Figure 1. Jolie Madame for Hermès


Dirk Schrijvers

Nedda El-Asmar (°1968) studied jewelry design and silver smithing at the Royal Academy for Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium, and she completed her education at the Royal College of Art in London, UK.
She designed for renowned names as Hermès, Puiforcat, Eternum, Gense, Villeroy & Boch, Robbe & Berking, Obumex, Vange, Demeyere and Carl Mertens.
Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Architecture and Design Ljubljana, Slovenia; the Design museum Ghent, Belgium; and the Silver museum 'Sterckshof', Antwerp, Belgium.

Posted 29 November 2015

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Her design philosophy is based on openness, flexibility and diversity. She is always ready to look beyond what she knows already. She is quick to see possibilities, even if a commission comes from an unexpected source. As ar esult, she has evolved into an acclaimed designer with a broad field of activity, praised as widely for a condom holder as for silver dishes, for cutlery as for water pipes, for dinner services, for leather saddles, for tables and chairs as well as for mussel pots, glass and incense burners. She employs sober, softly undulating shapes that look gracious, contemporary and timeless. Her fresh, innovative view of tradition is always surprising. Her designs are functional, up-to-date and aesthetic, poetic and a tad secretive.

Figure 2. Selle for Hèrmes

“  I study  materials and techniques; the behavior of the material and how it can be influenced; how it feels and how it is used. In designing an object, other factors such as the emotional value, its function and ergonomics are important for me. This process should be the same in designing a chair, a ring or a vase. I construct my prototypes in wood or wax to explore its 3-dimensional form. I want to feel how the object works and how its lines are flowing. Thereafter, I made detailed drawing on the computer for the producers, based on this prototype  ”

She gets her inspiration fromall over, translating them in usable objects.
Nedda’s designs have earned numerous awards and prizes. She was given the Sterckshofopdracht in 1997, an annual assignment by the Silver Museum of Antwerp, and in the same year she won the Henry van de Velde Award for young talent. Nedda was proclaimed Belgian Designer of 2007, and in 2008 she was nominated for the second time for the 'Talents du Luxe'. In January 2009, she received the prestigious bi-annual Flemish Cultural Award for Design 2008.

Since 2007 Nedda is teaching at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium.
In 2008, she created Studio Nedda in collaboration with industrial designer Erik Indekeu. He trained as a Product Designer at the “Henry van de Velde-Instituut” in Antwerp, Belgium. Shortly after his study he joined the Tupperware design team in Aalst, Belgium. In 1994 he was the first Product Designer to work for deSter, leading supplier and manufacturer of inflight-catering equipment. There he designed a myriad of products like cutlery, cups, plates, trays, glasses for established airline companies. He is experienced to make designs in glass, porcelain, metal, wood, plastics and 3d-printed material. He explores the possibilities of new materials and techniques while keeping his eye for detail on esthetical and functional features. Just that little bit of extra effort can make the difference.
Their adagio ‘A world of seemingly simple shapes’ describes their designs perfectly.

Glass by Nedda

In addition to silver, metal, wood and porcelain, Nedda designed several objects in glass.
It started in 2004 with the design of “Jolie Madame” forHermès which consisted of a table dressing set of 5 pieces in opaline Murano glass (Figure 1 top photo). Another design for Hermès was “Selle”, a series of vases, based on a saddle, which was executed in pewter, cedar wood and brown, orange and black Murano glass (Figure 2 large photo).

Figure 3a + b. Hot & Cool for Villeroy & Boch

Besides vases, she also created drinking glasses and decanters. For Villeroy & Boch she designed “Hot & Cool” in 2008 which consisted of a set of glasses and a decanter, that can be used for cool and hot beverages (Figure 3).  Jacqmotte, a coffee brand, invited 9 designer to work on the theme of “Aroma Creations” and Studio Nedda created a set of coffee glasses, that enable a multisensorial experience with not only taste and smell, but also color and the sight of the brewage against the container (2009) (Figure 4). Extremis is a Belgian design studio, that produces outdoor furniture. At the launch of its beer table 'Hopper', the company ordered a beer 'the Tremist' and asked Studio Nedda to design a beer glass. She made a typical beer glass with a gold rim but of which the foot has the form of an accolade,  the logo of Extremis. The content of the glass is 1/4th of a bottle of Tremist, so that it can be shared by 4 people (Figure 5) (2010). 

Figure 3a + b. Hot & Cool for Villeroy & Boch

Figure 4. Aroma Creations for Jacqmotte

Figure 5. Tremist for Extremis

She Studio Nedda also produced several design fordesigned several wind lights. The company “Spaas” ordered one of her their designs ”Nedda” in the Clearlights collection. It consists of a bright colored transparanttransparent glass container with an undulating form (Figure 6).  Another series of wind lights ‘Ogee’ was designed for the company Oxgygène in 2012, which combines transparent soda glass with an oak base, on which the candles can be placed (Figure 7). 

Figure 6. Nedda lights for Spaas

Figure 7. Ogee for Oxygène

See the Agenda>

Some of the glass work of Nedda is to see in the Exhibition “Nedda & Studio Nedda” from

AD Gallery
Grote Koraalberg 17
B-2000 Antwerp

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