Matthijs Kok is a product design student in his final year of study at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam in the Netherlands. His passion and talent for CAD modeling and 3D printing are apparent in his work, as are his beliefs that design should be simplistic, balanced, artistic, and astonishing. We snagged a few minutes with Matthijs to get some more insights on his design process.

What are some of the ideas that come to mind when you are designing?

For each item I design, I start with the original purpose or function of the object. Then I look for ways to innovate from that point. I like to push boundaries of what is known by pulling inspiration from the possibilities and limits of production techniques and materials. At some point in the design process, my innovated purpose and surprising aesthetics come together. The result is improved and surprising products, like my Customizable Sandcastle Molds.

What does 3D printing do for you?

3D printing gives me the ability as a designer to wake up with an idea, and have that idea as an object in my hands by the end of the day. This accelerates the design process, so I can make more and prototype faster, which results in better communication with clients and better testing with target groups. At the end of the design process, these advantages result in a surprising and improved product. 

3D printing and a faster process also allow me to explore different aspects of design. Last week I was focusing on home decor, this week on jewelry, and toys are up for next week. This ability to explore and dabble makes 3D printing super interesting and inspiring as a young designer, and it helps me understand which subjects I prefer to make. 

Why do you make?? 

Industrial design, architecture, fashion and graphic design give me a lot of inspiration, and I want to apply my creativity by exploring and working with these subjects. What I really like about 3D printing is that consumers can download my designs online, and print them out themselves. I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing my designs printed all over the world, and even more when the customer can customize my work by themselves before they start their print.