Furniture design

Blending functionality with artistry: the essence of Albert Potgieter’s designs

From bespoke creations tailored to individual preferences to carefully curated designs seamlessly integrating into existing decor.

Albert Potgieter, founder of the namesake Rotterdam-based furniture art design company, emphasizes the fusion of functionality and aesthetics in his creations. Each piece aims to serve a dual purpose: fulfilling practical needs while also adding artistic flair to the home environment.

With a focus on ensuring that furniture remains relevant and impactful even when not in use, Potgieter’s designs promise to transform spaces around the clock.

Albert Potgierer _ furniture art design
Albert Potgieter, portrait

From carefully curated pieces that seamlessly integrate into existing décor to bespoke creations tailored to individual preferences, Potgieter‘s approach highlights the versatility and beauty of furniture as both functional objects and artistic expressions.

Who is Albert Potgieter? How did your design journey begin?

Albert Potgieter:

“I am a son, a husband, a father, and a designer-craftsman specializing in handmade functional art. My design voyage commenced when I relocated from South Africa to Rotterdam, Netherlands. The inception of my business stemmed from a dream: to utilize design and craftsmanship as a means of offering individuals a second chance. Through the creation of high-end furniture, my aim is to uplift people from difficult circumstances and guide them towards a brighter future through education and skill development.”

The Optique Sculptural Chair by Albert Potgieter is a derivative of the Optique coffee table, boasting a sculptural design that seamlessly transitions between the dining room and living room spaces with its versatile aesthetic.

What led you to specialize in the realm of furniture, particularly with an emphasis on utilizing wood?

Albert Potgieter:

“This aligns with the earlier question, but the rationale behind my choice of wood is simply my profound admiration for its inherent qualities, versatility, and aesthetic allure.”

When working on a project, out of the many ideas you generate, how do you identify a good one?

Albert Potgieter:

“A significant portion of the process involves trial and error. It’s about taking the plunge, testing your ideas, but for me, the first step usually boils down to whether I genuinely love it. If I don’t have a personal connection to it, if I don’t believe in its quality, then I won’t be able to effectively promote it to others.”

Ahadi Coffee table by Albert Potgieter Designs
The Ahadi Coffee Table by Albert Potgieter embodies both functionality and artistic flair, presenting a striking sculptural design that commands attention, much like the grandeur of a mountain. Inspired by the Swahili word “Promise,” it signifies a commitment to excellence and promises to stand out as a centerpiece in any living space.

Which are your vital tools, resources and methods for your work?

Albert Potgieter:

“When it comes to designing, I rely on two primary tools. Firstly, there’s the timeless combination of paper and pen – I carry a small notebook wherever I go, jotting down my ideas as they come to me. Secondly, I utilize my tablet, equipped with a design program, to create 3D models before transitioning to the workshop for construction.

Speaking of crafting, my workshop serves as my creative haven, brimming with an array of tools. I often utilize off-cut wood and leftover materials to kickstart my design process. While I may start with a 3D model on my tablet, the piece is far from complete. I thrive on the tactile experience of working with the materials, often refining and adjusting the design as I bring it to life in the workshop. In essence, the lines between designing and making blur seamlessly into one cohesive process.”

The Optique Coffee Table by Albert Potgieter stands as the flagship piece of our art furniture collection, meticulously crafted to strike a harmonious balance between artistic expression and practicality. Its design skillfully conjures the illusion of movement, captivating the eye and elevating any space it inhabits.

Do you consider research an essential part of the design process? How important is it when you begin working on a new project?

Albert Potgieter:

“Indeed, creativity manifests differently depending on the task at hand. In the realm of design, it’s an ongoing journey of observation, drawing inspiration from diverse surroundings such as nature, architecture, or existing designs. Each element encountered serves as a potential source of inspiration, contributing to the development of fresh ideas and concepts.

When crafting custom pieces for clients, the process takes on a more interactive form. It involves engaging in meaningful dialogue with the client, probing to understand their preferences, tastes, and vision. By actively listening and discerning their desires, the aim is to seamlessly integrate their ideas with my design expertise, resulting in a harmonious fusion that reflects their unique style and aspirations.”

Urithi Lounge Chair by Albert Potgieter Design
The Urithi, which translates to “Heritage,” is an abstract Lounge Chair that draws inspiration from the gentle ripples formed on water by the caress of the wind. Albert intricately carved the chair’s back as a tribute to his Grandmother, evoking memories of her skilled woodcarving from his childhood days.

Which designers/architects are you inspired or influenced by? What other fields and inputs outside of the design world provide you inspiration?

Albert Potgieter:

“While I don’t have a single designer who serves as my sole source of inspiration, I find immense creative stimulation from the diverse pool of talented designers across the globe. Each designer brings a unique perspective and style to their work, whether it’s the elegant lines of their creations or the innovative connections they employ.

Additionally, I draw significant inspiration from the natural world. The intricate forms and organic lines found in nature never cease to captivate me. Nature, with its unparalleled beauty and complexity, serves as the ultimate source of inspiration in my creative journey.”

Ahadi Side Table by Albert Potgieter Designs
The Ahadi Side Table by Albert Potgieter is a captivating blend of functionality and sculptural artistry, designed to make a bold statement akin to a towering mountain. Inspired by its Swahili namesake, “Promise,” it embodies a commitment to excellence and stands out as a testament to craftsmanship and style.

What is your relationship with social media? What is the impact of social media on your work as compared to the “real” world?

Albert Potgieter:

“I believe technology has brought numerous benefits, particularly in terms of accessibility to inspiration. It has essentially opened the doors to a wealth of creative ideas and connections, making the world feel more interconnected. With just a click, we can explore the work of designers and galleries from every corner of the globe.

However, while virtual connections are valuable, there’s truly no substitute for genuine, face-to-face interactions. Engaging in meaningful conversations at galleries or shows allows for a deeper connection and understanding, fostering genuine relationships that can’t always be replicated online.”


Open full width