Charlotte Jonckheer –
tender designs, materializing and sharing the poetic value of personal encounters, memories and emotions.
Charlotte Jonckheer (°1988) is a Belgian designer, living and working in Antwerp.
Charlotte Jonckheer conscientiously unfolds a design practice where every creation resonates a personal encounter, emotion or memory – an idiosyncratic understructure inspiring her to formulate the objects, surfaces and forms which will then allow her to share those unique and private moments outside of their initial positions in time and space.
Through her design process – and led by her devotion to research and material study – Charlotte Jonckheer embeds her original incentives in a network of cultural and historical associations, both preceding and defining the materiality and aesthetics. Her works always introduce an interaction, either emotional, physical or circumstantial. She strives for intriguing and affecting designs which reinforce the relationship between user and object and could become the heirlooms for future generations: cherished and dear.
Winds passing through open grasslands on a cliff or the configuration of ancient stone structures; the brush strokes of an impressionist painting or the endless nuances of grey skies, … —they have all been motives for Charlotte Jonckheer to formulate a concept or to create a new work. With her designs she aims to share the emotions they’ve triggered, to echo the peculiarities of their look and touch, to communicate their mesmerizing qualities which made her drift off in contemplation. As such, her personal encounters become the provenance for a thoughtful pursuit of a material, a form, a surface or an object which could fulfil her engagement and live up to her generous ambition.
The design process which then follows, is characterized by an analytic approach. Charlotte Jonckheer sets out to find mechanisms, theories and insights within the fields of, amongst others, philosophy and the arts. She looks for clues and references which could help her to make her subject graspable and sharable, to visualize those things that are, essentially, invisible and unsubstantial. She experiments with existing and newly composed matter, both natural and industrial, with different shapes and varying colours. She explores function and utility, … until she attains a solution which adequately merges emotion and aesthetics, purpose and perception.
The emotional and personal core of Charlotte Jonckheer’s design practice – concerning its origins as well as its goals – permits her to select form, function and materiality freely; to choose what suits best. Nevertheless, she consistently applies two words to evaluate her ultimate concepts and choices: Motion and Interaction. Every one of her designs is in a way loyal to those two words – words by which we could separate what lives and what is already lost. Even if they’re met in different stages of the process: The motion of the surrounding, natural light which alters the appearances of a side table or emphasizes its structured surfaces; the gesture needed to open a lamp and gradually fill a space with light, … The interaction that became a reason to create something new or how a finished design interacts with the surrounding architecture and circumstances, how it triggers an emotion. Motion and interaction often manifest themselves in a subtle or indirect way, though sometimes they become apparent, even dominant. This is the case when Charlotte Jonckheer creates the distinctive graphical patterns for her tapestries, accentuated by the differences in colours and tones and by the use of varying materials and fabrics. The haptic lines and shapes she thereby draws, create dynamic surfaces and invite to move through them, to touch them and explore them.
But apart from subtlety or prominence, and within all of Charlotte Jonckheer’s designs, motion and interaction appear as a promise, a potential. They introduce the designs’ intrinsic capacity to migrate and transform, to be adapted according to the circumstances they’ll meet in a new context, the interactions that await them.
Charlotte Jonckheer studied at the Design Academy in Eindhoven, Dpt. Man and Well Being; under the guidance of Ilse Crawford, Aldo Bakker and studio Formafantasma. She focusses on products for the interior, on design concepts and material development. Her works are realized both as collectible design and in serial production. Charlotte works on self-initiated and commissioned projects and collaborates with studios, companies and industries – (a.o) a collaboration with Nel Verbeke and Verilin (Triptych on Insomnia) and the Chaud Side Table Series in collaboration with Hullebush Natural Stones. Her works have been shown at the Palais des Beaux-arts Lille (Fr), Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven (NL), during the design fairs of Turin and Milan and as part of the Dutch Design Week and Collectible Brussels. She was a finalist for ‘Vitrine pour un designer’ (2016). In 2018, Charlotte was one of the founders of BRUT, a collective of emerging, Belgian designers awarded with the Henry Van De Velde Gold Award 2019 (Young Talent Award). Together, they presented their designs and settings at Bozar Brussels (BE), Kanal Centre Pompidou (BE), Salone Del Mobile (IT) and Sint Vincents Antwerp (BE).