Person of Interest: Jorre van Ast
We had the pleasure of meeting Jorre van Ast recently at our San Francisco showroom. After hearing about his fascinating family history with Arco, we wanted to know more.
Jorre van Ast started as head of the design and development studio at Arco in 2008. Since 2011, the family business has been led by Van Ast – the fourth generation since the start of the company in 1904. Van Ast bases the strategy of Arco on his vision: he values heritage but also strives to make the company and the collection ‘future proof’. Innovation and sustainability in materials and technology remain important principles, coupled with a consistently high level of quality and craftsmanship. Besides consumers, Arco increasingly serves the contract market.
Jorre Ast studied Industrial Product Design at The Hague University. After two years working at the industrial design studio Flex in the Netherlands, he continued his studies at the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London where, in 2006, he graduated in Design Products. His graduation project Clampology is part of the MoMA New York collection.
After the RCA, Van Ast started as an independent product designer in a joint studio in North London - the Okay Studio. Van Ast's Jar Tops, which were designed there, won the Dutch Design Award and the Good Industrial Design Award. Nowadays Van Ast designs successful products for various clients such as Arco, Thonet and Royal VKB. His Nomad Table won an IF Award and IMM Interior Innovation Award.
Since 2014, Jorre van Ast has been a member of the Dutch Creative Council: the independent strategic advisory board of and for the creative industries. The council aims to stimulate the creative industry as a top sector and develop it into a national and international leading sector. The focus areas are knowledge, innovation, talent, entrepreneurship and internationalisation.