Douwe Jacobs and Tom Schouten
They are quite young
Using paper to create furniture prototypes, Jacobs knew he’d struck upon a unique and beautiful way to create folding furniture. The paper prototypes were elegant and flowing, but also very strong.
Fellow student and friend, Tom Schouten, saw the potential and brilliance of Jacobs’s designs, and when the pair graduated, he agreed to help Jacobs with the technical realisation of the colourful, curved folding chair.
The dynamic design duo of Jacobs and Schouten now formed, the pair of student friends became a formidable team. With the help of a start-up loan from their university, the Dutch duo built the first prototype of the folding chair, and formed their own company, Flux, with a unique vision – to create flexible, fun, foldable furniture.
However, technical experts were adamant that the furniture could not be created, since the equipment didn’t exist to create big enough sheets of polypropylene.
Undeterred, Jacobs and Schouten built a machine big enough to create jumbo-sized polypropylene, and began manufacturing their folding furniture.
The Flux Chair prototype took the design world by storm, and Jacobs and Schouten won the New Venture Award and the Philips Innovation award, which gave them valuable investment capital to develop the chair further.
After testing over one hundred prototypes, the pair finally created the finished Flux chair, and brought it into production.
Jacobs and Schouten called their new, revolutionary line of products ‘Flux’, to signify transformation, change and flow.
The Flux Chair, which transformed from a flat polypropylene envelope into a curvy seat, won the Grand Designs Product of the Year Award in 2011.
Now, Flux furniture is recognised as both a ground-breaking technical innovation and a brand new way of interacting with space.