Lauren Leerdam


Department: Man and Activity


Il negozio di Carmen – Carmen’s shop
Via Crespi, 14

Carmen’s store is a local landmark on Via Crespi. “Carmen is an amazing older woman who has a small community of local people around her,” explains Lauren Leerdam, whose Paperthin stools become a part of the store’s furniture. “People visit the shop throughout the week, sometimes having lunch or stopping to chat for hours over a coffee during the day. The stools fit in beautifully with this context, contributing to the everyday social interaction.” As well as offering a place to pause and rest, at the same time they create a fresh topic of conversation for Carmen and her store visitors.

The stools, which can also function as side tables, are created from tin cans — a raw material that Leerdam calls “one of the biggest icons of consumerism.” Touching on questions of value, recycling, up-cycling, and mass consumption, they are made completely by hand in limited quantities. “Yet if there were no industrial mass consumption, these handmade Paperthin stools couldn’t exist,” he says.

With their strong sculptural presence, the stools will become new characters in Carmen’s store. “Hopefully, regular customers who would normally talk about their everyday activities will now be prompted to talk about their new ‘roommates,’ and ultimately about design itself,” says Leerdam. “It would be great to see a group discussion, with everyone sitting on a Paperthin stool and arguing furiously about good and bad design.”

Copyright Design Academy Eindhoven

Copyright: Design Academy Eindhoven
Photograph(s): Nicole Marnati
Venu Photograph(s): Nicole Marinati