Bruno Ninaber van Eyben (1950), designer. Ninaber van Eyben, son of a stained glass artist and born in Boxtel, attended the academy of Maastricht (department of metal and plastics design) and became a jewellery designer. He received a prize for his graduation work and the jury spoke of a ‘clean and well-thought-out design that can be of value for the industry.’ After his graduation in 1971, he started to examine the possibilities of producing his jewellery himself and he developed a bracelet watch and wrist watch. His pendant watch has been included in the collection of the MoMA in New York. Other products include a fluorescent lamp and a wrist watch.
In 1979, Ninaber van Eyben received the Kho Liang Ie prize from the city of Amsterdam. According to the jury report, ‘as a result of his perseverance, several products have been launched onto the market, all of which have proven him right and form the living evidence of the short-sightedness, conventionality and lack of vision of Dutch businesses.’ During the 1980s, he wanted to cooperate more with others and joined the design agency Peters & Krouwel, which became Ninaber, Peters & Krouwel (NPK) in 1985. ‘Of course no product is the work of just one man’, he explained in Items 1984, ‘yet being a client yourself is a form of autonomous (self) research, while the input of others can change the way you look at things. You can compare it to being single or having a partner: there is dialogue instead of isolation, there are more aspects to it.’ In the same interview he argued: ‘I want to satisfy an emotional need in a manner that is technically optimal.’ [no. 13, p.16]
Ninaber, who was responsible for the design of Dutch coins in 1982, has expressed his interest in technology, materials and constructions in innovative products with refined details and meticulous workmanship. He felt that it was important for the user to form a bond with his products, and he valued quality and sustainability.
In 2007, he received the Oeuvre prize by the BKVB Fund, and he has been working at the Delft University of Technology as a professor of design since 2003.
The Dutch version of this biography is taken from the book Visies op vormgeving, het Nederlandse ontwerpen in teksten deel 2: 1940-2000 (2008) by Frederike Huygen. The following sources have been used for this biography:
– Crommelin, L. ‘Vormgevings-processen…’, ‘Scheppend Ambacht 27’ (1976) 6, pp. 124-126.
– Huygen, F. ‘Techniek als medium tot emotie. Gesprek met Bruno Ninaber van Eyben’, Items 3 (1984) nr 13, pp. 14-18.
– Teunen, J. ‘Bruno Ninaber van Eyben. With Compliments’, Rotterdam 2002.