The Designers : Peter Van Riet

08.12.2017 - Editorial board

After years of running a design agency with his partner, Peter Van Riet wanted to go back to his roots and focus on being a designer. A designer and nothing else. His new website is to be launched in December 2018.

© Peter Van Riet - Portrait of Peter Van Riet - BELGIANBOUTIQUE

From which product do we know you ? What's your best seller?

In my career, I have worked in a lot of different fields, with different companies in different industries. So there isn’t one product people know me for. I did some furniture, I created a snowboard, a longboardstroller… It’s all in different areas. I don’t think your audience knows me. I think that only the audience of these industries know me.

What is your favourite material to work with?

To be honest, I don’t think about the material when I start a project. I am more focused on the concept, on what the product will mean to its user, how it helps him. The idea is so much more important than the material. I want to have a new view on the product and the concept. It also depends on the number of copies that will be produced.

What product would you like to design?

There isn’t one product I would like to design. The companies, the people I’ll be working for and with are more important. I like to question the product. Most of the time, I only design one model of a product. One chair, one snowboard, … But more important than the product itself, I want to create my own world. At home, there is nothing I didn’t design. I have plenty of project ideas, and my goal is to collaborate with companies that have the same mindset as mine.

© Peter Van Riet - Sit'n read - BELGIANBOUTIQUE

Who is your design hero?

For as long as I remember, I’ve never had any heroes. When I was younger, I looked up to music bands. I have never been focused on one field. Yohji Yamamoto inspires me, his works with fashion and architecture. I like Dieter Rams, an industrial designer who worked with Braun, and David Carson, a graphic designer. I am more looking up to other industries than design itself because it is important to me to get new, and different, views on things.

Best design shop in Belgium, both on- and offline?

I have absolutely no idea. I never go to design stores to be honest. Since I design my own furniture I don’t buy any elsewhere, I don’t feel the need to go into a shop. And I think I get more inspired in antiques or retro furnitures shops.

Which Belgian restaurant or bar offers the best design experience?

Again, I have no idea. I don’t go to a restaurant to enjoy a design experience, I go to enjoy my food. Of course, the general atmosphere of the restaurant is important but if it’s pure design, I won’t like it. There are a lot of places I go to, but it’s not about design. It’s about the people managing the place, the atmosphere, the products used in the kitchen…

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I think it just comes from being hungry all the time. In my free time I take care of my bonzaï, I practice martial arts… I do a lot of different activities. Regarding being inspired, I visit exhibitions, read plenty of books and follow the work of loads of people. When you work in a certain field, you start to look around yourself with that certain point of view. I try to broaden my mind as much as possible. The most inspiring people are the creatives one, wherever you meet them, whatever they work on.

How do you picture yourself? Please send us a sketched self-portrait.

I think I am a designer, but I don’t picture myself as one. I always try to be a new person, to look for challenges and new projects to work on.

© Peter Van Riet - Sit'n read - BELGIANBOUTIQUE

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