In the diamond district of Antwerp, Job Smeets and his team have achieved a space that serves as the Studio Job headquarters, Smeets’ own residence, and a gallery. The wild and astonishing tableau embraces the concepts of ‘new rococo’ to layer patterns, textures, motifs, and artworks — old and new.
Several of the practice’s iconic pieces — from its Cat-Shaped Lamp For Seletti to its Gothic Chair For Moooi — are dotted throughout the area, creating an all-encompassing world of complex things and variations.
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‘It’s out of this world, and I love it,’ Job Smeets says of the design project, ‘it also depresses me a lot. So in part, I hate it too. It’s overwhelming sometimes to see pieces from over twenty years of work all together in one space it makes me realize how much we have done over the years and how prolific we have been. It’s an exhausting body of work to even take in. We are in a unique situation that not many artists or designers are able to do, we can display our art pieces and sculptures in a space then also our wallpapers, rugs, products, lighting, furniture even the kitchenware right down to the cocktail stirrers are by studio job as well. We have such a large body of work that covers so many areas we are able to use so many pieces to create a workspace, living space and gallery with our own work.’
Alongside Studio Job’s own projects, works by other artists and designers, which Smeets has collected over the years, are seamlessly incorporated into the apartment, gallery and studio space. ‘my favorite piece is always the last piece that I buy, so right now it’s a Tom Wesselmann I picked up last week,’ Smeets continues. ‘it takes pride of place above the two-meter banana sculpture the studio made for design pride Milano. The motorbike in the office with the only 5km on the clock is pretty special, and everyone wants to sit on it when they visit, but really it’s an art piece I won’t ever ride the thing.’.
Studio job is renowned for its eclecticism, evident throughout the scheme, where traditional craft and sculpture meet technology, like lasers and 3d printing. ‘the more you feel confident with design and shaping interiors you become bolder and braver and I can trust my instincts,’ Smeets explains.
‘I was looking for more of an eclectic approach and eclecticism you can only use when you know everything about it, and apply it when you feel confident enough because it’s a style that’s very on the edge. With minimalism, you can hide behind the aesthetical values of line and color, with an eclectic style you need to know what you are doing otherwise you overcook it. It could be a well-executed modern interior of a 90-year-old collector.’