You can find it on Veemarktstraat, right next to Poppodium 013: Ontwerp van de Buren. The team, reinforced by three additional designers and an intern, creates the most diverse designs. We spoke to the entrepreneur Linda and the designer Nina, who enthusiastically talk about the growing design studio and the new name it has been given today, on Neighbors Day.
I enter the drawing room door and am cheerfully greeted by Linda and Nina. After a short chat, we take a seat at a high table. “Would you like a piece of pie?” asks Nina. ‘Delicious!’. While Nina takes my cake in the kitchen, I ask Linda how she got into the profession as a designer. ‘I have always been creative. It sounds very trite, but it is the truth. I still remember when I really wanted to go to hotel school. Walking around on the open day, I saw posters and flyers everywhere. All I thought about was how I could make it more beautiful and better. Then I knew: I must become a designer.’ Nina walks into the room with my piece of cake on a plate. ‘I was always busy cutting, pasting and tinkering. I doubted whether I would use that creativity to make something with my hands or something digital. In the end I chose the latter,’ says Nina.
The drawing room has the most diverse tasks and clients. ‘We do communication for, for example, GGD, Tilburg Food Bank and for Woning in Zicht,’ continues Linda. “But also for Kessel’s museum, the fire service and the police in Tilburg. From logos and animations to websites and infographics. We offer our customers a complete package. We support them in their ideas and wishes and ask them about the style they like.’ Nina answers this: ‘As a design studio and team, we stand for personal attention and accessibility. We also pay double attention to every order and pay attention to every detail.’ Linda: ‘I think we differ from other design studios because of our open and free contact. ‘Come by!’ it sounds often enough here.’
I ask Nina where she gets her job satisfaction from. She smiles and says: “It’s always fun here in the office. The atmosphere is good and we really are a team. We have also created all kinds of rituals over time. For example, every Friday afternoon it’s time for music of the wrong time, and we regularly have lunch on our roof terrace. In addition, it is also a lot of fun to build a relationship with our customers. When people leave here satisfied, my day is okay!’
“It’s not what I had in mind, but exactly what I wanted.”
‘We have also been able to do so many cool things,’ says Linda proudly. Nina nods in agreement: ‘I thought the coolest thing was the collaboration with writer Margreet Joosen. Together with Margreet, I brought to life the illustrations for her book The Journey to the Magic Potion. The task was fine, but the contact with Margreet also went very well. That made this collaboration something special for me.’ Linda: ‘I still remember this quote from one of our customers: it wasn’t what I had in mind, but it’s exactly what I wanted. Magnificent, isn’t it?’
I take a bite of my piece of cake and ask what makes shopping in Tilburg fun. Karel, who is busy working on his computer, looks up and says: ‘Tilburg is a city that works hard on the creative path. I think it’s a wonderful thing to be able to contribute to.’ Linda and Nina nod in agreement. Linda: ‘Furthermore, of course, we are also in a very creative environment. During our breaks, we like to walk around Piushaven or have lunch on our roof terrace. We take all our interns to LocHal to inspire them in arts and culture. In my spare time, I really like going to Spoorparken.’ Nina: ‘I think RAW is a very nice place. The shop has a homely atmosphere, but with a really raw edge.’ Linda: ‘We also like to have a drink on Friday afternoon. We like to go to Studio, Stadsbrouwerij 013 or to Gourmet Market Central Station.’
‘Suddenly you are no longer only responsible for your own sandwich, but also for someone else’s.’
In recent years, the Karel & Linda design studio has expanded to a team of a total of five designers. ‘I still remember how exciting it was to hire our first employee. We were running out of work and it was really time to expand our team. Suddenly you are no longer only responsible for your own sandwich, but also for someone else’s,’ says Linda. After the tension came the relief. It was nice to see an improvement in the workload. In addition, our new colleague also helped us get out of our own bubble, which only benefited our work!’
From Design Studio Karel & Linda to Design by the Buren
I take a sip of my water and then ask Linda to tell me more about the design studio’s new name. ‘The name Design Studio Karel & Linda no longer covered the load, because we are here now with a whole team of excellent designers. So it was time for a new name. After brainstorming all afternoon, we ended up with Design van de Buren. You can just walk in with us, just like with your neighbors. We wanted to see the friendliness and sociability that we stand for in our name. I think I succeeded well. If our customers can’t figure something out, we say: ‘Throw over the fence.’ It also fits well with Design van de Buren.’
Do you want to know more about Design van de Buren? Take a look at the website. Are you curious about what they can do for you as an entrepreneur or private person? Then you are welcome to enter! Curious about current projects by Ontwerp van de Buren? Follow the design studio on Instagram.