Almost a year ago, Sanne and the Lloyd Hotel came into contact during Mono Japan. Half a year ago she stayed for a night and started with the work that she made especially for her exhibition at Lloyd Hotel. The exhibition starts on 1 November. Before the show I met her once in her studio, which is an open space in Amsterdam West where several creatives work side by side. The second time we met each other in Amsterdam Oost, at the Lloyd Hotel. We started this meeting with a conversation about the exhibition and the development of her life as a designer.

For this exhibition Sanne wanted to do something with a recognizable aspect of the hotel. ‘The rich history of the hotel interests me, but is also quite complex because of the different functions of the building. The beds were almost always used by guests as a sleeping place.That’s why I started to do something with this aspect of the hotel. Sanne used a camera to record how people left their beds after check-out.’ She made drawings of these images, which she now exhibits as tapestries. In this way she shows how someone, with intuitive or learned behaviour, acts from a habit or the unconscious. It’s about searching for behaviour, and on what that behaviour is based. The colourful series shows us duvets left behind, which form patterns of human habits.

From maker to inventor

After studying graphic design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Sanne worked for book designer Irma Boom. When creating a new book, you look for a logical solution to tell the story. How do you make an interesting book within a limited framework? I like to solve that puzzle. However, making a book lacked a certain interaction with the public. She then decided to start the BIK training, where she learned to translate her own work into a workshop. It brought an opening to reach both children and adults and to engage in interaction. She discovered that with a clear question or assignment you can arouse everyone’s interest. At the same time, it is also about letting go. I want the other person to bring something but at the same time I also want to guarantee the quality of design. That’s what laying out the puzzle is all about.

When Sanne lived and worked in Japan in 2018, she did such a participation research. She asked more than 100 people to fold a piece of paper so that it would fit into an octagonal box. Their folding behaviour was copied by carbon paper. That was the framework she created. I wondered what a person learns from culture. How do you solve something? Is it true that your hands make different images because your foundation has been different? Does that exist, or not? Is that formed by practice, culture or habits? It yielded into 100 different pieces. If I had folded that piece of paper 100 times myself, the result would be less interesting. During the exhibition at Lloyd Hotel she shows part of the 100 folded patterns in the series ‘Folding Thoughts’.

Her work can be seen as a research to which she did not find an answer yet. What plays a role in European society are the standards of craftsmanship, which have been decisive in history and led to learned behaviour. In her own design, she is also concerned with questions about her learned behaviour, habits and intuition. But as a designer, you simply have to make decisions based on feelings.

It feels logical and therefore it feels good

In addition to developing designs and workshops, Sanne has had a love for textiles from an early age. I like to visit fabric shops. The puzzle of a fabric you choose, the creation of a pattern and then actually making an item out of it are all things I find very rewarding. When creating designs, I look for structure that is able to make something playful at the same time. That too is about intuition. I can freely connect color and shape. Although, it also felt necessary at some point to base the colours and shapes on more than just intuition’.

She now knows how to connect the interactive, her predilection for textiles and design. For me it feels logical, maybe that’s not always the case, but for me my work is more cohorent. I had a good year. I now know better what story I want to tell and I feel that I am the one to tell that story. This makes it easier for me to justify it, to myself and to others. I create more autonomous work, on commission or on my own initiative and that gives a new dynamic.