Galerie VIVID in collaboration with Arco presents:

Okay London

May 8 - June 26, 2011

opening reception:
Sunday May 8, 4pm

Tomas Alonso
Oscar Narud
Mathias Hahn
Peter Marigold
Shay Alkalay & Yael Mer
Andrew Haythornthwaite
Shai Akram
Hiroko Shiratori
Eelko Moorer
Jorre van Ast

graphic design: Damien Poulain
photography: Lucas Hardonk

Dutch furniture manufacturer Arco recently set up a workshop with designers from the London-based Okay Studio.

The workshop was a logical follow up to the Arco 12 project organised to mark company’s 100th anniversary back in 2005. In 2005 Arco asked 12 young Dutch designers to produce their own designs in response to its collection and the company. Several of the resulting designs were subsequently added to the Arco furniture collection, including the now famous Slim Table by Bertjan Pot. Arco 12 was a very successful project with positive outcomes and Arco has continued to draw on its intensive collaboration with a new generation of talented young designers.

After completing his studies at the Royal College of Art in London, Arco’s new director, Jorre van Ast (born 1980), was himself a member of Okay Studio for several years. “The designers are a group of friends who share a studio and often exhibit together. I knew them all as fellow students. So for me it was simply a logical next step to set up a workshop with them. Obviously I’m in a unique and unusual position, because I am both Arco and a member of the group.”

Ten of the Okay Studio designers were asked to consider Arco’s current production possibilities and to create prototypes in wood that was completely different from the products in the existing collection. These prtotypes of the Arco Okay workshop will be on show at the Galerie VIVID in Rotterdam from 8 May to 26 June.

You are warmly invited to attend the opening on Sunday May 8, from 16:00 onwards.

The exhibition
Okay London is supported by the British Council


Okay Studio exhibition at Galerie Vivid, Rotterdam

Wallpaper / Malaika Byng

Back in 2005, Dutch furniture manufacturer Arco invited 12 young designers to create a piece of furniture in response to its archives. The Arco 12 project proved a triumph, spawning the multi-award-winning Slim Table by Bertjan Pot among other pieces now in production, so it's no surprise that Arco should bring the format back for the next instalment. And with Okay Studio's Jorre van Ast now at the creative director helm, it seemed only natural that the London-based design collective should take up the challenge.

Situated in a former piano factory in north east London, Okay Studio is something of a creative hotbed. 'Even though the designers work independently, as a group they really bring out the best in each other,' says van Ast. 'They are all former fellow students, so setting up this workshop with them was a logical step for me.'
Thus he transplanted the designers, including the likes of Peter Marigold, Shay Alkalay and Oscar Narud, to Winterswijk in the Netherlands, where they got together to develop ideas and execute them in Arco's furniture factory. This time around, however, he charged the designers (including himself) to create something completely different to Arco's collection - which largely comprises of tables, chairs and cupboards - bearing in mind the capabilities of the brand's production facilities.
Highlights include Raw-Edges' bread box, featuring a knife that acts as a lever. Once open, the box becomes a board and the knife can be pulled out for use. Then there's Peter Marigold's satisfyingly simple foldable table and his magazine rack on wheels that comes equipped with an arm rest for easy reading. The full fruits of the designers' labour are now on show at Galerie Vivid in Rotterdam, alongside a selection of works from their portfolio.


NRC Handelsblad