With a master’s degree in Industrial and Interior design, Jaro Kose is a new generation product designer based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Beginning his career working for Marcel Wanders, he later went on to create his own design studio. He now collaborates with companies such as Tjep and Bleijh, imparting a playful and sophisticated take on functional objects. I reached out to them to find out more about their inspiration and designs.
Object of Reference: What’s in the core of your designs and your brand?
Jaro Kose: I feel that objects affect emotions and when they are well designed they kindle wonderment and generate good feelings. Everyone has at least one object that somehow is special. It might have been given by someone or might be connected with a nice memory. When there is a connection we take care about it and instead of throwing it away when it’s broken, we try to repair it first or replace with something similar.
I believe that artistry happens in the invisible space; between an object and its user. Well designed “space” builds relations, so I like to think that I am a spatial designer.
Object of Reference: Tell me a little bit about yourself. What is you background and have you always wanted to be involved with design?
Jaro Kose: I graduated from Industrial Design at Art Academy. It sounds funny but something like that really exists. I choose an Academy of Art because I wanted to be an artist. That was my idea; to create feelings and somehow to play with emotions. In the meantime I understood that I would be a better product designer and that through design I could also reach identical goals. I am glad that I had a lot of friends who supported me in this decision!
Object of Reference: Where do you get your inspiration?
Jaro Kose: My answer to that question will be trivial: I get inspiration from everywhere. I try to be aware of the world that surrounds me and to take as much from it as it’s possible. Inspiration can be found in conversation, positive atmosphere or in a dream. But very probably people are the most important source of inspiration for me. Some of my friends can easily recognise themselves in my designs as they (or moments spent together) were a direct trigger for creating a design filled with feelings.
Object of Reference: Do you believe in following rules when it comes to design, and if so, what are these rules in your designs?
Jaro Kose: The main rule that I follow is that I have to have a good knowledge about the materials and should use them smart and choose wisely. All the other rules from famous designers are connected with their own work, so following them should lead you to similar results and that’s not what I am looking for. I like a quote that opposes the view of Ludwig Mies van deer Rohe : “Less is less, more is more”. That’s the reality for me - finally what you get is what it is - no less, no more.
When it comes to my designs I keep in mind a sentence that I heard from one of the greatest designers that I had a pleasure to meet - Frank Tjepkema. I started my carrier being an intern at Frank’s studio (Tjep.) and one day he told me: “One design - one story”.
So far that’s the main rule that I have been following.
Object of Reference: Your pieces have some references to classic forms and objects, but at the same time they have a really contemporary twist. How do you balance that?
Jaro Kose: Thank you for such a nice compliment! I like to transform everyday objects into creations that challenge the conventional views and archetypes. Look around and you will see a lot of commonplace objects that are so obvious for us that for many years no one has really wanted to change them. Why not to play with it and take a challenge to redesign them all?
Before I sketch anything I ask myself “What does it do and what it could look like if it was invented today?”. Then I try to forget about everything I have seen before and create something fresh; having in mind modern technics and materials. Probably that’s the reason why you find balance between “classic” and “modern” in my designs.
Object of Reference: What would your advice be for someone who would like to start in this industry?
Jaro Kose: I don’t think that I am someone to give advice in this matter. There are so many ways and paths in the design industry that no matter which you will choose at the beginning, if you are true to yourself and stubborn, you will find your place in this world.
If not, you always have time to learn and change something. Maybe one piece of advice that I could give to students is that they should be aware that design is a business.
Object of Reference: What would be your dream project to work on?
Jaro Kose: I would love to design something that brings smile to people’s faces. That kind of true, honest , childish smile that we almost forget when we’re adults. I don’t know yet what it could be, but it should release only good feelings.
Object of Reference: What are you working on at the moment, and what are your creative plans for the future?
Jaro Kose: Right now I’m working on several different projects. One of them is a ceiling lamp that gives the best possible quality of light. No matter if you are a food blogger, an Instagram fan or you just want to take a picture during dinner - you need good light because that is the main factor in a great image. My creative plans for the nearest future are connected with a new company - Sigur.
Sigur is focused on high end objects where the main material is stone. I took the role of a head of design there about one year ago and we are going to present seven new designs soon. Keep your fingers crossed!
To find out more about Jaro Kose go to his website at or follow him on Instagram @jarokose .
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