A passionate traveler with a love for homes: visual artist and designer Mabel Pols is the founder of STUDIOPOLS in Amsterdam. Influenced by her fashion design and design history background, in her work she tries to find balance between art, design and object. She considers the home the most authentic, relaxed and personal place where people surround themselves with meaningful objects.
- Where did your passion for architecture and interiors come from?
I think my main style inspiration comes from my aunt and uncle (an architect), who have an amazing home Amsterdam that we often visited when we were younger. When I was a little girl I also watched “TV-woonmagazine” by Jan des Bouvrie all the time. I loved redesigning my room and when we were going out for a trip with the family, I always wanted to go to Ikea – I even preferred it above amusement parks like the Efteling. So I think it was in there at quite a young age.
- Is there a particular interior that has been a recurring inspiration (such as the divine Hakama house)?
Rietveld (The Rietveld Schröder House) is someone that I always keep coming back to. I love the way his ideology is clearly visible in his architecture and furniture; the horizontal and vertical straight lines and his use of color as well.
- What art (form) do you most identify with?
Not really art (forms), but I think I identify myself most with times in history where ideology, design, architecture and art come together, like Bauhaus for example.
- What memorable responses have you had to your work?
That’s a good question. It is most satisfying to have my work in the collectors’ homes and fit their style and their personal objects.
- You studied fashion, how did you move to art?
My background is in fashion design, but I never saw fashion as clothes but more as artworks or sculptures. Later, when I studied design history and theory I knew I wanted to create again. Because of my love for furniture and interiors I started to make illustrations and artworks that ‘fit the home’.
- How do you think your childhood influenced your design thinking?
Immensely. I was always extremely interested in how things looked, more than the children around me. At quite a young age, I noticed that the appearance of objects had a deeper meaning to me. As a child I created my own clothes and I was always redesigning my room. My parents as well as my aunt and uncle had interiors that were totally different from that of my friends, which made me more open to various styles and designs.
- Name something you love, and why?
Nature - it gives me so much inspiration in terms of form, function and structure.
- What is your process when conceiving a new piece?
I keep postponing and postponing, which I think is recognizable for so many. I keep thinking and looking for ideas on what I want to make. When I start to get nervous that’s when I start working. Sometimes it can be done in 2 hours, but it often takes multiple weeks as I keep changing and developing the pieces continuously.
- What are some current or upcoming projects?
From November until February I have my first small exhibition in The Hoxton Hotel in Amsterdam with art-works/illustrations. I want to expand this and create more works as well as objects. And I really want to go into the practice of interior designing. And hopefully in the future, I have my own furniture as well.
- What would you say is the philosophy behind your work?
I consider the home as the most authentic, relaxed and personal place where people surround themselves with meaningful objects. I see my work more as part of the home, so not necessarily to be exhibited in a gallery or museum. It relates to an interior and therefore it has a connection to a personal space, people’s own style/taste and furniture. This contributes in telling a personal story of the people living there.