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  • Writer's pictureObject of Reference

Illuminating simplicity by Zeijler Cleven

Zeijler Cleven is an Eindhoven based design duo consisting of Fabian Zeijler and Tess Cleven.

Fabian Zeijler (1993) grew up in the province Zeeland, in the south of The Netherlands. He has always been interested in interior and the design of houses. After completing his high school, he was determined to study architecture to be trained as an architect. This took a turn once he had been to the Graduation Show of the Design Academy in Eindhoven. Seeing all the graduates’ theses and products, he realized that a future as a designer of interior products was even more dear to him. He always dreamed from his own company. After graduating from the academy in 2015, he went travelling. After that, his feeling was confirmed to start his own design studio. Fabian is incredibly driven by aesthetics and materials. In addition to his curious and cheerful character, he will do everything he can to make it work. A go-getter in heart and soul with a bit of dry humor and a healthy dose of good sense.

Tess Sabrin Cleven (1989) grew up in the province Gelderland, The Netherlands. She has always been fascinated by details in all forms. Her inspiration is fed by changing already existing things. This used to be more with jewelry, but that turned slightly into product design. In 2016, she graduated at the Design Academy Eindhoven. Previously, she graduated from the Nimeto Institute for Design and Styling in Utrecht. Tess prefers, inspired by nature, a minimalistic style with attention for subtle details. With craftsmanship, she expresses color sensitivity and a fascination for ‘pure’ materials in her products. As her products are intended to be both elegant and practical, a characteristic in her designs is the balance between functionality and esthetics.

They started sharing thoughts and projects during their studies at the Design Academy Eindhoven. After they both graduated, they started working together to create gentle and delicate interior products and accessories. I reached out to them to get to know a little bit more about their designs and what they are up to. I hope you enjoy.

Object of Reference: What’s in the core of your designs? Zeijler Cleven: The essence of our designs is to design pure, exclusive interior accessories in which materials and colours play a special role in minimalist, new modern, classic designs. We are dedicated to the design of gentle and delicate interior products and accessories.

OoR: What is your source of inspiration? ZC: We get a lot of inspiration from classic designs, nature, everyday objects, shapes or interesting elements with subtle details in which a new life can be blown. We like to breathe new life into classic products by designing them in a modern, minimalist way in which the power of the product remains central.

OoR: Do you believe in following rules when it comes to design, and if so, what are these rules in your designs? ZC: Actually, we don’t have any rules. We think we would limit ourselves by rules, but we steer ourselves towards a certain style that we want to adhere to. This happens quite naturally, since we both have a preference for minimalist, refined but luxurious products. However, we often first look at a theme to give ourselves sort of a direction to continue in.

OoR: What would be your dream project to work on? ZC: Our dream project at this moment would be to work on interior designs, where we can blend in our product designs combined with other high-quality products. First, we want to focus on creating a more complete design label with accompanying portfolio.

OoR: What are you working on at the moment, and what are your creative plans for the future? ZC: Currently, we are in the initial phase of a new lighting object that fits in the atmosphere of our first design of the oil lamp.

To find out more about their amazing project together visit

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