Modern Contemporary Design


2 or 3 Questions for Daphna Isaacs & Laurens Manders


Tafelstukken, by Daphna Isaacs and Laurens Manders, is a series of five lights that shine upon attached containers or pedestals. It is up to the user to decide what items are worthy of the spotlight: everyday objects like keys or fruit, or special treasures. These oak and porcelain “storage” lamps were awarded a ‘Three out of ten’ DMY award, presented by Hella Jongerius, who pointed out that the tactility and finish of these products made them stand out to the jury. Now we shine the spotlight on the designers…



What are the objects that you would personally choose to highlight?

In our living room, on the table, there is a Readinglamp. At the moment two ceramic cups made by atelier NL are being highlighted. On the so-called Etagere, Laurens likes to display his ‘everyday’ keys and wallet. Actually it doesn’t really matter, we like it when the owners find their own way of use. Some weeks ago we were visiting the buyer of four Tafelstukken at his house in London, and, to our happy surprise, the pieces were stacked full with books. That was really nice to see!



These shapes, colours and materials are very harmonious. What led you to these shapes and forms that make us think of objects like heated basins and well-lit warmers?

It was not our intention to make the pieces look like heated basins whatsoever! For us, giving shape, choosing materials and using colour are mostly intuitive moves. Earlier Daphna worked with body stained porcelain, a colouring process that we both prefer. The pieces are finished with several layers of protective oil. The result is a matte finish, which together with the oak wood and the light creates a natural atmosphere.


Small Fruitlamp and Sofalamp

The Tafelstukken pieces have a very distinct personality. How would you describe this?

With our design we try to trigger fantasy and make use of the viewers/users’ own interpretation. Little design decisions can be of great effect in terms of ‘recognition’. We think it is not a shame if small details of a piece remind you of something you saw before; for example, certain animal or human characteristics. Apart from this explanation we eventually strive to put our own soul and personality into our objects.



Although Tafelstukken are currently being exhibited in a gallery, do you consider these more as practical design objects or do they fall more into the design-art category?

Well, of course, they are useable as a lamp and a container for daily or special objects, but in the end they are made out of porcelain. Therefore the Tafelstukken are fragile and maybe not the most practical design objects. Especially not in homes with giant dogs or hyperactive cats! They are handmade by us in a limited edition of 15 (per piece). This way of producing makes design pieces more exclusive and therefore a bit more expansive. Together with their price and points of sale, the outspoken design of the Tafelstukken tend to attract mostly design-art lovers.



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One thought on “2 or 3 Questions for Daphna Isaacs & Laurens Manders

I love these lamps! You can create an instant art exhibit – innovative, functional and clever! The flat surfaces are the “show offs”, and the buckets invite investigation. Often, the best art is interactive. Well done!

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