Hella Jongerius

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Hella Jongerius
Hella Jongerius.jpg
BornHella Jongerius
May 30, 1963
De Meern (Utrecht), Netherlands
EducationDesign Academy Eindhoven
Known forCraft, Industry, Design
AwardsRotterdam Design Prize

Hella Jongerius (born 30 May 1963 in De Meern, Utrecht) is a Dutch industrial designer.


Jongerius was born in De Meern, a village to the west of Utrecht in the Netherlands in 1963. From 1988 to 1993 she studied design at the Design Academy Eindhoven. After graduating, she worked for a few projects at Droog Design.[1] She founded her own studio called Jongeriuslab in Rotterdam in 1993. She taught at the Design Academy Eindhoven as head of the department Living/Atelier (1988–1993). Her clients include Maharam (New York), KLM (Netherlands), Vitra (Switzerland), IKEA (Sweden), Camper (Spain), Nymphenburg (Germany) and Royal Tichelaar Makkum (Netherlands).[2] Her designs have been exhibited at galleries and museums such as the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum (New York), MoMA (New York), Stedelijk Museum (Netherlands), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (Rotterdam), the Design Museum (London), Galerie kreo (Paris) and Moss gallery (New York).[2] In 2008 Jongerius moved her studio to Berlin.


Through Jongeriuslab, she produces various collections of textiles, crockery and furniture. Her design focuses on combining opposites; for example, new technology and handmade objects, industrial manufacturing and craftsmanship, and the traditional and the contemporary. Her works are often highly textural; for example, rough edged leather is rolled up to create wheels, paint is splashed on earthenware, ceramics are sewn onto cotton tablecloths, sinks are made of rubber.[2] Jongerius prefers working with textiles so that she can practice her creativity without making a new product from scratch.[3] According to New York Times design critic Alice Rawsthorn, Jongerius' "greatest achievement is bringing sensuality and sophistication to the sanitary industrial design".[1]

In 2012, Jongerius designed a new interior and seats for the business class cabin in KLM's Boeing 747. She is currently continuing on the business and economy class cabins for KLM's 777 and Dreamliner planes.[4] In 2013, together with architect Rem Koolhaas, she redesigned the North Delegates' Lounge at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.[5] For Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory, Jongerius designed the Nymphenburg Sketches, Four Seasons and Animal Bowls.[6]


Jongerius’s perspective on sustainability in design is that it should be built to last. She has an issue with ephemeral, low-quality objects put out into the world.

"There's too much shit design."

"It's not the design that is the real issue but the amount that is being produced, that is where the evil starts; it just doesn't really add anything to the world."

Jongerius follows the ideals of long-termism. She sees this as a solve for the wastefulness of design. She wishes modern designers would follow in the paths of 20th century industrial design greats such as Le Corbusier and Gerrit Rietveld. Jongerius believes that designers are either “merchants” or “pastors”. These “merchants” are guilty, in her mind, of producing too much that doesn’t last.

“Merchants are the ones who keep the machine spinning for profit without any conscience and pastors are the ones who want to change something in the world and feel responsible.”[7]

Theorist Louise Schouwenberg and Jongerius published an opinion piece called Beyond the New: a search for ideals in design about the current state of design and sustainability.

We are in search for new ideals in design, a holistic approach on all levels."[8]


Product designs
UN Delegates' Lounge New York


  • 2003, Hella Jongerius; text by Louise Schouwenberg, Phaidon Press
  • 2011, Hella Jongerius – Misfit; text by Louise Schouwenberg, Alice Rawsthorn, Paola Antonelli, graphic design by Irma Boom, Phaidon Publisher
  • 2015, Beyond the New: a search for ideals in design, opinion by Hella Jongerius and theorist Louise Schouwenberg
  • 2016, I Don't Have a Favourite Colour: Creating the Vitra Colour and Material Library, Die Gestalten Verlag Berlin, ISBN 978-3-89955-665-0



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