Throughout her career, Marleen Kaptein has pursued her passion, exploring contemporary materials and questioning the traditional way they’re used in design and manufacturing.
This began with her early work at the Design Academy Eindhoven, where she graduated in 1997, and has developed ever since. It was via Label/Breed in 2015, that Kaptein became an embedded artist at the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR), a research institute that develops future technologies and materials for aviation and space travel. Here, she works closely with aerospace engineers, whose innovation is derived from rigid and proven calculations, simulations and testing. Kaptein brings her creative experience, unconventional views, and intuition to this highly technical world. The meeting of these two different worlds has resulted in new shapes and solutions, which can be seen in a number of her signature works.
Marleen Kaptein broke new ground as the first person to utilise the innovative fibre placement robot for furniture design. The resulting ‘Fiber Placement Chair’ was purchased in 2016 by the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam for their permanent collection. The ‘Recycled Carbon Chair’ was also purchased by the Vitra Museum (Weil am Rhein), and Kaptein’s ‘Fiber Placement Lights’ can be seen in the Textile Museum Tilburg.
In recent years, her work has been featured in various shows and exhibitions around the world, such as Beijing Design Week, Nouvelles Vies (Via Gallery, Paris), Betwin Ocean (Taiwan), Beurs van Berlage (Amsterdam), Design Kwartier (The Hague), Design Week Eindhoven, Norman Foster / Foster + Partners (London), Wanted Design (New York), and Maison&Object (Paris).