starts. Following a briefing, he will immerse himself in the brand, the market and the user and acts as a designer or creative consultant for small companies such as Widget, larger companies like Feadship, for multinationals like Heineken and start-ups such as Pharaoh. From a circular perspective he wants to design responsible products that contribute to a sustainable society.
Alfred van Elk industrial design is member of the Association of Dutch Designers BNO. The BNO is the professional association for designers and design agencies in the Netherlands.

Portfolio

Clients

About me

‘At the end of the day I don’t design for myself.’

Alfred van Elk set up his design studio many years ago. Before he went solo, he worked for a range of larger and smaller design studios. These varied years of experience allow him to serve his current clients well. ‘At the end of the day I don’t design for myself.’

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Alfred van Elk:
‘Upon graduating, I immediately wanted to set up my own company. This was mainly based on enthusiasm, naïveté, and lack of portfolio, knowledge and experience. However, I started out working as a freelancer for several years for the studio of designer Frans de la Haye. Subsequently the head of Philips’s design studio invited me for a conversation: there you enter a fantastic working environment with over 100 international designers.
I therefore abandoned the idea to set out on my own, and worked as an in-house designer for over four years. Philips Design was a magnificent training ground: different views within the same company. The entire trajectory: from vision, to design, development and production. I was really thrown in at the deep end there. It was like ‘get on a plane to Hong Kong and just sort it!’

Next I joined the design department at TNO, where I found myself one of the few designers among a whole army of techies. What working there taught me was how to collaborate with scientists and specialists, such as engineers, electrical engineers, physicists and mould makers, each with their own agendas. After that I worked with design agency Well Design before I founded studioMOM with two fellow designers.

Taking all those experiences into account I felt it was time to set out on my own. All these previous work environments taught me a lot. I have been working under my own name since 2007, which simply feels right. It offers freedom, but also means that I work hard. There is a lot of baggage to juggle: knowledge and an overview of all aspects of the field. And it has made me realise that I have a good overview of what happens outside of it. Also I can make flexible use of my network, and cooperate in teams with other specialists. This puts me in a position of being able to serve my clients well.

Alongside being a practitioner, I have been teaching at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague on their Post Graduate Course Industrial Design for over 15 years. In my work in education I see parallels with my work for clients. The only difference is that you wear another hat. Your task as a lecturer is to help students discover what they’re good at. Therefore I listen very carefully to what they say. The same goes for my relationship with clients. There I am very good at asking questions too. Throughout I keep an eye of the bigger picture: does what is being said align with that? There is always a connection at a deeper level. I am able to listen carefully, ask the right questions, and distil something out of that. How that works is the same with students and clients. I have to pay attention and ask incisive questions: at the end of the day I don’t design for myself.’

After studying Interior Architecture Alfred van Elk graduated with honours from the Industrial Design training at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague.
As product designer he worked with Frans de la Haye, Philips, TNO and Well Design, and was co-founder of studioMOM. Since 2007 he has his own design studio: Alfred van Elk industrial design. His designs have received multiple awards. Clients include Heineken, Philips, Inventum, ABB, Bosch & Siemens Home Appliances, Auping, Kembo, RoyalVKB, Cooloyster, Feadship, Meyn, Geesa, Tiger en Widget.

Alfred van Elk is a lecturer on the Post Graduate Course Industrial Design at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, The Netherlands.

Alfred van Elk designer

Awards

Alfred van Elk has received much international acknowledgement, including various Good Industrial Design Awards (GIO Award), Dutch Design Awards, iF Product Design Awards and I.D. Annual Design Awards.

GOOD INDUSTRIAL DESIGN AWARD (GIO) / NETHERLANDS

GIO Award:

– Heineken CoolFlow Technology beer tap

– Inventum Café Invento coffee pad machine

– Auping AVS bed frame

– Kembo folding table

– Aspa office furniture

– Score office trolley

– Score feet rest

– Score bath seat

– Score lecture

– Solvay blister packaging

– Canon / Océ paper folding machine

– Ahold / Albert Heijn self scan systeem

– Wagons Lits trolley

DUTCH DESIGN AWARDS / NETHERLANDS

DDA Selection:

– Pharaoh outdoor furniture

DDA Nomination:

– Heineken beer tap system for Heineken, Amstel and Brand

iF PRODUCT DESIGN AWARD, HANNOVER / GERMANY

iF Award:

– Vitens (WMN) Mobile Booster, mobile water pump station
– Philips pocket lamp

iF Best of Category:

– Score bath seat
– Philips solar garden light

iF Top 10 of the Year:

– Canon / Océ paper folding machine

I.D. ANNUAL DESIGN REVIEW, I.D. MAGAZINE, NEW YORK / USA

I.D. Honorable Mention Award:

– Kembo examination table
– Westomatic hot drink dispenser

I.D. Design Distinction Award:

– Score bath seat

I.D. Best of Category Award:

– Vitens (WMN) Mobile Booster, mobile water pump station

OTHER AWARDS

Gold Winner International Design Awards / USA

– Heineken CoolFlow Technology beer tap

Retail Innovation Award / UK

– Ahold / Albert Heijn self scan system

Concour de la Lampe d’Or / Salon International du Luminaire de Paris / FRANCE

– Philips solar garden lighting (Mention Spéciale)

Netdiver / USA

– Best of the Year studiomom
– Design Forte Award studiomom

Norwegian Design Award / NORWAY

– Philips Manhattan interior lighting series

Contact

Are you looking for a designer or a flexible development team and do you feel an affinity with my vision?
Then I’d love to meet you to discuss your questions or needs.

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