Previously to joining the RCA, van Ast had a background in Industrial Design. Following graduation he worked as an independent designer in London, focusing on (interior) Product Design. Besides his personal work, van Ast has recently joined furniture manufacturer Arco contemporary furniture in the Netherlands.
Although generally functionally orientated, his work has an additional layer that could be loosely defined as the â€˜informalâ€™ element. Through this juxtaposition of opposing concerns he tries to uncover new and playful typologies. By manipulating â€˜principalsâ€™, and pushing the nature of what we consider to be normal in a material or an object, he hopes to add a new meaning and interpretation that goes beyond the expected and purely utilitarian.
The recent projects are the result of a study of several seemingly disconnected subjects: clamping, hexagonal forms, and treaded rods; but during the design process the nature of the projects as part of an evolving family emerged, that share the common ground of connections and assemblages.
By abstracting these (mechanical) principles and extrapolating them, their geometric properties have translated into decorative though functional solutions.
Each of the projects define a category of object that operate on different typological levels but are essentially part of the same family. The idea, the product, the system, the piece.